Following last week’s disappointing away loss to Westerlands, St Roch’s were looking to bounce back against a Motherwell side sitting two points ahead of them in the league.
Above From Left To Right: Goal Scorers Steph McManus and Mags McKenna, while provider and skipper Kate McManus is pictured on the right during the team’s pre-match warm up.
Candy Rock set out in a determined mood and made the best possible start after winning a corner within the opening 5 minutes. Skipper Kate McManus stepped up to send a high ball into the danger area, where Mags McKenna was quickest to react, chested the ball down and crashed the ball in at the ‘keeper’s near post.
The early goal unsettled the visitors and it looked like St Roch’s might increase their advantage as they cut the visitors defence open several times in quick succession. However, the final ball just wasn’t clicking for the home side, and frustration started to creep into their play.
While Motherwell struggled hard to get back into the game, their tactic of playing the long ball through was easily and repeatedly swept up by Sarah Rhind, who was on top form in the home goal.
Five minutes before the break, Motherwell levelled the scores when they punished St Roch’s for a moment of carelessness on the right flank which allowed the visitors to race in behind the defence and drive the ball home from a tight angle.
Half Time: St. Roch’s Ladies 1-1 Motherwell Development.
This was shaping up to be a tight game but again it was St Roch’s who opened the stronger when they won a corner on the right within a few minutes of the re-start. Skipper McManus stepped up and sent yet another dangerous delivery into the penalty area.
With the ball bobbling about, St Roch’s striker, Caz Docherty, did well to get a shot away from the edge of the box only to see it blocked as Motherwell threw defenders in front of the ball. The loose ball fell nicely for centre back Steph McManus twenty yards out and she didn’t think twice before sending a low drive home at the left-hand post with the aid of a slight deflection.
The game see-sawed back and forth as the visitors’ tried to claw their way back level, while St Roch’s looked to kill the game off. The home defence put in a disciplined second half performance and never really looked in any serious trouble.
The tireless running from the midfield of McDonald, McManus, Lovat and Wright made life extremely difficult for the visitors. Going forward, Docherty and McKenna went close with shots but while both teams gave everything looking for that vital next goal, the score line remained unchanged.
The result moves St Roch’s ahead of Motherwell and into fourth place. Next week, they face a tough away trip to Stenhousemuir.
Reported by St Roch's Ladies
Pictures: St Roch's Ladies