Category: SWPL Team News

SWPL2: Forfar Farmington 3 Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale 0

Forfar Farmington returned to winning ways with a 3-0 win over Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale as the Scottish Women’s Premier League Two restarted on Sunday.

A double from Danni McGinley and Gemma Collier’s second half strike sealed all three points as Farmington kept up their six point lead at the top.

Alana Bruce was handed her first start since suffering an injury in February as Alison Debio dropped to the bench in the only change to the side that were defeated by Motherwell before the break.

Youngsters Sophie Young and Chantelle McKay were named on the bench after an impressive first half of the season for the pair.

Danni McGinley had the first opportunity of the game two minutes in when she raced on to a Cheryl Kilcoyne ball before pacing into the box; her shot from a tight angle finding the side netting.

A minute later Julia Scott curled a free kick past the post meanwhile captain Nicola Davidson failed to get her long range effort on target.

The visitors’ first shot of the game came through Nichola Sturrock in the 12th minute; the attacker volleying over from Lisa MacFarlane’s free kick.

Three minutes later Farmington were ahead; a long ball looked to be covered by the EUHV keeper or defender, however both player hesitated and McGinley nipped in to send a beautiful lob into the empty net from 25 yards.

Kirsty Deans headed wide shortly after with Megan McCarthy doing the same from a Scott corner in the 27th minute.

Deans and Alana Bruce had efforts on target with Scott coming closest in the 38th minute as her cross-cum-shot was touched wide by the keeper.

From the corner Gemma Collier headed over while Deans fired over from another corner on the stroke on half time.

Farmington seemed to be on top at half time and this was much the case in the second half despite EUHV improving.

McGinley grabbed her and Farmington’s second in the 54th minute; the opposition defence stood still as she raced past them to send a bullet header past Lessells from Scott’s corner for her fifth goal in five games.

Defender Gemma Collier added to the tally just after the hour mark as another Scott corner was taken down by McCarthy and Collier scooped the ball towards goal. After hitting the post, it trickled along the line before going in via the other post.

Chances were few and far between following this with sub Kayleigh Noble and Deans having efforts held in the final ten minutes.

The visitors’ Beth MacLeod saw her curling effort held by Fiona McNicoll before Noble couldn’t keep her effort on target in the final chance of the match.

Farmington keep their six point lead ahead of next week’s tough challenge against Hearts.

Forfar Farmington: Fiona McNicoll, Gemma Collier, Erin Cattanach, Robyn Smith (Kayleigh Noble 66), Nicola Davidson (Alison Debio 77), Alana Bruce, Kirsty Deans, Cheryl Kilcoyne (Laura Parsley 81), Megan McCarthy, Julia Scott (Beth Shillitto 66), Danni McGinley (Sophie Young 81)

Subs not used: Leah White, Chantelle McKay (gk)

Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale: Charlene Lessells, Beth Sutherland, Jude Shepherd, Hannah Craig, Lisa MacFarlane, Anna Murray, Florence Haines, Beth MacLeod, Nichola Sturrock, Leanne Forker (Lynsey Cowan 70), Amy Gilroy (Gillian Flynn 53)

Nisbet Hopes Euros Can Raise Interest In Domestic Game

With Scotland being represented in the European Championships last month, head coach Mark Nisbet hopes it can raise interest in the domestic game.

It was the first time the country was at national tournament since the men were at the World Cup in 1998 and the women were unfortunate not to reach the quarter finals, missing out by one goal.

Nisbet was part of a group of coaches sent to the tournament by the Scottish FA and he praised the set up of the national squads the group watched.

“It was excellent to be at the Euros. It was great to see all the different nations involved and the variety of formations and tactics used in the games. Each nation has a clear model of how they approach each of the games and the players fully respond to that.”

Scotland lost 6-0 to England in their first game and were unlucky to lose to Portugal and despite beating Spain 1-0, they finished third in their group and Nisbet echoed the thoughts of those on social media on the squads fortunes.

He said: “In the end Scotland were really unfortunate not to go through. It was always going to be tough in the opening game against England but to concede six was a disappointing start. I felt that we should have beaten Portugal if we were a bit more clinical in front of goal.”

The Forfar Farmington head coach feels the competition can entice people to head along to their local women’s side with the standard improving every year.

“I’d like to think the Euros can entice people to games but we need to make sure the product that people are coming to watch keeps improving. That’s something we have been working hard to improve over the years and think people would be pleasantly surprised if they were to take in a game.”

Forfar Farmington are currently top of the second tier of the Scottish Women’s Premier League with a six point advantage and Nisbet can’t wait to get going as the league restarts this Sunday.

“As much as it’s good to get a break it’s also good to get back to the normal routine and into training and see all the players again.”

“I am happy with where we are at this point in the season. If you had said at the start of the season we would be six points clear going into the second half I would have jumped at the chance to have that.”

The side take on Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale at Station Park on Sunday with a 1.00pm kick off. Admission is £4 for adults while under 16’s enter free of charge. Entrance to the game can be found at the turnstile at the back of the main stand.

Cattanach Eyes Room For Improvement

Erin Cattanach is loving her first full season in the Scottish Women’s Premier League and believes there is still more to come from Forfar Farmington.

The defender has played ten games so far this season and has been part of a defence that has kept six clean sheets in thirteen games, conceding twelve in that time.

Farmington enter the second half of the season six points ahead of nearest challengers Motherwell at the top of the SWPL2 with Cattanach eager to build on the progress made so far.

She said: “I think that the first half of the season has gone well as we’re top of the league and have played well to maintain this position. I think it has gone according to plan as we have been consistent.”

19 year old Cattanach moved to the senior squad midway through the 2016 season, making six appearances in a season that saw Forfar relegated from the top tier of the Premier League. The young defender reckons she is starting to feel like she has earned her spot in the squad.

“I’m loving it as I’m starting and feel like I have earned my place within the team. I’m really enjoying this season as it’s been a challenge and I have enjoyed pushing myself at training to give me a boost for the weekends.”

She continued: “I think I have been consistent in my performances as I am now comfortable in my position and am confident when on the ball. I think I have learnt a lot throughout training and take that knowledge into the games with me and its really benefitting my performance.”

In her nine starts and one sub appearance, Farmington have conceded just eight goals when she has been on the field of play and despite the impressive record, she feels there is still room for improvement.

“I think we could have definitely conceded less goals than that as a few goals we gave away were silly, but I think that the overall record is okay. We will try and concede less goals in the second part of the season.”

Mark Nisbet’s side returned to training recently ahead of the league restarting on August 6th at home to Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale with Cattanach eager to get going again.

“I’m really looking forward to get back playing competitively, I’ve missed it. I’m working really hard to improve my fitness which will really benefit me in games as I can have the edge over opponents. The whole team is buzzing to get back into playing so I feel we will start the second half of the season strongly”.

Shillitto Eager To Build On Progress Made

Beth Shillitto is enjoying her first full senior season at Forfar Farmington and reckons there is an impressive batch of youngsters coming through the ranks at the club.

The 19 year old attacker has made eleven appearances, with seven of those from the bench, and believes she still has room for improvement.

The SWPL2 leaders have lost just once this season, against Motherwell last month, but Shillitto has been delighted with the side’s performances so far.

She said: “I think the year has gone great so far, the side have played extremely well, with some ups and downs of course but overall I think it’s been great especially with only losing one game so far.”

Shillitto progressed through the youth system, making her senior debut last season at Glasgow City in August. Having made twenty appearances overall since then, she feels she is enjoying herself but admits there is space to improve and wants to prove herself to head coach Mark Nisbet.

“I am thoroughly enjoying being part of the SWPL matchday squads. Yes, it’s harder, but it is worth it. I am hoping to start more often by proving myself to Mark, but overall being with the team and travelling with the team is great fun and a great experience.”

She continued: “Personally, I think I have played well but there is definitely room for improvement. I feel I need to be more composed on the ball, but apart from that I feel I am getting on well.”

The attacker is one of a number of youngsters who have made debuts over the last twelve months and Beth believes they are making great strides in their progress.

“With the young ones coming up and making their debut I feel they are gaining confidence and having the experience that I’m sure they loved. I feel the young ones are progressing greatly through the youth ranks and are proving they can play at SWPL level.”

The side have had some time off as the league has an extended mid-season break due to Scotland qualifying for the Euros. Training resumes this week with the first fixture not until August 6th at home to Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale and Shillitto is eager to get going on the training pitch once again.

“Having two weeks out of training has been good to relax the muscles but I am looking forward to getting back to training with all the girls and working hard as we usually do.”

Debio Pleased With Progress Made In Midfield Role

With Forfar Farmington sitting six points clear at the top of the Scottish Women’s Premier League Two table, Alison Debio is pleased with how her first season at Premier League level has gone so far.

The 20 year old has been almost ever present so far in the first half of the season and the former Cumbernauld Colts player admits she is enjoying the challenges faced while playing in midfield.

Farmington have lost just once in the league, winning nine of the other ten games while drawing the other and although the loss reduced the lead at the top, Debio reckons it is still a good position to be in during the summer break.

She said: “The first half of the season has been a good learning experience. We have pushed forward and been developing as a team which has created a great environment that has produced a lot of positive performances.”

“If we were offered being 6 points clear come the halfway point we would have gladly accepted it at the start of the season.”

Despite the lead, the midfielder is under no illusions that the side will have to work hard in every game with other teams looking to take a scalp against the league leaders.

“We knew the teams in this league would all pose different problems that we would have to overcome and we have done very well to deal with some difficult opponents.”

She continued: “The obstacles that we have overcome have also highlighted areas for us to work on which is always good to ensure we stay at the top. Now we have played everyone at least once we definitely have a target on our heads and we are the team everyone wants to beat.”

Debio had previously played as a defender prior to her move to the club, moving forward to midfield at the start of the season. She expressed an eagerness to progress in her position having started all but one game this season.

“I feel that I definitely understand my role a lot more and I enjoy the different challenges that we face in there, it keeps you on your toes. I may have started a lot of games but every start is an honour and each game highlights areas that need work, this ultimately pushes me to become a better player and offer more to the team.”

The former Falkirk and Stenhousemuir youth reckons her battling, no-nonsense style of play has helped her settle in her new role, even if it means collecting a few bumps and bruises along the way.

“I’ve always been the type of player who puts their all in and if it means I pick up a few knocks here and there then that’s okay with me. Whilst the team keeps progressing positively I’ll continue to work hard and carry out my role to the best of my ability when called upon.”

Debio continued: “For a team to work there needs to be balance across the pitch and I feel like on a whole our squad is very well balanced and we have lots of options to call upon.”

Farmington were drawn against fellow SWPL2 outfit Buchan in the third round of the Scottish Cup and despite defeating the Aberdeenshire side 4-0 twice this season, Debio reckons it will be a tough game regardless of the previous results.

“Playing against a team we have already played twice this season is obviously a good draw as we know how they play and how we can overcome the obstacles they throw at us. Having said that, I feel like we are equipped to deal with any challenge thrown at us.”

McGinley Enjoying New Start At Station Park

Attacker Danni McGinley is delighted to have gotten off to a fantastic start at Forfar Farmington but admits it was disappointing to lose their first league game this season.

Despite goals from McGinley and Robyn Smith, Farmington lost in the league for the first time since October last year with their lead at the top of the Scottish Women’s Premier League cut to six points.

22 year old McGinley felt the side started off well and had the lion’s share of chances but lamented their failure to capitalise on this.

She said: “I think we started well getting the early goal but then lost a bit of tempo throughout the first half, and let Motherwell have too much time on the ball. Overall I think we dominated the majority of the game but failed to take our chances and were punished as a result. We limited Motherwell to three chances and to their credit they took them all.”

The attacker opened the scoring after just two minutes with a volley from close range while setting up the second for Robyn Smith in a reversal of the first.

“As a striker I’m always happy to be on the scoresheet, Robyn played a good ball in and I knew I just needed to get in front of my player and get something on it and it would go in.”

Since returning to Forfar at the start of the month, McGinley has netted three goals in four games, notching three assists at the same time. The former Jeanfield Swifts forward reckons she has picked up her teammates’ style of play quickly and is over the moon with her efforts so far.

“I’m happy with my contributions so far, I think I’ve gotten to know and understand the way the team plays quickly and that has helped me with picking up goals and assists.”

McGinley also admits it feels like she was never away from the club and praised those involved on and off the pitch. The league now heads into the summer break however she is already eager to get going with the second half of the season.

“It’s great to be back and everyone has been so welcoming, it almost feels like I was never away at times. I already feel fitter in myself, and I’m looking forward to the second half of the season as I feel like the team still have much more to give.”

SWPL2: Motherwell 3 Forfar Farmington 2

Forfar Farmington fell to a late winner as their eleven game unbeaten run came to an end on Sunday with a 3-2 defeat at Motherwell.

Danni McGinley’s smart opener and Robyn Smith had Mark Nisbet’s side 2-1 ahead however a late Pamela Liddell goal saw the hosts take all three points to reduce the lead to six points at the top of the Scottish Women’s Premier League Two.

Four changes were made from the previous week’s Scottish Cup tie at Raith as Smith, Cheryl Kilcoyne, Alison Debio and Erin Cattanach replaced Ellie Cook, Kayleigh Noble, Kayleigh Brough and Leah White.

Farmington made a perfect start in the second minute when Robyn Smith made her way down the right wing before delivering a cross for Danni McGinley to volley past the keeper from six yards.

Pamela Liddell saw her shot fly off target in Motherwell’s first chance after 16 minutes while Kirsty Deans came close to doubling the lead when Julia Scott laid the ball off for her; the midfielder’s low effort drilled wide of the mark.

Motherwell equalised shortly after the half hour mark with a well taken free kick; Sophie Gallacher curling home from 20 yards to square things up.

McGinley latched on to a McCarthy ball three minutes after the equaliser and despite cutting the ball back into the danger zone to Cheryl Kilcoyne, the side’s top scorer was crowded out and the ball was eventually cleared.

McGinley and Scott came close again for Forfar; the former’s header parried by McGregor before the latter fired the rebound over.

The last chance before half time came for the visitors again when Scott’s corner was flicked on by McCarthy and Smith sent an acrobatic effort just over the bar.

Two minutes after the restart and Farmington were ahead again; this time McGinley turning provider as her run forward ended in her squaring the ball for Smith to grab her sixth goal of the season.

Motherwell pulled themselves level once more in the 52nd minute after Erin Cattanach fouled Liddell inside the box. Gallacher stepped up to take the spot kick and sent Fiona McNicoll the wrong way for her second of the afternoon.

Chances were few and far between for a period following this with Nicola Davidson’s free kick flying wide the only opportunity of note.

In the 72nd minute the hosts had a decent chance to go ahead when Liddell cut the ball back for Lauren Kerr however the midfielder could only blast over.

McCarthy headed wide from a Scott corner as the game entered the final ten minutes with Smith also going off target after being set up by McGinley again.

Farmington could have been ahead with six minutes left with Scott seeing a 25 yard effort tipped wide meanwhile her corner was met by McGinley; her unorthodox effort hit the bar and bounced off the ground. The visitors claimed for a goal however the officials judged it to have not been fully over the line.

Kirsty Deans saw her effort diverted wide and following the corner Motherwell broke with Liddell racing forward before curling the ball past McNicoll to keep all three points at Ravenscraig.

The result means that while the lead at the top of the league has been reduced, Farmington are still six points clear heading into the summer break.

Motherwell: Lauren McGregor, Niamh Johnston, Heather Magill, Nicole Goodwin, Amanda Burns, Natasha Roberts, Kaitlyn Canavan (Lauryn Reside 61), Jillian McGinn, Lauren Kerr, Sophie Gallacher, Pamela Liddell

Subs not used: Stacey Cook, Trialist

Forfar Farmington: Fiona McNicoll, Gemma Collier, Erin Cattanach, Robyn Smith, Nicola Davidson, Kirsty Deans, Cheryl Kilcoyne (Kayleigh Brough 71), Megan McCarthy, Julia Scott (Beth Shillitto 85), Alison Debio, Danni McGinley

Subs not used: Laura Parsley, Leah White, Kayleigh Noble, Alana Bruce

Cook Proud To Make Senior Debut In Cup Win

Youngster Ellie Cook was glad to overcome a difficult obstacle in her senior debut on Sunday in the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup.

The defender played the full 90 minutes as Farmington defeated Raith Rovers 5-2 in the second round at an excellent Windmill Community Campus facility in Kirkcaldy.

With the hosts flying high at the top of the SWFL2 East, two divisions below Farmington, the tie was always going to be a potential banana skin however Cook was glad to help the side get through the game.

She said: “I thought it was tricky as Raith have had loads of confidence by scoring lots of goals but we managed to start strongly against them. I was delighted with the win as it was my first appearance with the senior team.”

Cook made her debut for Mark Nisbet’s side at 15 years, 5 months and 19 days, following on from a spate of young debutants this season, including Philippa McCallum, Sophie Young, Taylor Clifford, Oliwia Gach and Anne Murrie, and the defender hopes she can build on her first appearance in the future.

“I felt like I played well although I was nervous at the start of the game but I managed to build my confidence as the game progressed.”

She continued: “Hopefully I will be able to play for the senior squad again in the future and show that I’m more than capable to play at that level and that standard of football.”

It was a pleasing end to a fantastic week for Cook following a perfect hat-trick last Wednesday for the U23’s as they defeated Dee Ladies for their first league win of the season.

“I was delighted with the hat trick during the week, but more importantly I was happier that the U23’s won their first game of the season. I thought it was a great way to end the week by experiencing a Scottish Cup tie with the senior squad and coming away with a win.”

SSE Scottish Women’s Cup 2nd Round: Raith Rovers 2 Forfar Farmington 5

Forfar Farmington overcame a tricky hurdle as they opened their Scottish Cup campaign with a 5-2 win in Kirkcaldy against Raith Rovers.

Julia Scott and Kayleigh Brough netted doubles with Danni McGinley scoring the other while Kerri Dinnel and Teigan Clark grabbed the SWFL2 East leaders’ goals.

Mark Nisbet made three changes to his side as Nicola Davidson, Alison Debio and Cheryl Kilcoyne were replaced by Kirsty Deans, Laura Parsley and Ellie Cook, who was handed her debut for the SWPL side at 15 years old.

Kayleigh Noble saw her effort blocked in the first minute from a Julia Scott corner as Forfar looked to make another quickfire start however their hosts battled well and almost created a couple of opportunities themselves.

The Raith defence was difficult to break down, a testament to their current position in their league and Farmington were reduced to long range efforts from Danni McGinley and Kirsty Deans.

In the seventeenth minute Forfar finally breached the defence and it was Julia Scott who opened the scoring; Fiona McNicoll emptying the ball up the park and Scott raced towards the box before lashing the ball past the keeper.

McGinley came close again before Scott saw a free kick from the edge of the box tipped over in the 26th minute.

The lead was doubled in the 34th minute when Leah White’s cross was taken down by Noble for Kayleigh Brough to fire home from just inside the box for her first senior goal at the club.

Gemma Collier was unlucky to miss from two yards out as a last second bounce deceived the defender however the ball was in the net again sixty seconds before half time. Noble made her way to the byline before cutting the ball back for McGinley to net her second goal in three games since returning to the club.

The hosts grabbed a goal just four minutes into the second half when Kerri Dinnel was sent clear and lobbed McNicoll from distance.

It wasn’t long before the three goal lead was restored; just two minutes later Brough netted her second of the afternoon when she fired home from 25 yards.

In the 57th minute it was five for Forfar and two for Scott as she curled a low effort past McLachlan from just inside the box.

Leila Strachan fired straight at McNicoll while sub Sophie Young could have netted less than ten minutes after coming on when she rattled the bar from a Noble cross.

Megan McCarthy also came close however the defender gave away a penalty in the 74th minute when she handled a Dinnel cross.

Tiegan Clark stepped up and slotted the spot kick home despite McNicoll diving the right way.

Brough fired over as she looked to complete her hat-trick with defender Erin Cattanach sending a long range shot wide of the mark.

Ellie Cook saw her late effort tipped over while Young stabbed the ball wide from the resulting corner.

Farmington now advance to the third round despite Raith’s efforts. The Kirkcaldy side can be proud of their efforts and will no doubt do well in the remainder of their league campaign.

For Mark Nisbet and his players it is a return to league action this weekend when they travel to take on second place Motherwell in the final fixture before the summer break.

Raith Rovers: Michaela McLachlan, Kerri Dinnel, Sophie Aitken, Nicole Carter, Rebecca McGowan (Abbie Orme 64), Tiegan Clark, Leanne Philp, Grace Fowlie, Leila Strachan, Tyler Rattray (Aimee Stewart 89), Alicia Paterson

Sub not used: Jayne Preece

Forfar Farmington: Fiona McNicoll, Gemma Collier, Leah White (Erin Cattanach 56), Laura Parsley (Sophie Young 59), Kayleigh Noble, Kirsty Deans, Megan McCarthy, Julia Scott (Robyn Smith 64), Ellie Cook, Kayleigh Brough, Danni McGinley (Beth Shillitto 64)

Subs not used: Alison Debio, Cheryl Kilcoyne, Chantelle McKay (gk)

Deans Hails Teammates After Extending Unbeaten Run

Kirsty Deans reckons everyone in the team did their required job efficiently as Forfar Farmington defeated East Fife 3-0 on Sunday.

Deans netted the third as the club extended their lead at the top of the Scottish Women’s Premier League Two to nine points while making it nine games unbeaten in the league.

The midfielder praised her team mates following the result at a tough venue against tricky opposition despite their position in the table.

“I am delighted with the result today. We knew we couldn’t be complacent, even though the game had been billed as a top vs bottom clash, and credit to East Fife they gave us a great game. They have picked up points on their home patch and we knew they would get stuck in, so to keep a clean sheet and take all three points is the perfect result for us.”

26-year old Deans fired past the Fifers keeper Alexis Keir from the edge of the box in the 87th minute for her second of the season, the first also coming against the same opposition in March. The tenacious midfielder was delighted to grab a goal but kept the focus on the squad as a whole.

She said: “I was very pleased to get on the scoresheet today, it’s always good to make a contribution to the team with goals but lots of credit has to be given to the full squad as everyone played their part brilliantly. I don’t think anyone gave up on a ball and even when we went ahead we were focused again to add to the tally and get the job done well.”

The side found out after the game that nearest challengers Glasgow Girls had dropped points meaning they went nine points clear at the top and Deans felt the mood in the changing room was buzzing following the announcement.

“To learn that we were nine points clear was brilliant and added to the buzz in the changing room after the game. This is obviously a great position to be in at this stage in the season but we are fully aware that we can only control our own results.”

She continued: “We must remain focused on continuing our form and if we do this we will earn our reward. The changing room is very positive and you know that anyone in the room will have your back, we are a very supportive family and this keeps everyone confident.”

Farmington signed striker Danni McGinley from Jeanfield Swifts during the week and made her debut as a sub during the second half with Deans impressed by her cameo role and tipped her to make an impact over the coming weeks.

“Danni did brilliantly when she came on and looked dangerous anytime she got the ball. I have no doubt that she will help the side improve and score some important goals for us as the season progresses.”