Aberdeen produced a stunning complete performance to come away with a 3-0 victory against Spartans, their first victory under their new management. The North-East side is under pressure from a relegation battle, but after this result, they are a step closer to securing safety. With Forfar Farmington, the bottom-placed club, losing to Celtic – they are seven points ahead of the eighth-placed club.
They started quickly, with Hannah Stewart scoring a stunning goal in the third minute before Megan Reid doubled their lead in the 17th minute.
Aberdeen needed their keeper Becky Flaherty to deny Spartans from scoring early in the second half, but midway through the second half, Aberdeen scored a crucial third when Cassie Cowper’s shot deflected off Nikki Smith and into the net. And then from then, Aberdeen looked like the only team to score.
Aberdeen would have wanted to have started quickly, but they wouldn’t have dreamed of the start they had. In the third minute, Hannah Stewart picked up the ball on the right wing, beat her defender into the box and then curled the ball perfectly into the top-right corner.
But minutes later, Spartans could have equalised. Danijela Rae’s cross from the right picked out Kirsty McLaughlin and her header were only kept out by Becky Flaherty’s stunning save that tipped the ball onto the crossbar.
Aberdeen nearly doubled their lead from Cheryl Anderson’s corner with came off Rae’s head, but Spartans’ keeper Eartha Cumings caught the ball.
The away side was playing with great fluidity and tempo and was looking for a second goal, and they got that in the 17th minute. Anderson’s cross was cleared by Spartans’ defender Jen Malone straight to Shannon McGregor. Her shot was parried by Eartha Cumings, but Megan Reid reacted quickest to score, picking out the bottom corner.
There was a concerning moment for Spartans when Ronaigh Douglas had to come off after a rash challenge from Stewart which saw the Aberdeen player booked.
Aberdeen kept on coming looking for more goals and their corners were threatening. Cowper’s delivery was cleared, but she worked the ball back into the box where Stewart’s shot was blocked by Suzy Shepherd. Stewart had another chance soon after, but a block from Ashley Nicolson made it a simple save for Cumings.
Late on in the first half, Aberdeen’s captain Nikki Smith had a brilliant chance, but her shot inside the box was poor and an easy save for Cumings.
Spartans came out in the second half with greater urgency and it was only a couple of wonder saves from Flaherty that denied them. McLaughlin’s shot inside the box was superbly saved by Flaherty and then Kelly Forrest cleared the rebound off the line. Then, Nicolson’s deep cross picked out Christie Kerr’s whose header was caught by the keeper.
And the home side should have scored when a corner was parried by Flaherty to Kerr who with an empty net could only shoot over from ten yards.
Aberdeen seemed to regain their control of the game, and Stewart had a couple of decent chances where she shot just wide – but int eh 68th minute, Aberdeen made it 3-0. Anderson played a corner short to Cowper, she shot, trying to find the far corner but it deflected off Smith and into the net, wrong-footing Cumings.
They came agonisingly close to their fourth soon after. From a 30-yard free-kick, Susan Murray passed to Stewart in the box, she took a touch before seeing her shot smash off the right post and Forrest couldn’t deflect the ball over the line.
Late on, Anderson and Smith had great chances to score but both times, they curled the ball over the crossbar.
Aberdeen’s Head Coach – Stefan Laird