Motherwell Ladies FC defeated Kilmarnock 3-2 at Stewarton Lesuire Centre on Sunday to move within one win of capturing the SWPL2 title, writes Andy Ross.
Sammy Hare netted twice and Hayley Cunningham made no mistake from the penalty spot as Well came out on top in a fiercely contested encounter.
Hare had two good chances as Motherwell made a bright start to the match, but they found themselves behind after 13 minutes when Kirsten Rolph’s dangerous cross found Aimee Docherty who glanced a header beyond Claire Johnstone.
Within six minutes the women of steel were level. Hare’s first effort was kept out by Morgan Hunter, but the striker was quick to react – pouncing on the rebound and blasting the ball into the net.
Tempers began to flare as the first half went on and the half-time whistle brought a welcome opportunity for Eddie Wolecki Black and Donald Jennow to emphasise the importance of keeping their discipline.
Motherwell made the perfect start to the second 45 when Hare doubled her tally for the afternoon, converting from close range after Lesley Condie’s excellent cut-back.
The striker has now scored six times in the last three matches, taking her tally for the season to 13.
Kilmarnock responded well after finding themselves behind for the first time in the match and they got back on terms on the hour mark courtesy of Lisa Swanson’s well-placed header.
Motherwell were then presented with a great chance to restore their lead when Rolph was adjudged to have handled Kerry Montgomery’s corner.
Hayley Cunningham stepped up to take the resulting kick and blasted the ball into the bottom left corner of the net.
Well were forced onto the back foot late on, but a combination of brave defending and some assured goalkeeping from Johnstone meant they would hold on for a huge victory.
The women of steel travel to Edinburgh this Sunday for a meeting with Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale, a match in which victory will secure the SWPL2 championship and promotion to the top flight on Scottish women’s football.