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Abertay clinch title with victory over Stirling

Stirling University 2s 0

Abertay University 1

Napier 37'
  • Monday, 26 March 2018
  • Gannochy Sports Centre, Stirling University
  • College & University
  • BUCS Scottish 2A

Abertay University battled to a 1-0 win over Stirling University B to secure the BUCS 2A League title in their final game of the season. A wonder strike from Holly Napier was enough to see off the home side, whose own title aspirations vanished with defeat at Gannochy Sports Centre.

Stirling came into the game on the back of a 3-2 win against Edinburgh Napier University, and knew that four points from their final two games would make them league champions. The home side were also looking to avenge a penalty shootout defeat to Abertay in February, which had sent them crashing out of the Scottish Cup at the semi-final stage, and certainly started the brighter of the two sides. Ruth Clark had a number of shots saved by opposing goalkeeper Amy Hiddleston, before Lauren Hill sent a strong shot over the crossbar.

Emily Gray was dominating the midfield area in the air for the home side, with Abertay’s attacking threat diminishing as the half went on. However, Holly Napier began to grow into the game and was sent through on goal; her shot was saved well by Rebecca Sjogerud. Sabrena Craib sent a wild shot over the bar, and Victoria Kane spurned a glorious opportunity when she screwed the ball wide after being sent through on goal.

Ruth Clark headed just wide from a Rachel Armstrong cross, and was made to pay just minutes later when Abertay took the lead. Napier lined up a free kick thirty yards from goal, crashing the ball into the roof of the Stirling net to hand her side a priceless advantage.

The remainder of the first half was a very scrappy affair, with Katie Caine nearly seeing her long-range effort fumbled over the line by Sjogerud, but the keeper just managed to recover her error.

  • Half Time:
  • Stirling University 2s
  • 0-1
  • Abertay University

Abertay nearly doubled their advantage right at the start of the second half with Caine striking the post, before Sjogerud pulled off a remarkable safe to deny Napier after a delightful cross from Melissa Smith.

A number of contentious refereeing decisions were beginning to mar the game, with Stirling’s Armstrong being called offside after being sent through on goal despite looking several yards onside, before the same player sent an ambitious scissor kick just wide of Hiddleston’s goal.

Armstrong was then sent for an early bath after a controversial second booking for an apparent dive, despite staying on her feet after contact with the Abertay keeper. The red card paved the way for a scrappy end to the game, with Abertay missing several clear-cut chances to put the game to bed. Kane somehow sent an effort over the bar with an open goal at her mercy, and Napier overhit a through ball when she and her teammates were involved in a three-on-one situation.

Amy Rafferty smacked the Abertay crossbar with a stunning effort from twenty-five yards after a well worked short corner, but Stirling couldn’t muster up any more clear cut chances in a fiercely contested closing period and Abertay held on to secure the league crown.

  • Full Time:
  • Stirling University 2s
  • 0-1
  • Abertay University

Lineups

Stirling University 2s
Abertay University
40. Rebecca Sjogerud
2. Amy Harkins
3. Amy Rafferty
6. Chelsea Raymond
7. Lauren Hill
8. Kim Moir
9. Rachel Armstrong
10. Emily Gray
11. Michelle Hill
12. Eirinn Maguire
14. Olivia McMahon
15. Morgan Corrigan
16. Alice Dysart
17. Ruth Clark
22. Kaylan Grainger
24. Kathleen Sharpe
1. Amy Hiddleston
2. Sydney Dreves
3. Holly Napier
4. Kelsey Mckay
7. Bailie Andrew
8. Jennifer Burrows
9. Katie Caine
10. Ashton Julie
11. Victoria Kane
12. Julih Schaffer
13. Philippa Weber
14. Melissa Smith
15. Sabrena Craib
16. Sarah Herd
17. Robyn Smith
18. Erin McLagan
Star Player
Stirling University 2s
Abertay University
Ruth Clark- looked bright from the start and was unlucky to not have at least one goal to her name. Created several opportunities for her teammates as well as herself.
Holly Napier- sharp throughout the match and always looked a threat when going forward. Scored the winning goal and could have had more.
Magic Moment
Stirling University 2s
Abertay University
Rafferty effort- a stunning effort from Amy Rafferty late on the game which rattled the crossbar, coming within inches of drawing her side level.
Napier goal- a sublime long-range free kick from Holly Napier, worthy of winning any game and, in this case, a league title.
Club Views
Stirling University 2s
Abertay University
Stirling University defender Morgan Corrigan gave her views after the match: "The girls all put in 100% and didn't stop fighting, but it's really hard to play a game where there isn't a referee who's willing to give the right decisions. It's frustrating."
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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