Scottish Weekend Review

It was SWF Championship & League One Cup Semi-Final day yesterday. Here’s what happened at Airdrie (14/11/22).

Above: Dryburgh Athletic (claret and blue) battle it out with Rossvale. Photo: Kelly Nielson.

Dryburgh Athletic 3-0 Rossvale

Supplied by Scottish Women’s Football

Championship and League One Cup holders Dryburgh Athletic are through to the final once more, after a Megan Robb double and second half goal from Alma Codegoni saw off Glasgow side Rossvale in the semi-final in Airdrie.

With the ball moving quick from the off, it was Rossvale who looked brighter in the opening exchanges, with the sides trading possession in the midfield.

After four minutes, forward Joss Fletcher beat the last defender to find herself through on goal but put it just left of the post, a chance Rossvale would perhaps look back on as the opportunity which could have created some momentum.

At the other end, Rossvale keeper Rachel Docherty was alive to the threat from balls over the top for Codegoni and Chelsey Lownie to run onto.

But after 14 minutes, Dryburgh utilised the same counter attacking speed which had won them last year’s final, Megan Robb latching onto to an inch-perfect through ball from new signing Hannah Innes and made no mistake, taking her time to place a shot beyond Docherty.

Rossvale grafted their way into the box a number of times, but the Dryburgh backline led by an assured Sophie Aitken successfully crowded out first Fiona Cullie then Melissa Porter.

It was another quick counter-attack that gave Megan Robb the chance for her second, making no mistake after a solo run on the left to fire home on the 40-minute mark.

Rossvale dug in to win back initiative, and there was a scare for the Dundee side as Robb collapsed to the turf after a challenge late in the half but she was deemed OK to continue for now.

Rossvale started brightly in the second half, winning two free kicks from out on the right in quick succession, but again their forwards could not find room amongst the Dryburgh back line to get a touch on the deliveries.

Then another break by Dryburgh at the other end saw Rossvale concede a corner that they failed to deal with, leaving Alma Codegoni to slide in at the near post for Dryburgh’s third amid the maelstrom.

Rossvale responded by bringing on Rachel Ashe, Elise Weiringa and Louise McJacobs to see whether they might get more joy against the Dryburgh back line.

But as the game wore on the frustration from the Glasgow side showed. McJacobs received a talking to from the ref for an elbow in the back of Zoe Moreland, and Megan Robb was brought down with a clumsy tackle right in front of the dugouts on the 80-minute mark.

This was just after Robb had produced some trickery on the edge of the box on the hunt for her hat-trick, but it was not to be as she was unable to continue and required medical attention.

Neither side found much rhythm in the closing stages, Derrian Gollan breaking into the Rossvale box without managing to carve out a chance, and Lauren McCulloch in the Rossvale midfield cutting a frustrated figure as she tried to get the ball down and play.

Dryburgh now have another final to look forward to, with the Championship and League One Cup culminating in a showdown in Alloa on 11 December, and will be hoping their cup specialist Megan Robb recovers.

FC Edinburgh 4-2 Ayr United

Supplied by Scottish Women’s Football

Above: FC Edinburgh celebrate a goal against Ayr United. Photo: Alex Todd.

FC Edinburgh are through to the final of the Championship and League One cup after a tense 4-2 victory over Ayr United in the semi-final at Airdrie’s Excelsior stadium.

In a frantic game played at breathtaking speed, it was the capital club’s midfielders Danielle Forsyth, Emma Mitchell and Hannah Markley finding the scoresheet alongside forward Deborah Mcleod, amid a spirited response from Ayr United.

From the start Ayr United were timing their tackles well, but FC Edinburgh’s ferocious pace had the Championship side on the back foot from the off, with winger Jayden Simmons causing all kind of mischief on the right. On ten minutes, McLeod drifted past a defender on the same side and sent a cross across the box, with Edinburgh’s captain Forsyth drifting in at the back post to stroke it past Ayr keeper Mollie Mackenzie. Then five minutes later Emma Mitchell latched onto a ball on the edge of the box and rifled a volley in for Edinburgh’s second.

Ayr United worked to get back into the game, but with FC Edinburgh doubling up on Championship top scorer Rachel Scott, chances were limited. Edinburgh keeper Schenai Gamrot did well to get to a dipping free kick from Clare Docherty from distance on 24 minutes, with the rebound eluding the ever-dangerous Scott who had followed the ball in. Hannah Taysum got her head to a Docherty corner on 36 minutes but could not guide it towards goal.

At the other end, a corner landed at the feet of Forsyth at the back post again, but she blasted over the bar. A well-timed lob forward by Docherty gave Scott the space she had been looking for on forty minutes, the young Ayr striker producing a good finish to Gamrot’s right but the keeper dove acrobatically to palm the shot to safety. But Docherty would find the net two short minutes later, the ball rebounding her strike off the upright right back into her path for her to lash home and set up a competitive second half.

The second half continued the frantic pace, with both teams forcing each other into errors and fouls as a sense of frustration began to build. A clash of heads between Ayr’s Jodie Barbour and Hannah Markley on the hour mark saw both leave the field but able to return to play quickly.

Ayr defender Lauren McBlain saw yellow on 71 minutes for persistent fouling after twice body-checking the Edinburgh midfielder, but both sides were showing signs of frustration, the normally composed Mitchell skying a ball over the bar when she had had more time with twelve minutes to go.

A clever one-two between McLeod and Simmons carved open a great chance for Edinburgh to seal it, the cross finding McLeod unmarked on the penalty spot but she could only head into Mackenzie’s arms. But a similar cross from Simmons found Hannah Markley shortly after and she made no mistake for Edinburgh’s third.

Ayr surged forward with urgency, and found a reply within a minute, Jodie Barbour cutting through a goal-mouth scramble to poke the ball into the roof of the net from point-blank range.

But Jayden Simmons’ pace outdid Ayr again at the death, as the winger kept the ball in play on the touchline and threaded the ball into the path of Deborah Mcleod, who had ample time to place the ball into the net and send the SWF League One leaders into the final.

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