Motherwell defeated Kilmarnock 2-0 in a top of the table clash to go five points clear at the top of the SWPL2 table.
The win at Braidhurst marked the third consecutive clean sheet for Eddie Wolecki Black’s side, as they continue to fight for promotion to the top flight of the women’s game.
However, it was the visitors that started the game more brightly, Clare Docherty was causing the ‘Well defence problems as she passed up two great opportunities to put Killie in front. Both were from one on ones, with Clare Johnstone in the Motherwell goal keeping them out.
As the game progressed, the women of steel eventually settled into the game and it became a well contested encounter with little separating the sides.
But at the tail end of the half, the Steelwomen flexed their attacking muscles and began to create the better chances of the half.
With 37 minutes played, Caitlin Russell was causing problems for the Killie defence on the left wing. She managed to fend off two defenders before working the ball to a shooting position, cutting in from the wing, with her driven shot flashing just wide of the post.
Just two minutes later it would be Russell who would break the deadlock for Motherwell. From a Hayley Cunningham corner, Russell towered above the Killie defence and powered her header home past the helpless keeper.
With the goal coming late on in the half, Motherwell would go into the interval ahead, despite Kilmarnock’s attempts to nick an equaliser just before the break.
The Fir Parkers came out for the second half looking the better side. Their early attacking pressure paid off when Cunningham slotted home Motherwell’s second of the match.
The former Scotland striker rounded off the perfect start to the second half for the ‘Well by finishing off a superbly worked goal after just two minutes played.
Captain Suzanne Mulvey done well to hold up the ball in the Kilmarnock box, fending off the defence before passing the ball back to the oncoming Cunningham to place in to the bottom right corner of the goal.
Straight from the kick off, Motherwell could’ve extended their lead with Lauryn Reside being played through for a one on one. Beating the offside line, she held up the Killie defence before letting fly her shot which unfortunately sailed just wide of the post.
What followed would be end to end attacking football for both sides, with the Motherwell defence withstanding the best Kilmarnock could throw at them.
On 63 minutes, Mulvey had the chance to put the game to bed. From a corner, she attempted a half volley from just inside the box, but she couldn’t keep the shot down as it flew over the bar and out for a goal kick.
The Steelwomen came close again from a free kick. Whipped in by Cunningham, Ashley Nicolson tried her best to flick the ball goalward, but the shot cannoned off the defender and Kilmarnock subsequently cleared.
As the game approached the final 15 minutes, Kilmarnock increased the tempo of the game by stepping up a gear to get back into the match. But despite their possession in the Motherwell half, they couldn’t find a way through to score.
With ten minutes to play, the ever dangerous Mulvey had another excellent opportunity to add to the Motherwell tally. Russell done brilliantly down the wing as she took it past two defenders to get her cross away at the byline and the cross would reach the feet of Mulvey, who couldn’t find the net.
Despite trailing, Kilmarnock had another excellent opportunity to get a goal back with nine minutes to play. The ‘Well defence was split open by a through ball in which Lauren Sloan got on the end of to find herself in on goal with another player in support. Despite this she opted to shoot and her shot was well saved by Johnstone.
It was yet another clean sheet for the resilient Motherwell defence, meaning its now 330 minutes since they last conceded a goal. Twinned with the clinical attacking prowess of the side, the ‘Well claimed what could be a vital three points.
Next up is Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale at Fir Park on Wednesday, 9 May.