Kirsty Munro’s dramatic late winner gave Kilmarnock a 2-1 win over Stirling University at Rugby Park in Scottish Building Society SWPL 2.
It was heartbreak for Stirling who looked to have secured their first point of the season after Bethany Kerr’s penalty cancelled out Rebecca Galt’s early opener. But Munro fired in a 90th minute winner via a deflection off a defender to spark wild scenes in Ayrshire.
Both sides showed attacking intent from the off. The first few minutes of the game saw a glimmer of what was to come with play very much down the flanks being cancelled out by the defenders.
This defensive stronghold didn’t last long as the breakthrough goal came on the fifth minute through Killie striker Galt. Great direct play from Munro led to her shot being parried by Stirling goalkeeper Claire Whitaker straight to the feet of Galt who calmly fired home from two yards out.
From then on, it was very much a ding-dong battle of attack versus defence with both teams’ only chances coming from speculative outside-of-the-box efforts. Nothing too challenging for the goalkeepers, but the build up play on both sides was impressive. Just that final finish was lacking from both sides.
On the 37th minute, Killies’ Aimie Docherty was forced off through injury with Abbey McDowall replacing her. Then two minutes later, against the run of play, Stirling levelled after handball in the box. Kerr stepped up and fired the ball into the net despite Killie’s best attempts to put her off. It was 1-1 and game on.
As the second half began, the rain started pouring down onto the Rugby Park surface. This certainly played a part in how the half would play out with a lot more meaty challenges flying in from both sides.
As the half progressed, niggly fouls continued leading to a raft of set pieces particularly towards Kilmarnock. Even with some great deliveries into the box, there just wasn’t any takers on the end of them.
This gave Stirling encouragement and Shana MacPhail began to impress any time she got on the ball. A real, strong, powerful player who seemed desperate to get on the scoresheet. She caused the Kilmarnock defenders nightmares with her strength every time she found the ball at her feet.
But, it was to be Killie’s night. Just as it looked like the game would end with honours even with just seconds left, Munro reacted quickest to clinically smash home a bouncing ball in the box. It may have been the night before bonfire night, but Munro was certainly on fire.
The result leaves Stirling still looking for their first points of the season, but they will take encouraging signs from their performance ahead of Sunday’s game at home to Boroughmuir Thistle.
Kilmarnock on the other hand find themselves back at Rugby Park as they take on Patrick Thistle, looking to make it three wins on the bounce.