Motherwell Ladies tightened their grip on top spot of the SWPL2 table with an excellent 7-2 victory over Central Girls at Alloa’s Indodrill Stadium.
It is the ninth successive league win for the women of steel, who have now netted 46 times in their opening 10 league fixtures.
They had to do things the hard way however, after falling behind inside the opening minute when Kim McAlpine struck a superb dipping effort into the roof of Clare Johnstone’s net.
Eddie Wolecki Black’s side responded brightly with Suzanne Mulvey, Sammy Hare and Lauryn Reside all coming close, before Hare levelled just after the 20 minute mark – glancing home Hayley Cunningham’s pinpoint free kick.
Two minutes later, Motherwell completed the turnaround. Mulvey linked with Kirsty McLaughlin, who did brilliantly to release Reside. She angled a shot beyond the keeper that found the net off the inside of the post for her first goal of the season.
With four minutes remaining of the first half, ‘Well went 3-1 ahead. Cunningham’s cross was nodded on by Caitlin Russell and then Niamh Johnston, before a mix-up in the Central defence ended with Shaney McCabe heading into her own net.
It was harsh on the hosts who had more than held their own in a fiercely contested first half, but it wasn’t to be the end of the action. A minute before half time, Abbie Callaghan’s free kick wasn’t cleared by the Motherwell defence and Kimberley-Anne McAlpine lashed the ball into the net from the edge of the box.
After conceding early and late in the first 45 minutes, it was imperative Motherwell were quick out of the traps as the second half began. They managed to do exactly that, scoring within the first 90 seconds.
Russell did well to cut back for Hare, who was denied by an excellent stop. But ‘Well were quick to react and McLaughlin laid the ball back to Cunningham to guide a low effort beyond the keeper.
‘Well were playing with great intensity, so it came as little surprise on 55 minutes when the persistence of Reside in closing down what seemed like a lost cause was rewarded by a poor error in the Central defence. Hare was alert to pounce on the loose ball before blasting into the empty net to stretch the lead to 5-2.
Having played a big role in Motherwell’s attacking threat, Russell got into scoring act with 20 remaining – firing home after the home defence failed to deal with Cunningham’s dangerous corner. The provider of the sixth would then close the scoring on 76 minutes when she converted Mulvey’s cross.
The visitors continued to threaten and Megan Burns would rattle the crossbar in the closing stages and although there were no further goals, little could take the shine off what was a superb second half display from Motherwell.
Motherwell now maintain their eight-point advantage at the top of the table and – not for the first time – demonstrated their ability to fightback from a goal behind.
Next up is a trip north to face Aberdeen next Sunday.