Dundee University’s women’s team probably had a great party on Wednesday evening. Their victory against the University of Edinburgh means it is now three successive Scottish Conference Cup wins, but this one did not come easy. Edinburgh initially went 1-0 up, courtesy of a great looping goal from Lily Chubb, before Dundee equalized 11 minutes later through Laura Ulsig. The game finished level and advanced to a penalty shootout. Dundee managed to hold their nerve and won the cup after triumphing 4-3 on penalties.
With playing conditions perfect, a rarity in Scotland, it was Edinburgh who made the better start. In just the third minute of the game Jodie Owens was able to latch onto a through ball played beyond the Dundee back line. The forward took her shot across goal but it flashed just past the post.
Two minutes later and Owens attempted to execute a similar move by latching onto another through ball delivered from midfield. This time, however, she was foiled by the alert Roberta-Leigh Cochrane. The Dundee University goalkeeper raced from her line and cleared the ball for a throw in.
Shortly after it was Chelsea Van Bousch’s turn to try and take advantage of the through balls, this time delivered by Joanne Russell. Once again Cochrane’s concentration was spot on. She raced out to meet the oncoming threat and claimed the ball at Van Bousch’s feet.
Edinburgh’s pressure then told as, with 14 minutes gone, they found themselves in front. Kirsty Maden managed to pick the ball up on the edge of the penalty area and unleashed an unstoppable looping shot. The ball flew over Cochrane and Edinburgh had the early advantage in the game.
After this setback Dundee began to respond. Lea Kleinsorge made a great run down the right hand side before firing a cross into the box. The Edinburgh University ‘keeper, Charlotte Parker-Smith, was able to claim the ball in the air to snuff out any further danger.
A minute later Edinburgh went close to doubling their lead. Following a corner a goalmouth scramble ensued with numerous players attempting to divert the ball one way or another. Eventually the ball fell to the feet of Van Bousch, but she could only stab the ball just wide of the post.
As the game ticked into the 25th minute Dundee scored their equalizing goal. Edinburgh conceded a free kick about 35 yards from goal and Dundee’s Lauren Gray stepped up to take it. The centre back went straight for goal but was denied by Parker-Smith, who parried the ball onto the crossbar. Laura Ulsig was the most vigilant player in the penalty area and was the first to meet the loose ball. After superbly keeping her composure she duly dispatched the ball into the roof of the net to level the scores at 1-1. The game was well and truly on.
The next opportunity in the game fell to Ulsig, who very nearly doubled her goal tally. After making a superb run down the right hand side she fired a shot at goal looking for the top corner at the near post. Unfortunately for her she was only able to hit the frame of the goal and the ball went out for a goal kick.
The final chance before the half time break fell the way of Edinburgh University. Owens took a shot at goal after a coming in from the right wing but was denied by a great save from Cochrane. Joanne Russell was able to meet the rebound first but Cochrane was up once more to deny Edinburgh regaining the lead.