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Stirling University secure Women's Cup after impressive win over Edinburgh

University of Stirling 2

McKay 24, Simpson 65

Edinburgh University 0

  • Wednesday, 04 April 2018
  • Lesser Hampden
  • College & University
  • Scottish Student Sport's Women's Cup

The University of Stirling retained the coveted Scottish Students Women’s Cup of 2018, after defeating Edinburgh University 2-0 at Lesser Hampden.

It was a terrific display from Stirling, who, after an initial early scare after Edinburgh raced out the traps, ended up controlling the game well through an impressive midfield display.

In the end, a goal from Ellie Simpson added to a first-half goal direct from a corner from Beth McKay to secure the title for Stirling.

Stirling had hammered Glasgow University 4-0 in the semi-finals, but it was Edinburgh who came out strong in the first 10 minutes.

Edinburgh knocked out St Andrew’s University on penalties in the semi-finals, and Rebecca Gray had their first shot of the afternoon when her low effort was well held by the impressive Chloe Logan.

The conditions made things difficult for both sides, but there was an eagerness from both to keep the ball on the deck and play attractive, passing football.

Jordan Doak showed good endeavour to win the ball high up the park for Edinburgh, and laid it off to Margaux Durand-Watson. The number 10 had a strike from 20 yards out, but Logan again was equal to it.

Doak was looking lively in the first 20 minutes, and fed Beth MacLeod with a lovely through ball. However, her low strike was tremendously blocked again by Logan.

MacLeod was showing some lovely touches around the box, but Edinburgh really lacked a killer instinct in front of goal in the first half hour.

And they were punished on 24 minutes. Beth McKay curled in wicked corner, and Parker-Smith could only parry the ball into her own net. It was a rotten piece of luck for an Edinburgh side who started extremely well.

There was a zip to Stirling going forward after their early opener. They were looking to exploit the flanks after the first and really took the game to Edinburgh.

In contrast, Edinburgh looked sapped, and that early energy they were showing in the final third wasn’t on display after the opener. Too many loose passes were going back into Stirling University’s hands.

Chances, however, were at a premium for both sides before the break. Kim Guthrie had a pot-shot from 20 yards that was easily gathered by Parker-Smith.

Half-time would arrive with Stirling firmly in control, but with both sides still looking for additional cutting-edge in the final third.

  • Half Time:
  • University of Stirling
  • 1-0
  • Edinburgh University

Stirling switched to a back three at the start of the second half, with Rebecca Foote coming on for Taylor Watson.

Yet, the second half started the same way the first ended, with Stirling firmly in control and keeping Edinburgh at bay. As well as that, Stirling were putting on a high press, with Taylor Watson and Guthrie chasing down many lost causes to unsettle the Edinburgh back-line.

Edinburgh deserve credit for failing to fall into the trap, however, not gifting Stirling any defensive blunders as they stayed well in the game.

The problem for Edinburgh, however, was that they just weren’t getting enough joy in the Stirling half. MacLeod and Doak weren’t having the same impact as they were in the first half, but remained full of endeavour in their quest for an equaliser.

The game seemed to be petering out at 1-0, but Stirling stormed into a 2-0 lead to really grab the Women’s Cup by the scruff of the neck.

A corner was initially cleared by the Edinburgh defence, but Simpson's shot from 25 yards just had too much power on it for Parker-Smith, who could only parry the shot into the net.

McKay immediately came close to providing a third, when she zipped a tremendous low cross across the face of goal. Despite Stirling’s forwards racing towards goal, none could get a touch on McKay’s inviting delivery.

It seemed as though Stirling would control the final 20 minutes with ease at 2-0, but Edinburgh found a gear to turn the screw.

Firstly, MacLeod showed great movement to latch onto Lucy Stanton’s long ball, but Logan again shut down the space for MacLeod to block the shot.

Doak was next to have a pop with a dipping volley from 25 yards, but Logan caught it with ease before again denying MacLeod from close-range after she poked Doak’s cross towards goal.

A bizarre moment saw Edinburgh awarded an in-direct free-kick after Logan appeared to pick the ball up after dropping it. However, determined blocking from the Stirling wall meant that Edinburgh remained goal-less.

Doak showed clever feed to create space just outside the box afterwards, but her left-footed effort was well held again by Logan.

Up the other end, Stirling nearly put the icing on the cake when Rachel Armstrong roamed forward and fired a powerful effort towards goal that had to be tipped over impressively by Parker-Smith.

A low effort from Sophie Boeckh drifted wide in the game’s last piece of action for Edinburgh.

It was a spirited second-half display from Edinburgh, but it would be Stirling that would see the game out well and deservedly win the Women’s Cup of 2018 - making it back-to-back titles in a row.

  • Full Time:
  • University of Stirling
  • 2-0
  • Edinburgh University

Lineups

University of Stirling
Edinburgh University
1. Chloe Logan
3. Ciara Bonner
6. Courtney Ward
7. Rachel Armstrong
8. Katy Morris
10. Taylor Watson
11. Beth McKay
12. Rachel Donaldson
15. Morgan Albertson
16. Amy Rafferty
17. Rebecca Foote
18. Demi Falconer
19. Alexandra Wells
20. Kim Guthrie
23. Ellie Simpson
1. Charlotte Parker-Smith
2. Cecilia Bosman
3. Laila Jul-Dam
4. Jane Marshall
5. Lucy Stanton
6. Katie MacDonald
7. Rebecca Gray
8. Krissy Williams
9. Beth MacLeod
10. Margaux Durand-Watson
11. Jordan Doak
12. Sarah Thompson
13. Amy Schmoys
14. Sophie Boeckh
15. Tegan Reynolds
16. Katie McCabe
Star Player
University of Stirling
Edinburgh University
Chloe Logan - The University of Stirling goalkeeper made a variety of big saves throughout the match to keep Stirling in control. When Edinburgh had their spells on top, Logan kept them at bay to refuse Edinburgh any entry back into the game. It was a commanding display from the thoroughly impressive young goalkeeper.
Jordan Doak - It was a tough day for Edinburgh, but all things positive went through Doak. She was always pressing the Stirling defence and set-up a couple of chances in either half. Tested Logan on a coupe of occasions but was thwarted. A positive afternoon for Doak despite the result.
Magic Moment
University of Stirling
Edinburgh University
A lovely run from Armstrong towards the end was probably the most skillful piece of play from Stirling throughout the match. Picking the ball up in midfield, she raced forward and forced Parker-Smith into a top save.
The things that were good about Edinburgh was evident in a first-half moment in particular. At 0-0, Edinburgh's pressing resulted in Doak winning the ball high up. After laying a lovely ball on to Durand-Watson, the advanced forward fired a shot that was well held by Logan. It was a lovely, determined piece of play by Edinburgh.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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