Falkirk travelled to Downfield Park Dundee on Sunday to begin their league campaign.

The Bairns pinned their hosts back right from kick-off and had an early chance after only three minutes, when captain Laura Dickson headed just over from an Eva Rule corner.

Rule set up the next chance for her opposite Fiona Gardner with a low cross that the left winger put on target but saw the keeper beat away. A goal looked imminent, and it duly arrived in the sixth minute.

Iona Bridges, playing in an unfamiliar centre-back role, demonstrated her normal midfield ability to pick a pass by threading a ball through the Dundee defence. Rule ran in behind and had all the time she needed to guide it past the keeper and then roll it into the empty net.

Twelve minutes later it was 2-0. Bridges sent another ball beyond the defence and this time it was winger turned right back Ellie Roberts who found herself in acres of space. She crossed to the centre and just as striker Suzanne Wyatt was about to pull the trigger, she was bundled to the ground for a stonewall penalty. Wyatt herself took it and gave the keeper no chance.

It should have been three in 28 mins when Rhianne Ferguson sent Rule free again. She did her usual and lashed it into the net, only to see it ruled out for what appeared to be a very dubious offside.

Dundee West had hardly been in the game in the opening half hour, but they should have pulled one back on 34 mins. Falkirk had keeper Rachel Pirie to thank for making an excellent double save as she parried the first shot onto the post and then blocked the rebound. They would get a goal back in the 37th minute when a defensive mix-up saw two Falkirk players leave the ball to each other and a Dundee West player nipped in to score. Coach Craig Tully had a few choice words for his defence at halftime.

Falkirk started the second half well and in 48 minutes free-kick specialist Lauren Simmons nearly produced one of her trademark efforts, hitting the bar from a long way out with the keeper nowhere.

This seemed to give the hosts a boost and they then put the Bairns under a spell of pressure. Pirie had to rush off her line to deny a striker one-on-one but when the ball rebounded back into the box a rash challenge saw Falkirk concede a penalty. Which led to Dundees second goal on 62 minutes.

Falkirk should probably have had a penalty of their own ten minutes later. Wyatt appeared to be in the box when she was tripped but the referee only gave a freekick. It didn’t matter when Simmons lofted in the freekick to the back post, as Wyatt made no mistake and bulleted a header into the net to put Falkirk 3-2 ahead on 72 minutes.

Ten minutes later the game was over. Dickson won a header in the centre of the park and sent it out to the wing beyond the defence. Rules pace ensured she had no trouble getting on the end of it and she lashed a low shot beyond the keeper to put Falkirk 4-2 up.

So, the girls began the season with a 4-2 victory over Dundee West. Edinburgh Caledonia next Sunday will likely prove a sterner test. KO will be 1530 on the Falkirk Stadium main pitch.

Team: – Rachel Pirie, Ellie Roberts, Iona Bridges, Laura Dickson, Amy Rafferty, Lauren Simmons, Rhianne Ferguson (sub Charlotte Holden), Carolanne Cullen (sub Bethany Adamson), Fiona Gardner (sub Avril Johnstone), Suzanne Wyatt, Eva Rule (sub Zoe Taylor).

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