By Tim Oliver
The SWPL returns tomorrow after the mid-season break, but due to the Euros and the Under-19 European Championships, the SWPL 1 will resume on the 27th August.
However, there are three exciting games in the SWPL 2, with vital matches in the promotion and relegation races.
Forfar Farmington v Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale
Station Park, Kick-off: 1pm
The SWPL 2 leaders, Forfar Farmington, begin the second half of the season at home to Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale (EUHV).
Forfar currently have a six point lead with ten games remaining as they look to secure immediate promotion back to the SWPL 1. Their lead could have been in double figures had they not lost to second placed Motherwell in the last match before the break, but they will be pleased to have that margin at this point. That has been their only defeat so far in the league and had gone five league games in a row without conceding a single goal. So, all in all, they will be delighted with the first eleven games of the season.
Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale are currently in sixth place and will be looking to move up the table and further from the drop zone – they are currently seven points ahead of Buchan. Their first half of the season has been a bit hit and miss but there have been some impressive results, such as beating Hearts. Their last result before the break was a goalless draw with Glasgow Girls.
The previous match between the two clubs this season ended in a 5-0 victory to Forfar Farmington with Cheryl Kilcoyne, Robyn Smith, Julia Scott, Kayleigh Noble and Megan McCarthy getting on the scoresheet. Regardless of the result, Forfar will remain in first place, whilst EUHV could move up one place with a victory.
Hearts v Motherwell
King’s Park, Kick-off: 2pm
Motherwell travel to Dalkeith as they try and keep the pressure up on the leaders, playing Hearts who sit two points behind them in third place.
Hearts’ SWPL 2 title hopes are not over but they know that they can’t afford to drop more points, having drawn two and lost three this season. Their recent form going into the break has been good, drawing against Glasgow Girls before beating East Fife and Buchan. They will be looking to pick up their third win in a row.
Their opponents are the SWPL 2 team with the longest current unbeaten run. Since losing their opening three games in the SWPL 2, Motherwell have gone unbeaten in their next eight games, dropping just two points during that period. This run included beating Forfar Farmington in the last game before the break, the only SWPL 2 club to have done that so far.
This fixture was important to Motherwell’s current run, as, in the reverse game, Motherwell beat Hearts 2-0, picking up their first win of the season. Both teams know that the winner will end the game in second place, but as Glasgow Girls’ game has been postponed, unless Hearts lose heavily, the loser will finish in third place.
Jeanfield Swifts v Buchan
McDiarmid Park, Kick-off: 4pm
In the late fixture, fifth-placed Jeanfield Swifts entertain seventh-placed Buchan. If form is to go by, a victory is likely for one of the teams, as both clubs are the only ones in the SWPL 2 yet to draw.
Jeanfield will be looking to close the gap on the top four before the gap becomes too big. Their form really has been hit and miss by not going on more than two games winning or losing. Before the break, they beat East Fife 3-2 to move up to fifth place.
Sitting in the relegation places, Buchan will be looking to return to winning ways soon. Having lost to Hearts before the break, they are on a six-game losing run but they will take confidence from the reverse fixture against Jeanfield which they won 5-2. If they could replicate the result, they would close the gap on sixth place to four points.
If Jeanfield win they will reduce the gap behind fourth-placed Glasgow Girls to just two points, but if they lose, they could drop down to sixth place.