Motherwell will take on Hibernian in the final of the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup after a fantastic 3-1 victory over Spartans at Forthbank.
130-times capped midfielder Megan Burns headed the women of steel ahead after 15 minutes before Spartans’ Tegan Reynolds blasted home from close range to level the scores.
‘Well headed into the game as underdogs against their SWPL1 opponents, but the early stages demonstrated a much closer encounter was on the cards than some may have anticipated.
There were little chances of note before the opening goal arrived after 15 minutes, Burns rising to meet Kirsty McLaughlin’s corner and her header struck Dion McMahon before spinning over the head of Rachel Harrison and into the net.
After falling behind, Spartans responded well, and Reynolds passed up a good opportunity before getting on the scoresheet, coolly converting Elena Santoyo-Brown’s cross beyond Kendall Welsh.
At the other end, the creative spark of Santoyo-Brown was causing problems for the Motherwell backline and Reynolds was showing a desire to add to her tally.
The second half began perfectly poised and Donald Jennow’s side were facing the biggest 45 minutes of their season.
They made the perfect start when McLaughlin’s corner found Montgomery, who after seeing her first header blocked, reacted quickest to steer the ball home and put ‘Well in front.
Suzanne Mulvey shot wide of the target before Spartans almost levelled for a second time when Stephanie Briggs’ header beat Welsh but not the crossbar.
Russell replaced Montgomery and debutant Katey Turner came on for Hare as Jennow looked to add some fresh legs into his hard-working side and it proved to be a masterstroke by the ‘Well boss.
Turner did brilliantly to cross for Russell and the winger made no mistake in heading home from close range.
Russell’s delight was clear for all to see and she was mobbed by her teammates after scoring the goal that all but secured a place in the final.
Spartans continued to battle to find a way back into the game, but the solid Motherwell backline, including Emma Black, Lesley Condie, Maxine Welsh and Ashley Nicolson, refused to be breached and the final whistle sparked more scenes of celebration among the players, staff and supporters.
Having already lifted the SWPL2 championship, the team will now set their sights on securing a quite incredible double when they face Hibs at Firhill on Sunday, November 4.
Images: Ben Kearney