MATCH REPORT: FALKIRK WOMEN 2-0 EDINBURGH CALEDONIA

Falkirk Women made it a double for The Bairns at the weekend, with both men’s and women’s teams triumphing over Edinburgh opposition. 

This was expected to be a hard game as Caley had won by five goals to two the last time the teams met. They certainly had the early pressure, but Falkirk could have scored in ten minutes when the goalkeeper made a double save from winger Ellie Roberts. Eight minutes later the keeper was again called into action with another double save. She firstly blocked a shot from Eva Rule and then stopped the rebound from Roberts. Then on 22 minutes the keeper was forced into another pointblank save, this time from Suzanne Wyatt.

Caledonia were playing a high defensive line and although Falkirk were caught offside several times, they were also getting through often enough to suggest that a goal was coming. It duly arrived in the 23rd minute.

After setting up the fourth goal last week at Dundee, Captain Laura Dickson provided another assist by lofting a ball over the defence, allowing Roberts to burst clear once again. This time she beat the keeper to the ball, knocked it past her and then rolled it into the empty net. The goal was no more than Falkirk deserved, having been denied five times by the Caledonia goalkeeper who was having an outstanding game.

The Falkirk defence would prove to be equally resilient. On 36 minutes an Edinburgh forward hit the post. The ball rolled along the goal-line and, before any of their players could get there, Iona Bridges was on hand to clear it off the line. Just before half-time keeper Rachel Pirie managed to claw away a cross just before it landed on a Caley head. The forward collected the ball and shot back towards the net but Bridges was again on hand with another goal-line clearance to ensure Falkirk went in ahead at the break.

Edinburgh continued to press when play restarted but were always vulnerable to the counter-attack and the pace of twin wingers Rule & Roberts, as was proven in the 60th minute when Rule created a chance for Wyatt. Yet again the keeper was equal to the shot.

When Falkirk added a second on 70 minutes it was due to pure determination on the part of striker Wyatt. Carolanne Cullen headed the ball towards her and with three defenders in attendance she turned away from two and out-muscled the third. This gave her the space to get a shot away and from close range there was no chance for the keeper to make a save. Falkirk were now two up and in control.

They just had to see the came out. Caledonia pressed hard in the remaining 20 minutes but the defence held firm and on the two occasions they were breached, Pirie did her usual with two instinctive, close-range saves to deny the Edinburgh side. Falkirk could have added a third when winger Zoe Taylor was released but the goalkeeper was again equal to it.

The win sees Falkirk sit joint top of the table with Westdyle and Stenhousemuir, both of whom have also won their two opening games. Falkirk play Stenhousemuir on Sunday at the Falkirk Stadium with a 3pm kickoff in what is sure to be a cracker.

Line-up: – Rachel Pirie, Lauren Shaw, Iona Bridges, Laura Dickson, Amy Rafferty, Lauren Simmons, Rhianne Ferguson (sub Charlotte Holden), Carolanne Cullen, Ellie Roberts, Suzanne Wyatt, Eva Rule (sub Zoe Taylor). Subs not used: Sarah-Louise Waugh, Avril Johnstone, Emma Meaney, Aimee Lenathan, Fiona Gardner.

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