Hamilton ended the first half of the Scottish Building Society SWPL 2 season on the right note as they made it three wins in a row in a hard-fought contest away at rain-drenched Stirling University.
Josephine Giard continued to impress since her arrival from Celtic notching another two goals for Accies, while last season’s joint-top goal scorer Dionne Brown and Chloe Muir were also in among the goals.
The conditions were nothing short of horrendous, but the continual downpour of rain certainly didn’t stop an entertaining start to the game.
Accies came into this game off the back of an 8-0 thrashing of the hosts just two weeks ago and it didn’t take long to break the deadlock as they were ahead after two minutes. Kirstie McIntosh’s perfectly placed pass split the Uni’s defence wide open and Giard latched on, rounded the outcoming Claire Whitaker and clinically finished into the empty net.
However, two minutes later the home side were level as Alina Kerl’s superb strike from distance flew over the head of Lauren Grant.
Hamilton restored their advantage in the 10th minute through what was another excellently worked move. Darcy Molley picked up the ball on the half-way line and her ball over the top found Brown and her deft dink left Whitaker helpless.
Conditions took a turn for the worse and unfortunately for Accies played a part in the home side’s equaliser ten minutes before the break. Robin Gallagher’s initial effort looked easy enough to catch for Grant, but the ball slipped out of her grasp and Ann Taylor was on hand to prod home the rebound from close-range.
The second half produced very little in terms of goalmouth action, but credit must go to the Accies management team as their tactical substitutes paid dividends with Chloe Muir and Nicole Cairney changing the game and the pair ultimately played an integral role in helping secure three huge points.
On the 77th minute, Cairney’s switch across the park looked destined to find the head of Muir before she was brought down by keeper McPhie, giving the referee no other option than to point to the spot.
Giard stepped up to inherit the responsibility from 12-yards and she made no mistake with an ice-cool finish into the top right-hand corner.
The game was put beyond doubt with a couple of minutes remaining when another well-worked move down the right saw Muir go clean through on goal and her effort went over McPhie and into the back of the net, wrapping up a very important three points for the Accies.
Hamilton: Grant, Quinn, Connolly, Ross, McIntosh, Brown, Sturrock, Kane, Molley, Gardiner, Giard; McTear, Muir, Evans, Cairney, Quigley, Coakley, McCormick
Stirling University: Whitaker, Murphy, McMahon, Blues, Taylor, Sanchez, Dickov, Fellenger, Gallagher, Kerl, MacPhail; McPhie, Robertson, Malcom, Watson, Hill, Szigeti