SWPL2: Swifts fight back in vain

Swifts travelled to Herriot Watt looking to continue their recent form and test themselves against a strong Hearts side.

In a well-contested match it was Hearts who were to prevail getting their rewards for a strong first half performance.

The game started at great pace with the young Hearts side moving the ball well and threatening from the wide areas.

However Cochran was performing well and the Swifts were working tirelessly to prevent the pressure turning into goals. It was to be in vain however when Strachan was dispossessed and Carse showed great feet to beat off McDonald and plant a great left foot curling shot into the top corner. It was a deserved lead for the home side who had kept the Swifts on the back foot for most of the first 30mins. Just before half-time the woodwork came to the rescue when a shot came off one post and then struck the other before Cochran collected.

HT: Hearts 1 Swifts 0

Swifts will have been disappointed in their lack of goal efforts but nobody could fault the discipline and effort that they had shown in the opening 45 with Leiper and Martin defending bravely in the centre of defence. Coach McCrindle was looking for more patience in possession in order to get a foothold in the game.

The second half proved much more even. Hearts thought they had scored but it was ruled out for handlball but then shortly afterwards they did so when a great run down the right and the inviting cut back was side-footed home by Anderson. This was tough on the Swifts who had provided more of a threat in the second period.

This was to be a test of character and the Perth side passed with flying colours. Young Cowie had been introduced and was proving a very real threat and McIntyre was now holding the ball up and bringing her teammates into play. As a result the Swifts were now a threat and were rewarded when Cowie stole down the right and her excellent cut-back was struck home by the impressive McDonald for her 8th of the season. An excellent return for a player who in enjoying an outstanding season.

Swifts now had their tails up MacLean was dictating play and were pressing for an equaliser. Fleming and Irvine had been introduced and Swifts threw caution to the wind.

It was however not to be as despite a flurry of corners and throws Hearts defended well and saw the game out.

FT: Hearts 2 Swifts 1

It was entertaining game played in great spirit and both teams deserve great credit for that. Hearts deserved the win for the possession they enjoyed and the quality they showed in their finishing. Swifts however showed great character in a much-improved second half where they performed with more confidence in possession and should take encouragement for this display. One goal defeats to the top three sides shows how well the team has been performing and what they can achieve if they continue to develop as a team and individually.

Coach McCrindle saw the positives "Firtsly I want to congratulate Hearts on the win. I have huge respect for them and the way they play and for Grant - he's a great coach. From my point of view we can talk about systems, formations, shape etc but I want to talk about our players. I am so proud of every one of them. Yes we lost 2-1 but they deserve an unbelievable amount of credit for the work rate and the effort they gave today. It was a hard shift but I have an honest hard working group of players who should be proud of their efforts today. We had 5 missing and had a bench with 2 U15s and 2 U17s who were there on merit. This is a great group of players and I hope they start getting the credit they deserve.

Reported by Steve Grossi

Picture: Jeanfield Swifts

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