Kathleen Toolan’s penalty saw the SWPL 2 Hamilton Academical cause a cupset in the Scottish Women’s Cup by beating SWPL 1 Spartans 4-3 on penalties, after drawing 0-0.
It was Spartans who had the better chances of the 120 minutes, with the majority falling to substitute Michelle Russell who squandered a few golden opportunities. The home side also had two ‘goals’ ruled out for offside. But Hamilton defended resolutely for the majority of the game and caused Spartans problems on the counter, although, they didn’t test Spartans’ keeper Earth Cumings enough.
After both sides missed two spot-kicks, the shootout progressed into sudden-death. Kathleen Toolan put Hamilton in front before Kirsty McLaughlin missed the crucial spot-kick.
The win sees Hamilton progress to the Third Round, whilst for the second season in a row, Spartans are knocked out at the first hurdle.
Spartans started the first half well and created a few early chances. Ronaigh Douglas broke into the Hamilton box but could only shoot into the side-netting, before Alana Marshall tested Hamilton’s keeper Elaine Fleming with a stinging effort from outside the box.
A defensive mistake from Accies’ Amie McGill gifted possession to Marshall who couldn’t take advantage of it, blasting her first-time shot into the side-netting.
Then a stunning diagonal ball from Marshall picked out the unmarked Danijela Rae in the box, who controlled the ball before driving her shot across goal and just wide of the far post.
Hamilton then had a half-decent spell where they saw Gillian Inglis’ cross turned behind, before winning a free-kick on the edge of the Spartans box, from which Laura Gallen curled over.
But it was Spartans who were still on top, and they came close when Marshall’s cross picked out Kirsty McLaughlin whose weak shot wrong-footed Fleming, but it lacked the power which allowed the keeper to recover.
Just before half-time, Hamilton had the best chance after Spartans’ keeper Eartha Cumings handled outside the left-edge of the box. From the free-kick, Inglis drilled the ball into the box and the ball fell to Amy Anderson whose effort went agonisingly wide.
There was a slower start to the second half, but in the 55th minute, Spartans had the half’s first chance. Douglas picked out Laura Gavin who hooked the ball towards the far post where Fleming managed the punch the ball clear ahead of Rae.
And then Spartans had the ball in the net, only to be denied by the offside flag. Douglas’ cross was flicked out by Gavin to Kirsty McLaughlin at the far post whose shot beat Fleming, as the assistant decided she had scored from an offside position.
Soon after, Spartans had another goal ruled out for offside. A corner was only partially cleared by Hamilton, and Marshall delivered a brilliant cross from the left picking out Spartans’ captain Katie Reilly whose headed goal was deemed offside.
Michelle Russell, who had come on in the 62nd minute had three glorious chances in six minutes. Laura Gavin’s 25-yard shot was parried by Fleming into the path of Russell whose chip from six yards went well over. Then, from 20 yards, Russell’s fizzing shot went just over. Her third chance saw her make room for herself in the box but saw her powerful shot palmed by Fleming.
Accies then nearly made them pay. A brilliant through-ball from Lauren Kerr sent Mhairi Lyle down the right-wing and she delivered a cross towards Inglis, who sliding in, could only shoot over.
Then, deep into second-half stoppage time, Douglas’ cross picked out Russell who shot straight at Fleming.
There weren’t many chances in the first half of extra-time, with Inglis shooting wide for Hamilton and Spartans’ Marshall seeing her shot blocked.
But, as half-time approached, Spartans had a glorious chance. Gavin’s cross picked out the unmarked Reilly in the box, but somehow, her header missed the target.
Russell had another glorious chance to score early on in the second half of extra-time. Marshall whipped in a brilliant ball from the left, and from six-yards out, Russell failed to make enough contact to divert the ball goalwards, and then Gavin could only shoot wide from a narrow-angle.
And then, Russell produced a magnificent save from Fleming from 20 yards.
With full-time approaching, Spartans had one last chance, but Kirsty McLaughlin shot wide from the edge of the box.
Hamilton took the first penalty which their captain Inglis scored with ease, but Spartans missed their first with Alana Marshall’s spot kick a good height for Fleming to save.
Suzy Smith made it 2-0 to Hamilton, before Spartans’ captain Katie Reilly scored their first when she sent the keeper the wrong way.
Amie McGill then saw her effort tipped over by Eartha Cumings, but Michelle Russell failed to take advantage for Spartans, seeing her poor penalty saved.
Demi Wardrop missed her spot-kick and then Laura Gavin equalised for Spartans. Hamilton retook the lead through Amy Anderson before Jen Malone scored hers to send it into sudden-death.
Kathleen Toolan converted her penalty with accuracy before Kirsty McLaughlin saw her crucial spot kick saved – sending Hamilton through at Spartans’ expense.
— Gary Anderson (@garymfc68) June 12, 2016