It was a busy weekend for the Ladies Firsts with a home fixture against a strong Inverleith on Saturday to be followed by a Cup Tie in Edinburgh to face ESM recently relegated into National League 2.
Saturday proved to be a bizarre game. The girls started very brightly and were nothing short of dominant for the first 7 minutes. In 8 minutes however an Inverleith breakaway took advantage of some slack concertation in the home defence to take the lead with their first entrance into the GCW circle. This appeared to unnerve the GCW girls and they found themselves down 2-0 three minutes later after poor efforts to clear their own circle. So the momentum was clearly with the Edinburgh side but just to confuse matters Jen Smith defending her own 23 fired a long ball to Hannah Lawrie on the other 23. Hannah coolly defeated the sole defender before rounding the keeper and placing the ball home.
Despite now getting themselves into the game the GCW side then conceded a corner and again failed to clear convincingly and suddenly Inverleith had restored their two goal lead. Then back up the other end and a GCW short corner was rebounded to Katy Smith who sealed her debut with a fine struck shot to get the game back to 3-2. As the half was dwindling GCW again failed to sort themselves out and Inverleith were able to re-establish a 4-2 lead.
The second half was boring by comparison with Inverleith having more of the play but GCW finding some solid defence. With 15 minutes remaining however Inverleith produced the final goal of the afternoon.
On the Sunday a side bereft of a few senior players travelled to take on ESM in Edinburgh. Given the previous day’s performance and the travelling squad of 13 the day was about gaining experience and improving on the Saturday. The weakness in defence seemed to be still their on the Sunday as ESM had several early chances to take the lead but continued to miss the target. In 20 minutes however it looked like the trend was set when a well struck corner found its way into the GCW net. Despite the score the GCW midfield were passing the ball around quite confidently and Jen Smith and Jess Barr were proving to be a handful for the home defence. In 25 minutes the game turned when a corner was rebounded out and then squared to Jess Barr who calmly netted her first team debut goal. ESM came back however and again went ahead from a solid strike.
The second half started very brightly by GCW and it looked as though the Edinburgh side were tiring as Mille Skidmore marshalled her midfield to take full advantage. Ten minutes in and a fine GCW goal. A hit towards the circle from Jen Smith was met by Jess Barr leading to the ball. The first time touch took the ball away from the defender and then Jess cooly defeated the keeper to make it 2-2. At this point Jen Tait and Jess Barr were leading the line brilliantly and a constant thorn in the Erskine’s defence. However as the pressure mounted a breakaway saw ESM take a 3-2 lead. The last 15 minutes were frantic with the GCW girls unprepared to accept defeat. However it looked like the goal would not come but in the last two minutes of the game Millie Skidmore broke into the right hand side of the circle her shot was blocked (and maybe Millie kicked the ball) however she picked up the rebound and ran along the baseline before squaring for Jess Barr to net her third of the day.
And so to penalty flicks a promising start when Isobel saved the first Erskine penalty and Heather Curry Scored for GCW but no more GCW goals meant a 3-1 win on penalties for the home side.The travelling crowd were happy as was the coach and team and it proved a fine way to end a tough weekend. The plate here we come.