Falkirk Women emerged victorious from a hard fought game against United Glasgow for the second time this season.
The Bairns got off to the best possible start, scoring inside the opening ten minutes. Eva Rule took the ball off one of the United players with her back to goal and spun round, leaving her marker for dead before running beyond the full-back who was unable to get in a challenge. She then aimed a cross at the back post with the intention of finding her strike partner, Kirsty Gilbert, however, the ball sailed over the keeper and nestled just inside the post. The final ball may have been fortuitous but the pace and power she showed to beat two players and get the cross in was far from it.
Falkirk were controlling the game and nearly added a second when Lauren Simmons hit a shot from distance that had the keeper scrambling backwards to get a fingertip to it. Glasgow pushed back with possession high up the pitch as they probed the Falkirk defence. Falkirk had several chances to clear the ball but were unable to before it broke to Glasgow’s captain who hit a stunning strike into the top left corner from 30 yards out to even the score.
United Glasgow then had a brief spell of dominance before going behind again. Docherty took a long kick to the centre circle where Kirsty Gilbert brought the ball down with her first touch, beat a challenge with the second and then hit a precision pass in between the centre half and full-back. Eva Rule latched onto it and lashed the ball home from the edge of the box for her second of the game on minutes.
Falkirk had further chances to extend their lead before the break. Kirsty Gilbert took the ball off the keeper and played in Zoe Taylor but the winger couldn’t get a clean strike away before the defence got back to clear. Sophie Rupp then shot over from inside the box with the keeper grounded.
The home team almost found another equaliser early in the second half when Glasgow’s number 17 found herself unmarked at the back post following a corner. Fortunately sheet the headed effort wide. That would be the last Glasgow attempt until the final ten minutes. Falkirk ramped up the pressure and had multiple chances.
Gilbert burst through but her shot was saved. Rule could have had her hat-trick when she took the ball off the right back but with other defenders closing in, she had to shoot with her weaker left foot and the shot went wide. The nearest Falkirk came to extending their lead came when Dawson shot low and hard in the six yard box. Her shot beat the keeper but a defender managed to block it, saving a certain goal in the process.
Falkirk were almost punished for their misses in the last five minutes. Docherty had been a virtual spectator apart from having to rush off her line a couple of times to snuff out an attacker charging through, but she was called into action twice as the full-time whistle neared. For the first one she turned a shot round the post. Her second save saw the ball rebound into the area and fall to the Glasgow number 15. The striker had the goal at her mercy but hit the post and the ball bounced back out, into Docherty’s grateful arms.
LINE UP: Rachel Docherty, Aimee Lenathan, Chelsea Raymond, Laura Dickson, Amy Rafferty, Rhianne Ferguson, Lauren Simmons, Sophie Rupp, Kirsty Gilbert, Eva Rule, Zoe Taylor.
SUBSTITUTES: Jillian Leiper, Aimee Duffy, Emma Meaney, Fiona Gardner, Gemma Dawson, Joanne Morrison.