Category: SWPL Team News

Half Century For McCarthy & Smith

Robyn Smith and Megan McCarthy were the latest to reach a half century of appearances with both reaching the milestone this afternoon against Celtic.

The duo are in their second spells at the club after both rejoining in December 2015 from Jeanfield Swifts and Inverness City respectively.

Megan had a very short spell at Farmington in 2012 during pre-season before returning to Inverness and failed to make a competitive appearance.

On her return to Forfar, the 25 year old defender made a goalscoring debut in the League Cup against Hearts in March 2016. Since then she has netted five more times, all of these coming during last season’s SBSSWPL2 championship winning season.

Overall Megan has started 44 times while making six appearances from the bench.

Robyn’s previous spell at the club ended following the 2013 season, where she made three appearances in an injury disrupted season.

In March of that year she made her debut away to Stirling University under their previous moniker of Falkirk Ladies before a further two appearances at the end of the season.

Robyn has scored eleven times in total in her 39 starts and 11 substitute appearances, the first two of these coming against Buchan in the Scottish Cup in June 2016.

SBSSWPL1: Forfar Farmington 0 Celtic 2

Forfar Farmington fell to their second defeat of the season in a tight 2-0 loss at home to Celtic.

After a goalless first half, Claire Adams’ fantastic long range effort and Kelly Clark sealed the three points for the visitors.

Farmington were looking to build on their deserved cup win over Aberdeen and had the first chance of the game as Megan McCarthy failed to send her header on target from a Cassie Cowper cross in the 8th minute.

Three minutes later McCarthy did well to stop Josephine Giard from getting a shot away while Danni McGinley’s low effort was held by Megan Cunningham at the other end.

Kayleigh Brough thought she had a great chance to open the scoring in the 21st minute when Kirsty Deans’ shot fell to her feet but she was adjudged to be offside.

Fiona McNicoll kept the scores level just before the half hour mark with a couple of phenomenal saves; both Giard and Heather Richards failing to beat the stopper.

Cheryl Kilcoyne saw her effort blocked by the visiting defence before McNicoll pulled off another great save from Giard to keep the scores level.

Both sides came out looking to break the deadlock after half time and Celtic came close as Clark headed over from a Richards free kick.

They went one better in the 61st minute; Claire Adams sending a 25 yard effort into the top corner past McNicoll.

Nicole Pullar was stopped by McNicoll once again six minutes later before McCarthy nodded wide from a Julia Scott corner.

The lead was doubled with eleven minutes left; Richards’ corner was swept home at the back post by former Farmington midfielder Clark.

Celtic could have had a third deep into injury time but McNicoll was in fine form to tip the ball over the bar.

With Farmington missing out on points for the second league game in a row, they will look to bounce back next week as they take on Stirling University.

McNicoll, McGinley, Smith, Davidson, Bruce (Cattanach 62), Deans, Kilcoyne, Cowper, McCarthy, Stewart (Scott 62), Brough

Subs not used: White, Debio, Shillitto, Collier, McKay

Brough Praises Teammates But Eyes Further Improvements

Kayleigh Brough believes the side still have a lot to give despite a pleasing start to the new season.

The defender has played a part in the opening games, helping the squad to clean sheets against Hamilton Academical and Aberdeen, and reckons they can build on this when they face Celtic this Sunday.

With Farmington winning the aforementioned games and losing just one game so far against Hibs, Brough feels they have the ability to improve further as the season progresses.

“I think personally the team have started very well. I think we still have a lot more to give within the games but I definitely think this will come throughout the other challenges we face during the season.”

“Even with the defeat against Hibs, I feel like the girls went into the game strong and showed great team composure.”

While she praised the team performances, the 21 year old took a slightly negative view to her own performances so far but pinpointed positives she has improved on.

“I think my performances have been okay, there were certainly things I could have done better but think that my positioning and discipline has definitely gotten better which betters my game a lot more.”

The defender made her 50th appearance for the club against Aberdeen last month following her debut in 2017. This is her third spell at the club, with two periods in America in between, and Brough admits it’s been a pleasure to gain the experience she has at Farmington.

“I am pleased to have had that many appearances, although it doesn’t quite feel like it. It has been a pleasure over the years to have gained the experience and friendship with the girls on the park.”

Since returning from her second stint in America last May where she captained Otero Junior College, Brough has played in both her usual centre half role while often taking up a midfield position. She admits she has struggled with playing further forward and feels at home in the centre of defence.

“I personally like the centre half position a lot better. I played there for 2 years in America so naturally felt more comfortable. With playing in the midfield, I felt lost at times and felt myself dragging myself into positions I shouldn’t have been in.”

Farmington return to league action this Sunday and will host third placed Celtic at Station Park. The defender believes the side can grab something this weekend with results in the league being quite close so far in 2018.

“I definitely believe we have got what it takes to come away with something this weekend. The league has started off quite close, so no one knows which way each game will go. However, I definitely think that with a positive attitude a result can be achieved.”

Sunday’s game against Celtic will kick off at 1pm with admission £4 for adults while U16’s enter free of charge.

McGinley Relieved To Grab First Goal Of Season

Danni McGinley was delighted to get off the mark for the season after netting the third in Forfar Farmington’s win last weekend.

Farmington defeated Aberdeen 3-0 in the first round of the Scottish Women’s Premier League Cup with McGinley netting the third deep into injury time to round off a good performance from the side.

The 23 year old striker felt the side performed well and reckons the clean sheet was well deserved for Fiona McNicoll after her recent form, however the keeper was rarely tested by the Dons on Sunday.

“Overall I think the victory was a good one, we scored three goals and didn’t concede.  It’s always tough playing teams where there’s a bit of rivalry as everyone steps up.  Keeping a clean sheet is always important for us and I think it’s very well deserved for Fiona who has been brilliant for us recently.”

McGinley admitted she felt like she hadn’t played to the best of her abilities but was happy to get involved with the goals with the third goal and an assist from setting up Cheryl Kilcoyne for the opener.

She said: “I don’t feel like I played my best game from a personal perspective, but I persevered and got my reward right at the end.  It’s always nice to be involved in the goals whether it be scoring or assisting.”

The goal was McGinley’s first of the season, taking her to sixteen goal in nineteen appearances since joining in June last season, and the former Jeanfield Swifts attacker reckons it’s easy to be hard on yourself when you don’t score.

“I’m pleased to get off the mark, as a striker I think it’s easy to be hard on yourself when you’re not scoring.  Having scored a couple in preseason I was just waiting for my chances in our competitive games.”

The side have won two of their first three games this season, keeping two clean sheets; McGinley believes the side have more to give which will only help them improve further.

“I don’t think we could’ve asked for much more at the start of the season. I definitely think that we have more to give as a team, but there’s a good vibe at the club just now and that always helps.”

With an international break this weekend, Celtic are the visitors to Station Park next Sunday. While many would write off Farmington, McGinley feels they are confident going into the encounter.

“We have a lot of confidence going into this fixture, we are under no illusions that Celtic are a good side but I think we can match them and make it an exciting encounter.”

SWPL Cup First Round: Forfar Farmington 3 Aberdeen 0

Forfar Farmington progressed to the second round of the Scottish Women’s Premier League Cup with a 3-0 win at home to Aberdeen.

Cheryl Kilcoyne put Farmington ahead in the first half with Robyn Smith and Danni McGinley making sure of the win in the second half.

Captain Nicola Davidson had the first opportunity inside the opening 120 seconds; her effort from the edge of the box had the sting taken out of it and Emily Mutch gathered easily.

The visitors’ Beth McPherson fired wide from distance in the seventh minute with the majority of the first half resulting in neither side managing to break down the respective defences.

A poor pass back almost allowed Danni McGinley to break the deadlock but she shot over with Davidson also missing the target shortly after.

Mutch denied Kilcoyne with a goal line save after 35 minutes but the striker wasn’t to be denied a minute later when she rifled home a McGinley cross.

McNicoll had to be sharp to push a Chloe Gover free kick onto the bar on the stroke of half time but Farmington held firm and went into the break ahead.

McGinley came close to adding to the tally in the opening quarter of an hour of the second half; heading wide from a Julia Scott corner before hitting the sidenetting from a tight angle.

On the hour mark McNicoll held a Johan Fraser deflected effort with Chloe Fitzpatrick denied by the keeper shortly after.

The advantage was doubled with twenty minutes to go; sub Robyn Smith’s corner flew directly in with Mutch caught off guard.

Kilcoyne almost made it three with Mutch making another good save while Davidson and Noble were also spurned by the Dons stopper.

Kayleigh Brough tried her luck from distance only to find Mutch’s arms as the game edged closer to full time and Aberdeen could have had a consolation in added time. Megan Reid’s cross found the head of the unmarked Fitzpatrick, she could only head wide.

In the second minute of added time any hopes of a late comeback were effectively killed off; a poor pass back allowed McGinley in to notch her first of the season.

The result puts Farmington into the quarter finals of the SWPL Cup and makes it two wins from three this season.

McNicoll, Collier, White (Cattanach 66), McGinley, Shillitto (Smith 46), Davidson, Kilcoyne (Noble 78), Cowper, Scott (Bruce 56), Harkin (Debio 78), Brough

Subs not used: McCarthy, McKay

Deans Pinpoints Positives To Be Taken Despite Defeat

Kirsty Deans was pleased with her side’s performance despite the defeat to Hibernian in the Scottish Building Society Scottish Women’s Premier League One on Sunday.

The midfielder believes there are many positives to take from the defeat with Farmington defending well against a side challenging for the title.

Deans, 26, felt her teammates approached the game in a positive manner which helped their performance.

“Sunday’s result is bitter sweet. We never want to lose a game and not take points but at the same time there are a lot of positives we can take.”

She continued: “Having played them just a few weeks ago in a friendly I felt we played much better on Sunday and made it really hard for them to break us down. I think the girls took a lot of confidence from the game last week and that allowed us to approach Sunday with a positive mindset.”

Following the result, Deans believes the attitude in the dressing room was positive but admits they were disappointed not to threaten the Hibs defence more often.

“The atmosphere in the changing room was positive at full time. On the whole we felt that we played well, we were well organised and defended well against a side who are known for their goal scoring threat, so we were delighted with that part of the game.”

“Saying that we were a little disappointed not to have done more going forward, we felt with more composure and conviction we could have troubled them a bit more in the middle of the park and final third. We’ll take that at this stage though and that will give us plenty to work on and we’ll look forward to getting another chance to play them soon enough.”

Deans had suffered an injury in pre-season and after a substitute appearance at Hamilton last week, she made the starting XI against Hibs. The midfielder played the full 90 minutes and was delighted to get back playing.

“I was delighted to get a start having got some minutes last week as a sub against Hamilton. It’s been a long time coming to get back into playing after the injury and I’m glad I was able to contribute to the team for the 90 minutes.”

She continued: “I felt on the whole I did my job defensively most of the time but I lacked a bit of composure and sharpness in my decision making but hopefully that will come with more game time and being fully back in training regularly.”

Farmington currently sit fourth in the SBSSWPL1 after their opening two games with three points and Deans reckons this is exactly where the side hoped to be before the season kicked off.

“I think if we looked at the first two games before the season this is exactly where we hoped we would be with 3 points on the board. To limit Hibs to two goals and keep our goal difference tight is hugely important to us and that is something that we are pleased with.”

“I think we can take a lot of confidence from these first two games and look to build on this in the cup next week and then when we return to league action.”

This Sunday sees a break from league action as Farmington host Aberdeen in the League Cup first round. With Aberdeen suffering relegation in 2017 and being in the same position as Farmington were last season, Deans knows that the visitors will be out to prove a point.

“Aberdeen in the cup is going to be a very interesting challenge. They definitely should not be underestimated, as we know they have the capabilities to score goals and are a well organised team who are hard to break down. They have had a couple of mixed results so far and so it is hard for us to predict exactly what to expect but we know that they will be out to prove a point against us.”

“We have taken their spot and they will be out to show that their intent to get back up and challenge again in SWPL1. We are very much looking forward to the challenge though and will go all out to perform well and build on this weekend’s positives.”

SBSSWPL1: Forfar Farmington 0 Hibernian 2

Forfar Farmington suffered their first defeat of the season despite a positive performance as Hibernian won 2-0 at Station Park.

After a goalless first half Amy Gallacher broke the deadlock against her former club in the 54th minute; fellow ex-Farmington attacker Katey Turner making sure of all three points with two minutes remaining.

After last week’s win at Hamilton Accies, Mark Nisbet made two changes as Kirsty Deans and Cheryl Kilcoyne replaced Hannah Stewart and Kayleigh Brough.

Both sides looked to create chances with the closest anyone came in the opening ten minutes arriving when Danni McGinley’s cross was gathered by Jenna Fife with Julia Scott lurking inside the box.

In the 11th minute former Farmington striker Katey Turner had the match’s first effort on goal but could only find the side netting.

Three minutes later Robyn Smith’s cross into the box was nicked off the head of McGinley and the clearance was just inches too high for Scott to make a connection.

McGinley was denied by Fife while at the other end Lucy Graham headed wide from an Emma Brownlie corner.

Another Brownlie corner on the half hour mark was bulleted over by Siobhan Hunter.

The final chance of the half fell to the visitors again, however Hunter was only able to send a long distance effort wide with no threat to Fiona McNicoll.

Hibs looked to break the deadlock early in the second half and came close as a Brownlie cross almost deceived McNicoll; the keeper doing well to smother the ball on the line.

They took the lead in the 54th minute through former Farmington Young Player of the Year Amy Gallacher; Hibs forcing their way through on the left hand side with Gallacher lashing home from close range.

Despite a good performance from Farmington, Hibs looked to grab a second and Lia Tweedie was unlucky not to find the back of the net in the 65th minute as McNicoll pushed her effort over the bar.

Kirsty Smith was also denied by McNicoll with twenty minutes remaining and the visitors were dealt a blow shortly after as Siobhan Hunter was forced off with a nasty looking injury.

Graham hit the bar after connecting with another Brownlie corner but they clinched all three points with just two minutes left of normal time; Turner curling a brilliant 20 yard effort into the net despite McNicoll getting her hand to it.

This ensured all three points left with the visitors but Mark Nisbet’s side can be happy with their performance against one of the league’s title challengers.

Next week sees a break from league action for Farmington as they host Aberdeen in the League Cup first round.

Forfar Farmington: Fiona McNicoll, Danni McGinley, Robyn Smith (Erin Cattanach 71), Nicola Davidson, Alana Bruce, Kirsty Deans, Cheryl Kilcoyne, Cassie Cowper, Megan McCarthy, Julia Scott (Gemma Collier 84), Tammy Harkin

Subs not used: Leah White, Beth Shillitto, Alison Debio, Kayleigh Brough, Chantelle McKay (gk)

Hibernian: Jenna Fife, Siobhan Hunter (Cailin Michie 77), Lisa Robertson, Kirsty Smith, Rachel McLauchlan, Lucy Graham, Amy Gallacher, Ellis Notley, Katey Turner, Emma Brownlie, Lia Tweedie (Shannon McGregor 68)

Sub not used: Hannah Reid (gk)

Smith Elated To Get Season Started With Three Points

Robyn Smith believes it was vital to start the season with a win after Forfar Farmington kicked off their SBSSWPL1 season on Sunday.

The winger netted the only goal early in the second half as Farmington took all three points against Hamilton Accies at a snowy New Douglas Park.

Smith, 24, was pleased with the way her teammates went about their business but felt they could have scored more had they taken their chances.

“We played well in spells and could have went ahead in the first half with some good chances, we knew at half time there was goals coming so being more direct and clinical in the final third was important and eventually it paid off.”

She continued: “We limited Hamilton to any real chances which shows in the result. I think again we could have had a few more goals today but were happy to come away with our first 3 points, sometimes that can be the hardest part.”

With Farmington returning to the top flight after a season in SBSSWPL2, they were looking to prove a point in their first game and Smith reckons they did just that.

“It was very important to get three points, we knew that if we played to our strength we would walk away with all three points. Hamilton are a side that know what it’s like to come back up and prove a point and I think we done exactly that.”

The former Jeanfield Swifts winger scored the winning goal in the 53rd minute, stroking home a Julia Scott cross. Smith was pleased with her own performance but feels she needs to believe in her ability more often.

“Overall I think I done away fine today I just need to believe in my own ability more! It’s always great to score and even better when it’s a winning goal, I rarely score so it means more to me when it gets the team the three points.”

Farmington entertain Hibernian on Sunday at Station Park in their first home game of the season; Smith is eager for the side to play their own game and will be happy if they take something.

“We will go into next week with confidence and see what happens, Hibs are an excellent side with great quality, but it’s what happens on the day that matters, you never know what can happen in football.”

“Of course we would love to take something from the game but we won’t get carried away with ourselves. We will play our own game and see what happens come Sunday.”

SBSSWPL1: Hamilton Academical 0 Forfar Farmington 1

Forfar Farmington started their SBSSWPL1 season in the best possible fashion as they defeated Hamilton Academical 1-0.

Robyn Smith’s 53rd minute goal was enough to give Mark Nisbet’s side all three points at the Superseal Stadium.

Close season signings Cassie Cowper, Hannah Stewart and Tammy Harkin were all handed debuts while Sophie Milligan missed out through injury.

The hosts had the first opportunity of the game in the sixth minute as Lori Gardner attempted an overhead effort but failed to beat Fiona McNicoll.

A minute later Megan McCarthy was inches away from opening the scoring; Cassie Cowper’s free kick found the defender but she stabbed the ball wide.

In the 19th minute Hannah Stewart’s cross was cleared for a corner with Danni McGinley waiting and from Julia Scott’s set piece Cowper saw her effort cleared off the line.

Sixty seconds later Tammy Harkin was denied by Lauren Grant while Nicola Davidson’s long range effort had the sting taken out of it by an oncoming defender as both sides started to cancel each other out before half time.

The second half saw Forfar come flying out the blocks with Davidson and McGinley testing Grant in the first three minutes.

Farmington went one better in the 53rd minute; Scott’s pinpoint cross was swept home by Robyn Smith at the far post.

A minute later Gardner couldn’t beat McNicoll while Nina Fitzsimmons’ cross was headed over by Katie Rice who should have done better.

On the hour mark Scott sent an effort just past the post as Farmington looked to add a second.

The Forfar defence held firm through a period of pressure from the hosts as they restricted them to two long distance shots from Rice that McNicoll gathered with ease.

In the 87th minute Stewart could, and probably should, have killed the game off as snow fell on the pitch; subs Kirsty Deans and Cheryl Kilcoyne combined for the latter to spray the ball across for the winger to blast over the bar.

The final chance fell to Accies sub Teigan McCann in injury time; she made her way into the box and after cutting inside, tamely sent a shot into the arms of McNicoll.

The result is the perfect start to the 2018 SBSSWPL1 season and Farmington will look to build on this when they take on Hibernian next week.

Hamilton Academical: Lauren Grant, Amy Anderson (Teigan McCann 65), Nina Fitzsimmons, Kirsty Fraser (Mhairi Lyle 78), Lori Gardner, Kodie Hay (Deborah McLeod 65), Gillian Inglis, Jade Lindsay, Emma Lyons, Megan Quinn, Katie Rice

Substitutes: Danielle Connolly, Jordan McLintock, Emily Shearer, Carys Hopkins (gk)

Forfar Farmington: Fiona McNicoll, Danni McGinley (Alison Debio 90+1), Robyn Smith (Beth Shillitto 86), Nicola Davidson, Alana Bruce, Cassie Cowper, Megan McCarthy, Julia Scott (Cheryl Kilcoyne 57), Tammy Harkin, Hannah Stewart, Kayleigh Brough (Kirsty Deans 57)

Substitutes: Leah White, Lotte Deubel, Chantelle McKay (gk)

McKay Feeling Positive Ahead Of New Season

Chantelle McKay is confident that Forfar Farmington are ready for the season ahead after a testing pre-season schedule.

The 21 year old goalkeeper is also looking forward to her first season at the top level of women’s football, hoping to battle Fiona McNicoll for the number one spot.

Farmington played three games against Hearts, Hibernian and Rangers and McKay reckons the last few weeks have gone as expected and have prepared the side for the new season.

“Pre-season has gone as we all expected, I think challenging but enjoyable for everyone, including the new players coming in it’s all mainly been about game time and adapting to the changes that we’re going to be facing. Each game has been totally different and has given us a little taster of what to expect in these next few months in the SWPL1.”

McKay continued: “Our game against Hibs was all about seeing what the top standard was all about and how we have to go around competing against the best; I feel like we are prepared and have a strong stable group going forward which will help us compete at the top level.”

The opening fixture of the season sees Mark Nisbet’s side travel to Hamilton Academical this Sunday; McKay feels the match between the 2016 & 2017 SBSSWPL2 champions is an excellent way to kick off the campaign.

“Our first fixture away to Hamilton is going to be tough but a good challenge for us. With them winning the SWPL2 two seasons ago and ourselves last season it should be an exciting game. We would obviously love to start our league campaign with a win.”

“All preparations for this game will start in training this week and we will hopefully come away with the three points setting us on the way to achieving our season long goal of staying in the league.”

The former Tayside keeper played three times last season; with this being her first season in the top flight, she is eager to gain experience. Fiona McNicoll stands in her way as the current number one, however McKay hopes to keep improving herself and gain more game time.

“I’m looking forward to this season, mainly for the experience as I haven’t seen much football at the top level throughout my career. Fiona is an excellent keeper and works hard every week, I can only try my best to keep up with her and her standards to better myself and build my confidence to allow myself to have any chance of getting some more game time.”

2017 was McKay’s first year at the club and she still believes that moving to Station Park was one of the best decisions she has ever made.

“Moving to Forfar has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my whole life. Since joining Forfar I’ve enjoyed my football so much more, I’ve gained so much more knowledge and understanding of the game and I have become a much fitter person in general. I’m looking forward to another season at the club.”

Mark Nisbet has added Sophie Milligan, Hannah Stewart, Tammy Harkin and Cassie Cowper to his squad during the close season with McKay impressed by the quartet so far.

“All four girls have been excellent, they’ve came in, settled down and have done what’s been asked of them. They are all pretty versatile so have fitted in with the group well and gave us that extra boost that we needed after losing a few faces at the end of the season.”

“As a new player to the squad last season I know how difficult it is to join a new team but Forfar is a friendly club who have a great bunch of girls which they’ve been made to feel part of.”