Swifts welcomed Glasgow Girls back to Perth for one of two all-SWPL2 Scottish Quarter Finals. It was the visitors who again edged the Swifts out in what was an outstanding cup tie.
Swifts started in great form and were dominant. Fox was first to show with a great run down the left, beating three defenders cutting in and firing a shot that tested the keeper. McGinley and Fox were both threatening and it was McGinley who then came close with a good strike and then McDonald forced another good save. McGinley broke through again shortly afterwards, rounded the keeper and her cut back found Fox whose shot was cleared off the line. McDonald was then close to breaking the deadlock when she flicked a header which was saved and then Foote who was driving up the right to great effect swung in a great cross which was headed over by Fox.
It was a whirlwind start from the Swifts but for all their play and chances created they had not taken advantage and on 17mins were made to pay when Hardie popped up inside right and struck a brilliant lob from 30 yards over Cochran. This goal was tough on Swifts who had been the better team. The goal galvanised Glasgow and they then had their best spell of the game with McManus starting to have an effect and she was thwarted by a brilliant Cochran block when through.
However just as it looked like Glasgow were going to add to their lead Swifts came storming back in style. Awarded a free kick 25 yards out Shaw stepped up and smashed an unstoppable swerving shot round the wall and into the top corner. It was an outstanding goal matched by the impressive celebration. Swifts were now back on top and after a flurry of corners Martin was denied a clear header and the referee pointed to the spot. McGinley stepped up and slotted home a great penalty under pressure. It was a frantic end to a great first half and emotions got the better of Glasgow Head Coach Paterson who was sent to the stand (or rather his car!)
HT Jeanfield Swifts 2 Glasgow Girls 1
Swifts will have been delighted with their first half. They had dominated most of it with great intensity and some excellent football and had taken a slight but deserved lead into the break. They knew however that they faced a tough second half.
After the intensity of the first half the second started in a more sedate and scrappy fashion. Glasgow however were starting to exert pressure and the play was now heading towards Swifts goal. The home side were however dealing with most of what was sent their way. However as the game looked like it may drift it was turned on its head in 3 minutes when firstly on 68mins McTear broke down the left behind Foote and before Martin could get across she crashed a shot inside Cochran's near post. Within a few minutes Glasgow took the lead when Evans was released in behind, rounded Cochran and calmly side footed home from an acute angle. The game had completely turned in these few minutes and a shocked Swifts were on the ropes.
To their credit however they came storming back and McGinley powered through only to see her outstretched shot hit the keeper. She wasn't to be denied however when with only 13mins remaining she collected a pass, turned her marker and struck a left foot shot from the edge of the box across the keeper.
It was a great response from Swifts and the game was now end-to-end and anybody's to be won. As the game entered the last few minutes it was Evans who decided it. First she took advantage of a mishit clearance and drove into the box and took advantage of some hesitancy in the Swifts defence and a few deflections to prod the ball home. With the game running out Swifts threw caution to the wind and in the last minute Evans chased a long ball and lobbed home for her hat trick.
FT Jeanfield Swifts 3 Glasgow Girls 5
This was a great match and Swifts will have been devastated to have put so much into the game to ultimately lose out in the closing minutes. Glasgow however showed a great attitude in coming back from a difficult first half to equalise and then take the lead again after being pegged back. As in the last game between the sides it was the ever-alert Evans who inflicted the fatal wounds to Swifts.
Head Coach McCrindle was philosophical "It's difficult to put into words my feelings. I'm both disappointed but also incredibly proud of the girls. That first half was the best we had played this season, the only disappointment was that it was only 2-1. We knew they would throw everything at us and to their credit they did. We huffed and puffed in the 2nd half but just ran out of legs and lost a couple of goals late on. It's been an incredible run and we are wanting more days like today for the club and the players themselves"
Reported by Steve Grossi
Picture: Jeanfield Swifts