*

editorial image

Coming off the back of two successive heavy defeats, Buchan Ladies might have been seen as an easy afternoon’s work for Hamilton Accies but the local team had other ideas.

Both teams opened brightly and were guilty of squandering chances in the first twenty minutes.

After another quick break, the ball came back to Lydia Johnston at the edge of the box. Side stepping one defender she kept her cool to rifle the ball past the Accies keeper to put the Buchan Ladies into the lead.

The visitors continued to be posted absent in front of the home goal while Buchan counter-attacked and created a couple more good chances. Hamilton broke their duck when captain Cheryl McCulloch broke through to slot the ball low past home keeper Becky Flaherty.

Two minutes later Hamilton striker Karen McInally had a brilliantly headed goal disallowed, much to the relief of the hard worked Buchan defence. However this was only a period of grace and in first half injury time Hamilton were awarded a penalty which Ainsley Douglas blasted home. From going at half time with a one goal lead, Buchan trooped off lucky to be only two-one down.

Within ten minutes of the restart, Buchan Ladies were staring defeat squarely in the face as Hamilton scored twice. Again it was Cheryl McCulloch who curled a beautiful shot into the top corner of the net from outside the box.

Five minutes later a dubious penalty was awarded to Hamilton after Buchan captain Linsey Cruden was adjudged to have made contact with the Hamilton striker. Converting her second penalty of the day, Ainsley Douglas gave keeper Flaherty no chance. Throughout the match Buchan Ladies had not been able to match the physical presence of the visitors but this all changed after Hamilton’s fourth goal.

Buchan’s international striker Hannah Stewart, who had been causing problems for the visitors all afternoon slotted home a low shot to begin to make the score respectable. From being also rans earlier, Buchan started to win the important challenges in midfield. Five minutes later the home side were awarded a penalty and Hannah Stewart made no mistake, placing the ball well wide of the diving keeper. The home side were starting to show a distinct self belief and although Hamilton were still going forward it was Buchan who looked the stronger team.

With three penalties already awarded during the game, the referee decided to even things up and it was Buchan Ladies turn to be awarded the spot kick for another innocuous challenge. Once more it was Hannah Stewart who showed composure well beyond her years to place the ball into the same side of the net as her previous effort.

The sun was shining on Buchan Ladies at Maud and with two minutes of injury time remaining Hannah Stewart broke free of the Hamilton defence and, as the keeper came out to challenge, clipped the ball past her and into the net.