SWPL 1’s Forfar Farmington dominated their SWPL Cup First Round tie against SWPL 2 side Hearts strolling to a 3-0 win. The game rearranged from last Sunday, due to a frozen pitch, was played on a bobbly pitch which made passing along the ground tricky, but due to Forfar’s wing play, they were not hampered by the conditions.
The away side took the lead in the 15th minute when Jade McLaren’s cross picked out Derrian Gallon at the far post who was left with a simple finish. Hearts showed the potential of a threat, using the pace of Brogan Anderson, but they never managed to trouble the Forfar keeper Fiona McNicoll. And on the stroke of half-time, Forfar doubled their lead as Megan McCarthy stabbed the ball over the line.
Once Forfar got their third through Tori Sousa’s header, the away side never looked like surrendering their lead, although Hearts did come close when Rachel Walkingshaw hit the post and Brogan Anderson forced the Forfar keeper into an acrobatic save.
Forfar Farmington will now play Hibernian Ladies at home in the SWPL Cup Quarter-Final tie on the 27th March.
The opening ten minutes were dominated by Forfar Farmington possession, but with Tori Sousa having the only chance when she shot over from 20 yards. Hearts were set up in a 4-4-1-1 formation, happy to play on the counter and came close to a decent chance through Rachel Walkingshaw’s teasing cross, but Forfar’s keeper Fiona McNicoll anticipated and made a good catch.
And then, Forfar finally made their possession count. Julia Scott’s corner was over-hit, but Jade McLaren collected the ball, beat her marker and whipped in a brilliant cross which Derrian Gollan tapped in at the far post.
Forfar could have doubled their lead minutes later from another Scott corner, but this time, McLaren had her shot cleared off the line by Lyndsay Anderson.
Hearts were starting to use their pace up front to stretch the Forfar defence, and determined play from Michelle Stewart won the home side’s first corner. Ashley Carse’s delivery was cleared back to her, but at the second attempt, she picked out Walkingshaw whose side-footed shot lacked the power to threaten McNicoll.
Forfar nearly scored a second through a goalkeeping mistake, as Kirsty Deans’ long-range shot squirmed through Hearts’ keeper Megane Steel’s hands, but she quickly recovered to claim the ball on the line.
Hearts came so close to an equaliser as Brogan Anderson’s early cross played Carse behind the Forfar backline, but as she tried to take the ball past McNicoll, the Forfar keeper managed to get a hand to the ball to clear the danger. Their captain Megan Paterson had a speculative effort from 30 yards, but it was straight at the keeper.
And then with the last action of the first half, Forfar doubled their lead. Deans’ cross was flicked back across goal by Holly Napier, and Megan McCarthy was in the perfect position to pounce and stab the ball over the line.
Half-Time: Hearts 0-2 Forfar Farmington
Forfar Farmington started the second half quickly and confidently, and within the opening minute, Megan McCarthy had got behind the Hearts defence, but her shot was parried by Steel.
Seven minutes into the half, Forfar got their third goal. Robyn Smith’s superb cross picked out the American Tori Sousa, whose flicked header found the bottom-left corner.
Then, Forfar nearly handed Hearts a way back into the game. McNicoll’s clearance hit Ashley Carse, the ball fell to Brogan Anderson and her chipped effort required McNicoll to scramble back to the goalline, and acrobatically parry the ball away to safety.
Forfar kept on looking for the next goal and had consecutive crosses that were centimetres from picking out an attacker and most likely the fourth goal. Robyn Smith came close when she fired her shot into the side-netting.
Once again, a Forfar error nearly handed Hearts a goal. McNicoll’s pass to Scott put her under pressure from Walkingshaw, who robbed her of possession before coming agonisingly close to scoring, seeing her effort smash off the far post.
But it was all Forfar, who everyone they came forward looked dangerous. Holly Napier’s superb cross picked out Robyn Smith, but she was unable to direct her header goalwards. Then Napier tried her luck from the right-wing, and her curled shot hit the left post.
Forfar didn’t manage to score their fourth, but should take pride from a complete performance.
Player of the Match
Robyn Smith – Forfar Farmington.