Category: SWPL Team News

Smith Keen To Continue Unbeaten Start To Season

Attacker Robyn Smith praised her teammates’ efforts in their opening three games and hopes Forfar Farmington can continue their unbeaten run as they return to league action this weekend.

The side top the Scottish Women’s Premier League’s second tier in a polar opposite following last year’s relegation with wins against East Fife, Jeanfield Swifts and Motherwell.

23 year old Smith believes that the side have started the season in fantastic fashion with the squad gelling almost perfectly however she confessed that they still have areas to finesse.

She said: “The team’s performance has been great so far, we came into pre season knowing it wouldn’t be easy in this league. We have put in a lot of effort over pre season and changed things up which is already paying off. We know we need to work on areas but overall I think we can be pleased with how things are going so far.”

“I think everyone’s settled in well, we are a friendly bunch really so I think it’s easy for the new ones coming in to settle quickly.”

The attacker is pleased with her contribution so far with two goals and an assist however Smith admits she has no targets to aim for as long as the team keep their good scoring run going after almost equalling their league goals tally from last season.

“I don’t have a target as such, I’ll just be happy to see the team scoring and hopefully I can contribute with a couple more.”

She continued: “I think my performances have been good, I feel the fittest I’ve ever been and think that I’ve taken a lot on board over pre-season that’s helped improve my performances. To have already scored twice has given me a boost as I don’t score many but there are still plenty of things I can improve on and I’ll continue to improve on them as the season progresses.”

The side travel to Glasgow to face Glasgow Girls who are also unbeaten in their opening three game with victories over Hutchison Vale, Buchan and Motherwell and the 23 year old believes they can walk away from what will be a tough clash with all three points.

“If we work together like we know we can it will be difficult for teams to beat us this season however we will go to Glasgow Girls this weekend knowing it won’t be easy and hopefully we will come away with all three points.”

Despite numerous international breaks and cup weekends meaning the side have only played four games since the start of the season two months ago. Smith reckons it is easy to keep momentum going after a good start to the season.

She explained: “It’s always difficult to have so many stop starts especially after such a long wait for the season to start but we have a group of girls that love the game and to be on a winning streak after last season it has really has boosted our belief so I think it’s easy for us to keep the momentum high at the moment.”

McCarthy Looking To Cut Out Errors Despite Victory

Megan McCarthy was pleased to get the three points however she was disappointed in the manner of the goals conceded as Forfar Farmington defeated Motherwell 5-3 on Sunday.

The defender also insisted her goal was intentional after lobbing Lauren McGregor from 25 yards for Farmington’s fifth as they extended their 100% record to stay at the top of the Scottish Women’s Premier League 2.

24 year old McCarthy reckons there are a lot of positives to take from the victory including scoring so many goals in Sunday’s victory.

She said: “I felt our performance was good although we are disappointed at the end result having conceded those three late goals when we were 5-0 up at one point. There are a lot of positives that we can take from the game in that we got the three points we wanted and we created chances allowing us to score five goals.”

The former Inverness City defender had only netted once for the team before Sunday’s fantastic lob from 25 yards and she explained that the goal was no fluke.

“Everyone seems to think it was a fluke but I did shoot intentionally! Goals don’t come round often for me so I was very happy that I got my name on the scoresheet and hopefully I can squeeze in a few more this season.”

She continued: “I think I played better this week but again looking back at the goals that went in today I feel that we could have communicated a bit better and we wouldn’t have conceded the last two!”

The side now face a two week break before their next league game away to Glasgow Girls and McCarthy feels the squad have gelled well together so far, as shown by their three victories in their opening three league games.

“It’s a positive start to the season. With a new group of girls coming in this season I feel that we have all bonded well and we still have time to learn how each other play.”

“We intend to carry on with the current run of form and get the team back up to SWPL 1 which I believe the team and the staff deserve to be in. We will go back and get our heads down in training for the next two weeks before our game away to Glasgow Girls.”

Clifford Delighted To Make Senior Debut

Taylor Clifford admitted that she was nervous at first but once she realised she had nothing to worry about she enjoyed making her senior debut for the club.

The 15 year old played the last five minutes of Sunday’s 5-3 win against Motherwell and Clifford hopes she can make more appearances for the side.

She explained that she was grateful to be named in the squad by Mark Nisbet and was delighted to play a part of the game.

Clifford said: “I was so grateful that I had the opportunity to play for the first team as I am only 15 and it’s a great experience for me.”

“I was nervous at first but then I realised that there is nothing to be nervous about. All I had to do was go out and enjoy myself.”

The youngster is keen to add to her tally now she has made her debut and believes working with the Performance Squad has made her a stronger player.

“I hope I will get another opportunity to play for the Premier League team again in the future.”

She continued: “Working with the Performance Squad has helped me improve and I think it’s shown as well because it’s made me a stronger player.”

SWPL2: Forfar Farmington 5 Motherwell 3

Forfar Farmington continued their good start to the season with a 5-3 win over Motherwell, however they were given a late scare with all three Well goals coming in the last ten minutes.

A double from Cheryl Kilcoyne along with Nicola Davidson’s penalty, Robyn Smith’s close range finish and Megan McCarthy’s fantastic lob had the side coasting before Nicole Goodwin, Pamela Liddell and Stacey Cook made the scoreline look slightly less impressive for Forfar.

Two changes were made from March’s win away to Jeanfield as Erin Cattanach and Beth Shillitto dropped out of the starting XI to be replaced by Kirsty Deans and Julia Scott. U17 player Taylor Clifford was also named on the bench as she hoped to make her senior debut at just fifteen.

Farmington started off well and forced four corners in the first six minutes; those set pieces allowing Kirsty Deans chances to open the scoring however she volleyed over before her next effort was deflected wide.

Sophie Gallacher sent Motherwell’s first shot across the face of Fiona McNicoll’s goal however in the 19th minute it was Forfar who took the lead.

Some smart link up play down the left ended with Robyn Smith laying the ball off for Cheryl Kilcoyne to curl home past Lauren McGregor.

Seven minutes later it was two; a McCarthy cross was handled in the box and captain Nicola Davidson stepped up to slot the spot kick home.

The visitors came out for the second half looking better than they had fared in the first half with sub Nicole Goodwin and Dionne Brown testing McNicoll.

Kilcoyne and Deans saw efforts go narrowly wide meanwhile Laura Parsley’s overhead kick was cleared off the line shortly after the hour mark with McGregor beaten.

With twenty minutes remaining the lead was extended when Kilcoyne sent Smith sprinting clear and despite her first shot being parried, she gleefully knocked home the loose ball.

It was two goals in two minutes for Farmington as Kayleigh Noble forced her way down the left flank before cutting a low ball across goal for Kilcoyne to bundle past McGregor.

Liddell hit the bar for Well however Forfar added a fifth with ten minutes to go; McCarthy lobbing McGregor from 25 yards in a priceless moment for the defender not known for her goalscoring abilities.

Despite the comfortable lead Farmington allowed Motherwell to make it difficult for them with three goals inside the last eight minutes. Goodwin netted the first while Liddell and Cook made the score look respectable for the Steelwomen.

The win keeps Forfar at the top of SWPL2 with a fortnight break before their next game away to Glasgow Girls.

Forfar Farmington: Fiona McNicoll (Hannah Dryden 78), Gemma Collier, Leah White, Laura Parsley (Beth Shillitto 71), Robyn Smith, Nicola Davidson, Kirsty Deans, Cheryl Kilcoyne (Taylor Clifford 86), Megan McCarthy, Julia Scott (Kayleigh Noble 66), Alison Debio (Zoe Moreland 75)

Subs not used: Alana Bruce, Erin Ross

Motherwell: Lauren McGregor, Niamh Johnston, Stacey Cook, Heather Magill, Kayleigh Docherty, Suzanne Grant, Dionne Brown, Amy Bulloch, Natasha Roberts, Sophie Gallacher, Pamela Liddell

Subs used: Sara McWhirter, Nicole Goodwin, Lauren Whitehead

Young Eyes SWPL Debut But Has Faith In U23 Squad

Sophie Young reckons the U23 side have what it takes to arrest their poor start to the season after a 3-0 defeat to Tayside Ladies on Sunday.

The performance was better than the scoreline suggests with Young feeling Tayside were clinical with their chances while Farmington should have done better in front of goal.

The 17 year old also indicated her desire to make her Premier League debut in the near future with the Performance Squad set up key to impressing head coach Mark Nisbet.

Speaking after the game, the midfielder was full of disappointment at the result and decision making in the final third as they failed to net for the first time this season in the league.

She said: “I think the team played well but we are still not performing up to the standard and level we know we are capable of. We were able to string passes together and play some good football and with better decision making in the final third we would have been able to capitalise on the defensive mistakes of the opposition.”

“I don’t feel that the score line gives an accurate representation of the match; it was an even game just with the opposing team finishing their chances which was the difference.”

Young was pleased with her own performance but felt she could have taken her chances in the second half.

“I feel I had a good performance, I was direct and tried to make as much happen as I possibly could. I had a couple of chances which I should have taken but it was a frustrating game with very few chances for us. I worked hard for my team mates and tried to create as many opportunities the best I could.”

The side now have just one point from their opening three games in the SWFL1 North but Young has faith in her and her teammates that they can turn their fortunes around.

She explained: “We have had a tough start to the season facing sides with real quality in them, however our side is full of quality and has real potential of challenging with the big teams. I have confidence that the team can turn it around and start to win some games if we continue to fight and play for each other and start the game quicker.”

The youngster has yet to make an appearance in the Premier League although hopes that her form in training and matches can catch the eye of Mark Nisbet and open the door to an SWPL appearance in the near future.

“I hope to continue working hard for my team mates and hopefully I will impress both the U23s and SWPL coaches. I plan to continue working hard in both training and in games to impress Mark and hopefully be rewarded with my first team debut.”

“Playing for the first team has always been a personal ambition of mine. Hopefully if I continue to work hard in training and perform well consistently in games I can make my debut in the Premier League.”

SWFL1 North: Forfar Farmington U23 0 Tayside Ladies 3

Forfar Farmington U23’s were defeated by three goals to nil against Tayside Ladies on Sunday in a game that was closer than the scoreline suggests.

Tayside were two goals ahead at half time, adding a third late on meaning John Dunn’s side have taken just one point in three games.

Despite the scoreline, the game was light on action, with Tayside taking their chances when they came through Natalie Cromar’s double and substitute Ellie Scanlan.

Forfar Farmington fielded new signing Rachael Brown as they looked to take their first three points of the season. Tayside were also seeking points after losses in their first two games.

The opening stages of the game were slow with both sides looking to break down the opposing defences; the first chance coming after ten minutes for Tayside; Cara Black firing wide from the edge of the box.

The visitors took the lead three minutes later when Natalie Cromar turned the Forfar defence and fired home past Chantelle McKay.

It was two for Tayside in the 28th minutes; Cromar with an almost carbon copy effort of her opener to double their lead.

Caitlin Mitchell saw her free kick pushed away by Nadine Millar ten minutes before the break as Farmington seeked a way back in to the game.

After the break Sophie Young set up Zoe Moreland but the youngster could only blast over from eighteen yards meanwhile Young struck straight at Millar herself.

Cromar had a couple of chances to grab her hat-trick while at the other end Millar had to look sharp when Young’s cross-cum-shot almost flew in over her with three minutes to go.

Young had another effort saved however it was Tayside who netted the final goal in injury time; subs Natalie Burns and Ellie Scanlan combining for the latter to rifle high past McKay.

The result means that Farmington drop to tenth with a long trip to league leaders Inverness City next week however they can take solace in the fact they defeated City 4-1 in the League Cup in February.

Forfar Farmington: Chantelle McKay, Anne Murrie, Becky McMillan, Lynsey Tugman (Chloe Reilly 58), Sophie Young, Hannah Johnston (Beth Warwick 36), Caitlin Mitchell, Zoe Moreland, Rachael Brown, Ellie Cook, Jane Ritchie

Tayside Ladies: Nadine Millar, Claire Godsall, Maegan Cromar, Samantha Joiner (Kayleigh McIntosh 73), Vicky McGregor, Lotte Deubal (Chloe Sturrock 54), Aimee Sturrock, Cara Black (Natalie burns 80), Paige Dolan (Shannon Brady 64), Natalie Cromar, Sonia Izguiero Tolosa (Ellie Scanlan 58)

Subs not used: Shaunni Morris, Emily Mather

Shillitto Keen To Make Her Mark On SWPL2

Beth Shillitto reckons Forfar Farmington can build on Sunday’s win over Jeanfield Swifts with the win keeping them at the top of the Scottish Women’s Premier League Two.

Goals from Laura Parsley and Cheryl Kilcoyne meant the side have won their first two games of the season in their hunt to bounce back at the first attempt to SWPL1.

The 18 year old attacker feels Farmington could have added to their tally had they been more clinical in front of goal.

She said: “I’m very happy with the result although we could have been further ahead with our chances but we failed to finish them. Overall the team played well together and helped one another and we’re now looking ahead to our next game to ensure a win as well.”

Shillitto set up the opener for Parsley and while she was pleased with her performance, she believes she needs to work on little things to ensure she helps the side as much as possible.

“I feel my own performance was good although there were little errors I could have sorted. Personally I believe that’s one of the best games I have played, I just have to now correct the little things and hopefully improve on my composure when through on goal.”

She continued: “After that one assist with Laura finishing it greatly I feel that I can contribute a lot in the coming games. I hope I can bag a few goals this season and hopefully there’s many more assists to follow.”

Philippa McCallum made her debut for the side at just fourteen, coming on as a late sub for Cheryl Kilcoyne, capping off a fantastic month with the youngster playing for Scotland U16. Shillitto was delighted for the teenager and reckons being involved with the squad will do her a world of good.

“With a youngster like Philippa making her debut, it proves that the young ones are capable of stepping up and can make an impact in the performance squad. I think it’s great to see youngsters contributing to the squad, which will also build their confidence when playing with older and more experienced girls.”

“Alongside Philippa, young Erin Ross travelled with us to Perth but unfortunately didn’t make her debut. Even though she didn’t, I feel that the experience of being with us and seeing what match days are like is an experience in itself.”

SWPL2: Jeanfield Swifts 1 Forfar Farmington 2

Forfar Farmington kept up their 100% record on Sunday with a hard fought 2-1 win over Jeanfield Swifts at the McDiarmid Park Astro.

Laura Parsley’s 50th minute opener was cancelled out by Danni McGinley’s corner flying in however Cheryl Kilcoyne scored a stunning winner with four minutes left.

Two changes were made from the previous week’s win over East Fife with Kirsty Deans and Julia Scott making way for Gemma Collier and Cheryl Kilcoyne.

Farmington had the first chance of the game with Alison Debio setting up Laura Parsley; the attacker firing straight at the keeper in the fourth minute.

Just after the quarter hour mark Debio was involved again, playing a ball for Robyn Smith to rebound off Parsley but the former Jeanfield winger could only send her effort wide of the mark.

The hosts had their best chance of the first half twenty minutes in; youngster Leah Fleming hitting the outside of the post from a tight angle.

Beth Shillitto and Leah White tested Bobby Cochran in quick succession before Jeanfield’s Jade McDonald blasted over from six yards out with only Fiona McNicoll to beat.

In the 34th minute Parsley fired across the face of goal however her shot flew past the wrong side of the far post.

Five minutes later Danni McGinley curled wide from just outside the box with the last chance before half time seeing Shillitto and Smith denied by Cochran.

Farmington took the lead five minutes after the break as Shillitto’s cross was flicked up by Parsley before she volleyed past Cochran from just inside the box for her second of the season.

Erin Cattanach and Gemma Collier saw efforts blocked from a Kilcoyne corner while substitute Kayleigh Noble found the sidenetting with a fierce effort just after the hour mark.

Noble came close again minutes later after being put through by Shillitto but she couldn’t beat Cochran.

McGinley equalised for Jeanfield in the 67th minute; her corner going straight in despite McNicoll’s claims she was impeded when trying to catch the set piece.

Kilcoyne blasted straight at Cochran seven minutes later and with ten minutes to go Jeanfield could have went ahead. McGinley made her way towards goal and she knocked the ball past McNicoll while off balance however before she could compose herself Megan McCarthy raced back to clear the ball. Unfortunately McGinley was injured in the attack and was subsequently substituted after treatment.

Farmington grabbed a stunning winner with four minutes to go when Laura Parsley set up Kilcoyne to send an effort in to the top corner from 25 yards.

The win keeps Farmington at the top of the league and they will look to continue their run when they host Motherwell in a fortnight.

Jeanfield Swifts: Bobby Cochran, Emma Flynn-Scott, Rhee Tweedie (Megan Moss 66), Danni McGinley (Donna Shaw 83), Amy Henderson, Rachel Todd (Ellie Cowie 60), Jodie Morris, Rebecca Foote, Jade McDonald, Laura Dunn, Leah Fleming

Subs not used: Niamh Irvine, Emma Maclean, Corrie McIlravey-Davidson, Megan Sidey

Forfar Farmington: Fiona McNicoll, Gemma Collier, Leah White (Kayleigh Noble 46), Erin Cattanach, Laura Parsley, Beth Shillitto, Robyn Smith, Nicola Davidson, Cheryl Kilcoyne (Philippa McCallum 88), Megan McCarthy, Alison Debio (Caitlin Mitchell 58)

Subs not used: Erin Ross, Julia Scott, Alana Bruce, Chantelle McKay

Post-match interview with Mark Nisbet:

Deans Eyes Room For Improvement After Opening Victory

Despite getting herself on the scoresheet, Kirsty Deans reckons there is still room for improvement from herself.

The 25 year old midfielder netted the opener as Forfar Farmington comfortably defeated East Fife 4-1 in the first game of the Scottish Women’s Premier League 2 season.

Deans was delighted to take the three points and score four goals after struggling to do either of those last season in SWPL1.

She said: “I’m delighted with the win today, I think overall the team are very happy to get the result and importantly score four goals. We know there are still plenty of areas we could tighten up and build on moving forward, however the important thing today was to get the win and put 3 points on the board so we are very pleased with that.”

The former Inverness City midfielder feels there are still areas for her to improve on to ensure the side do not get punished and vows to work hard to cut out any errors.

“I am pretty disappointed with my own performance today. I’m really chuffed to get myself on the score sheet but there are lots of areas for me to develop and learn from today. It really hit home that we need to be more ruthless against teams as I had a couple of chances before they scored and their goal really put us under pressure.”

“We know we always need to be alert in this league and if you switch off for a moment you will be punished – as I demonstrated today at the corner. It’s always a learning experience though and I will work hard to improve for the season.”

Deans scored just five minutes in to the game and after scoring only two last season, she hopes she can add to her tally.

“I would be delighted to add to my tally this season and I will work hard to support attacks from the midfield. However, as long as the team is scoring I will be delighted for whoever is on the scoresheet at the end of the day.”

Farmington face a trip to Jeanfield Swifts next week and Deans reckons it will be a tough game with both sides beginning the season with a morale boosting win.

“I think this will be a really tough test for the squad next weekend. We know every game in this league will be tough but looking at their result today just shows it’s anyone’s game. Jeanfield have plenty of experience in this league and are a team we know can score goals so we will need to be on it from the start against them.”

“This was a massive confidence boost for us today. Four goals coming from four different scorers is the biggest positive we can take away from the game. We felt we also created a lot more chances and should have been more clinical in the final third, especially in the first half. This is something we will look to carry forward and will allow us to go into next Sunday’s game with a great amount of confidence.”

Deans was impressed with the new signings who played their part in the victory on Sunday and is excited for the season ahead once the squad gels.

“The new faces in the squad have slotted in brilliantly so far and will continue to develop as the squad gels together. We had lots of new faces in the squad today who all played their part, putting in solid challenges, showing great distribution and even getting on the scoresheet.”

“This is very exciting for us moving forward as it shows the depth we have within the squad and this also gives us a great amount of confidence. It’s going to be a very competitive and exciting season ahead.”

SWPL2: Forfar Farmington 4 East Fife 1

Forfar Farmington started life in the second tier of the Scottish Women’s Premier League with a bang on Sunday as they convincingly defeated East Fife 4-1.

Kirsty Deans netted just five minutes in before second half goals from Laura Parsley, Robyn Smith and Cheryl Kilcoyne sealed the win despite Melissa McAllister’s consolation shortly after the hour mark.

Head coach Mark Nisbet handed a first start to Leah White meanwhile Anne Murrie made her first SWPL appearance after impressing for the U23 side.

Farmington got off to a dream start just five minutes in when Robyn Smith’s cross was taken down by Julia Scott for Kirsty Deans to rifle home.

The Fifers had their first chance three minutes later however Johanna Clark could only fire straight at Fiona McNicoll.

Laura Parsley was inches away from connecting with a teasing Beth Shillitto cross minutes before she saw her shot from a Scott cross blocked.

Smith found the roof of the net in the 25th minute with a long range effort before her curled strike on the half hour mark was held by the keeper.

In the 39th minute Farmington should have probably extended their lead; Scott’s cross was met by the head of Smith and her header was diverted towards goal by Parsley however it was tipped wide.

Shillitto set up Scott on the stroke of half time with the winger firing into the keeper’s arms.

It didn’t take long for Farmington to get going again after the break and they doubled their lead just five minutes in; Scott’s corner found McCarthy and after East Fife failed to clear their lines Laura Parsley cheekily backheeled the ball through the legs of Anderson.

Cheryl Kilcoyne had been in fantastic form for the U23 team and was rewarded with a place in the SWPL match day squad. Three minutes after coming on, the striker came close to proving her worth when she latched on to a Nicola Davidson ball but her strike was blocked by Anderson.

Deans and McCarthy sent efforts off target and in the 64th minute East Fife gave themselves a lifeline when Wheatley’s corner was bundled home by Melissa McAllister at the back post.

Kilcoyne tested the keeper again before being involved in Farmington’s third with twelve minutes left. She sent Scott racing down the left wing to send in a perfect cross for Smith to slip under Anderson for her first goal since June last year.

It was 4-1 in the 88th minute after a fantastic piece of play from sub Kilcoyne. The attacker, who had another couple of chances saved prior, raced on to a through ball before weaving her way through the East Fife defence and finding the bottom corner of the net.

Scott could have added another in injury time but the tireless winger could only watch as her shot flew inches past the post.

It was a good win for the side to open their season with after last season’s relegation and they are on the road next week with a short trip to Perth to face Jeanfield Swifts at the McDiarmid Park pitches.

Forfar Farmington: Fiona McNicoll, Leah White (Caitlin Mitchell 50), Erin Cattanach (Anne Murrie 87), Laura Parsley (Kayleigh Noble 57), Beth Shillitto (Cheryl Kilcoyne 50), Robyn Smith, Nicola Davidson, Kirsty Deans, Megan McCarthy, Julia Scott, Alison Debio

Subs not used: Alana Bruce, Hannah Dryden (gk)

East Fife: Liz Anderson, Kirsty Graham, Sam Pattison, Johanna Clark (Natalie Conner 60), Fern Newbigging (Kerry Walker 55), Elissa Nicholson (Caitlin Paul 85), Teri Skivington, Chloe Guppy, Melissa McAllister, Lauren Wheatley, Kerry Dickson (Laura Dawson 60)

Subs not used: Alexis Keir (gk)