Going into the game, both sides lined up with a familiar 2-3-1 formation: Glasgow set up with Nicole Cunningham in net, protected by Sophie Bustard and Abbie Cusack at the back, with a midfield three of Olivia King, Jessica Cox and Millie-Jo Ward behind Elie McGoldrick. Their opponents opting to start Woods up front with Boyle, Kirkwood and Conner behind her. Ellie Dickson was in between the sticks for Motherwell, with Hannah Sedwell and Nikki Simmonette in front of her.
It took a mere 27 seconds for the deadlock to be broken with Olivia King skipping round the outside of the back two. The midfielder drifted inside before collectedly rolling the ball across goalkeeper Dickson.
The goal gave implications of a high scoring tie; although that wasn’t necissarily the case in what proveed to be a close-fought first period. After the goal the following ten minutes were fairly scrappy but as time passed Motherwell edged their way into the game. They managed to force multiple corners without causing any real threat to Cunningham’s goal. Well also struggled to break down the central defensive parternship of Sophie Bustard and Abbie Cusack, and so for the most part the they resorted to going round the outside in an atempt to find the equaliser.
Glasgow Girls held firm for the majority of the first period and found joy hitting Well on the counter attack. They almost caught their opponets out, who had pushed numbers forward, with a flowing counter attack. It was McGoldrick who took on the final effort but her strike from outside the penalty area fizzed off target.
The equaliser did come, a minute before the interval, a neat one two between Boyle and Woods, the former beared down on goal and rifled the ball goalwards. It was hard to tell if the initial strike was on target or not but Boyle will certainly claim it as the ball went in despite Cunningham getting a hand to it, she could only parry into her own net. The goal was deserved on the balance of play as the sides went in level in a half where both sides created chances but the momentum with Motherwell.
The start of the second period saw chances at both ends as the tie began to open up. On 34 minutes Woods’ header sent Cunningham scrambling across her goal to claw the ball away, and then from the rebound the striker rifled her effort off the crossbar –a common theme in the second half. A minute later it was Glasgow who hit the crossbar – a shot spilled by Dickson fell to the feet of McGoldrick, but the striker could only watch her effort crash off the crossbar. This was a turning point in the match as Glasgow would begin to build some momentum – pinning Motherwell back for large periods of the half.
The inevitable happened on 42 minutes. The ball wasn’t cleared by the Motherwell backline: McGoldrick’s effort was blocked but Ward was the fastest to react to the loose ball and guided the ball home from close range. The goal had been coming for a while, Ward and McGoldrick were both very impressive for Glasgow and linked up well together to cause the Motherwell defence a constant headache throughout.
Into the final 10 minutes and the game was in full flow. Motherwell found an equaliser through Boyle once again, who was outstanding on the day, as she showed good technique to lash the ball into the back of the net nine minutes from time. The goal really sunk Glasgow and it was Motherwell who had the momentum as they pushed for a winner. A few minutes later and it would come courtesy of Woods, who dropped the shoulder to evade her marker inside out. The striker then came out of a challenge and burried ball past the helpless Cunningham to complete a memorbale comeback.
Despite their best efforts Glasgow couldn’t find a way back into it as the match came to a close. A thrilling cup final with drama until the final moments. It could’ve gone either way between two evenly matched sides, but two goals from Amy Boyle were the difference between the two.