Motherwell Ladies booked their place in the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup final following their 3-1 win against SWPL 1 side Spartans, writes Andrew Scott.
The Women of Steel went into Sunday’s match as underdogs as Spartans ply their trade in the top tier of Scottish football, but against all odds produced a stunning win.
‘Well had the perfect start after Megan Burns’ header opened the scoring after 15 minutes.
The goal came from a set-piece where Kirsty McLau floated in a pin-point cross to the head of the midfielder, she then powered home her header with the help of a slight deflection.
Spartans striker Tegan Reynolds came close numerous times in the half, getting on the end of Elena Santoyo-Brown’s crosses into the box, but the she failed to convert the chances, with her previous header and flick on either going wide or into the arms of Kendall Welsh in the Motherwell goal.
The striker eventually got her goal on the after 25 minutes to level the score.
Like so often in the match, she got on the end of Santoyo-Brown’s cross to knock into the net from close range.
The duo continued to cause trouble for the Motherwell defence and nearly put their side ahead with half an hour on the clock.
Spartans were having what was arguably their best spell of the half following the goal but were unable to go ahead in the game.
At the other end, Motherwell continued to threaten from set piece situations, causing the Spartans defence problems.
The second half got off to a nervy start with both teams trying to get a foothold into the game, but when both sides settled it was the Fir Parkers who looked more threatening.
Kerry Montgomery restored Motherwell’s lead 11 minutes after the restart with a goal from another set piece.
The Northern Irish international was there at the back post to follow up her initial header and force it over the line from the corner.
Suzanne Mulvey had a real chance to extend the ‘Well’s lead with 22 minutes remaining.
She managed to get in behind the defence to go onto to dribble into the box, from an angle she attempted to curl her shot just inside the post, but sadly the shot lacked enough curl and it sailed past the post.
With just over 15 minutes to play Spartans hit the bar, Stephanie Briggs got on the end of a long cross into the box and tried to dink her header into the net.
But the header was just too powerful as it smashed off the bar and out for a goal kick.
Spartans would go on to rue their missed chances when substitute Caitlin Russell put the game to bed with 10 minutes remaining.
The winger linked up with fellow substitute Katey Turner, who was the provider of a good ball into the box and Russell made no mistake in nodding the ball home from close range.
The Women of Steel were able to see out the rest of the match and book their place in the final against Hibernian Ladies at Firhill.
This achievement only adds to what has been a spectacular season for Motherwell, a season where they will go up to the top division as champions and now take part in their first domestic cup final in 37 years.
The final will take place on Sunday, November 4 at Firhill, but before that Motherwell are back to league duty on Sunday when they travel to Glasgow to face Glasgow Girls at Budhill Football Pitch.