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#SBSSWPL 2: Dundee United v Glasgow Girls

Dundee United and Glasgow Girls battled out a 1-1 draw at the Dundee International Sports Complex under the sunshine in the only Scottish Building Society SWPL 2 fixture on Sunday.

Chloe Docherty opened the scoring for the away side in the first half, with her drive across goal finding the bottom corner before United replied just after half-time with Tammy Harkin on the spot to put the ball into the net.

Both sides started the game with early chances, the first falling to Glasgow Girls. Danielle Gallagher lifted a ball into the box towards Chloe Docherty, who did well to take the ball down but her effort was sent over the bar. United had a corner down the other end, Megan Burns was rising on her own at the back post, but couldn’t get the right connection to threaten the Glasgow goal.

Much of the early stages were played in the middle of the pitch, as both sets of players tussled for possession while getting to grips with the Scottish summer conditions. A stark contrast to the weather Glasgow Girls suffered in their abandoned Scottish Cup fixture with Rangers, only two weeks ago.

The Tangerines were starting to settle into the game and broke the offside trap with Neve Guthrie one on one with the goalkeeper, but Toni Harkness came rushing out to smother the ball at the feet of the attacker, before she could get a shot away.

The girls from Petershill also threatened with some lovely patient build up play outside the United box, and on a couple of occasions were unable to find Docherty with the final ball.

Approaching the halfway point of the first half, Lauren Denney was given space to attack down the right, she skipped past one defender, knocked the ball beyond another, but a last ditch intervention stopped her cutback reaching Erin Ross for The Terrors.

Moments later, Ellie Jay Reid swerved a superb pass through the Glasgow defence, the pace found Tammy Harkin but Harkness did brilliantly to save.

It was the away side that struck first in the 23rd minute. The final pass this time, made it through to Docherty. She danced into the box before drilling a low strike across goal with her right foot and she found the far bottom corner to give Glasgow Girls the lead and continue her own scoring form.

Shortly after the half hour, both sides had similar chances. First, fantastic close control from Keira Johnstone allowed her to pass to Ross, who smashed a ball across the face of goal, but Reid couldn’t reach the ball in time. At the opposite end, Lucy McEwan and Gallagher exchanged the ball on the left side, with the latter lofting a lovely ball to the back post, but Kirstin McGuire was just a second too late.

As the first half came to a close, Guthrie, in search of an equaliser, attempted a long range strike that Harkness collected at the second attempt.

Glasgow Girls looked to extend their lead, and after McGuire was clattered, her free kick was whipped into the box but the home side managed to clear.

In the final phase of play, Laurie Denney chased down a long ball, which Harkness came out to collect. The Glasgow keeper slightly misjudged the ball as it bounced through her, but she recovered stopping Denney from pouncing and the half time whistle went with both sides no doubt happy for a break from the heat, but Glasgow Girls going in happier with a one goal lead.

At the start of the second half, Dundee United looked refreshed and ready to go, and they begun brilliantly. Defender Megan Burns’ perfect long ball dropped to Harkin. As she moved into the box, Harkness had to come off her line again, she stood tall, forcing the attacker to think fast, and as she tried to round the goalkeeper, she stabbed her shot wide of the near post. Though it wasn’t to be a chance she would rue.

A minute later, United were awarded a free kick just inside the Glasgow half. With the away players aggrieved at the award, the hosts hurried, playing a quick free-kick down the right side, which the referee allowed to continue. United worked in behind the defence, before the ball was driven across the box and there was Tammy Harkin perfectly placed to put the ball into the net and even the score at 1-1. The visitors were boiling, and on this occasion, not because of the sun.

The goal got them going again. They attacked straight from the restart and when a shot was blocked, were claiming a penalty from the referee. It wasn’t given and play continued, with the ball looping into the box, Kirstin McGuire was waiting on the six yard line to divert a header onto the bar, but the flag went up for offside.

Minutes after, it was her namesake Charmaine that had an opportunity but she lifted her strike from the edge of the box over the crossbar, before Kirstin had another attempt skipping through the defence and her effort from distance saved by Aaliyah-Jay Meach.

The Petershill girls again had the chance to go back into the lead when substitute Taylor Fisher latched onto a ball behind the Tangerines defence but she couldn’t replicate her scoring touch from her last league outing, and her angled attempt hit the side netting.

As the match came to a close, Dundee United started to find more openings.

Harkin found Jade McLaren, and she burst beyond Harkness, out of her goal again. The United midfielder crossed towards an open net but Glasgow defended well and regrouped for a corner. Initially, the corner was dealt with but a fierce delivery to the back post found Guthrie, who smashed the ball into the side netting.

The SWPL Player of the Month for May, looked a threat all afternoon and she broke the offside trap again and attacked the box. Harkness decided to only come out to meet her half-way this time but had forced the United number seven into a narrow angle. She opted to pass to Harkin in the box, but she was quickly crowded by the recovering defence and Glasgow managed to clear.

It wasn’t all the home side though, and with ten minutes to go substitute Lauren Rabbitte found the ball at her feet and Meach had to be alert again in the United net to save.

As the minutes went by, there was a stoppage in play as Charmaine McGuire went down heavily with the midfielder sounding in serious discomfort. After lengthy treatment she had to be carried off by the Glasgow Girls coaching team, with the injury hopefully not as major as first feared.

The delay meant five minutes of added on time, and the Tangerines had their chances.

Guthrie involved again, challenged for the ball, managed to keep possession and Denney’s dipping shot looked to be going in under the bar, but Harkness rose to push the ball over. The resulting corner dropped to Megan Burns at the back post, but she couldn’t direct it on target to capitalise before the full time whistle.

Dundee United: Meach, Reid, McMillan, Burns, McCallum, McLaren, Johnstone, Ross, Harkin, Guthrie, Denney. Subs: Caine, Robertson, Penman.

Glasgow Girls: Harkness, McTear, Gallagher, Gillan, Macleod, Smith, C McGuire, K McGuire, Docherty, Kerr, McEwan. Subs: Cunningham, Rabbitte, Fisher, Shaw.

Dundee United Head Coach, Gavin Beith:

 

Glasgow Girls Head Coach, Iain Ferry:

Written by
Stuart Mitchell
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