A DEPLETED Inverurie team lined up against GCW 2nds on Saturday, but the home side started the match very strongly.
Captain Mhairi Johnston took the lead with a strong push from the start down the left wing before a strong challenge from the visiting defence saw the ball pushed out of play.
The sideline ball found Simpson clear and good passing found M Johnston free in the circle and she slotted the ball past the keeper to open the scoring.
The restart saw the visitors combine well finding an opening on the left side before sending a strong ball to the top of the scoring circle. Indecision in the Inverurie defence saw the clearance fall to a GCW forward who finished cleanly to level the match.
Taking the advantage again Shearer was found in good space and she deftly passed three players before passing to Spence but the attempt was blocked. The match progressed with the home team showing no signs of being a player down.
Inverurie won a penalty corner and Simpson’s hit-out found Shearer who found Simpson on the return pass resulting in a second goal for the defending league champions.
Spurred on by the advantage Inverurie kept the pressure up and Holdsworth won the ball before delivering a fine pass up the right wing to Shearer. GCW again cleared their lines and pushed goalward but steady defensive work from Mitchell, Thomson and Beaton kept the home side ahead.
A Mitchell free hit to Johnston saw space open up on the left before she cleverly crossed to Simpson who found Spence. This push saw Inverurie once again on target with a goal from Shearer a minute before half-time, to make the score 3-1.
The second half started quickly and the visitors pushed toward the Inverurie goal but Simpson and M Johnston combined well to regain the ball and a run from Donaldson saw advantage return to the home side.
The match continued to move between both sides, but Inverurie were determined not to let the visitor’s one player advantage count. Douglas kept her goal clear kicking a shot on goal to safety relieving the early pressure.
The sideline ball saw GCW move the ball from midfield to their forward line but Thomson relieved the opposition of the ball following a well timed tackle, and found Spence in space who made headway through the centre of the field before finding Shearer free. Her goalward run was halted by a well timed interception, but the GCW team failed to capitalise on their extra player.
A push toward the Inverurie goal found Mitchell well positioned to stop the strike on goal, before she cleared the danger. GCW continued to work hard, but the home team held strong and C Johnston again took control and cleared to Holdsworth on the right wing, who found Shearer, but the visitors regained possession after the ball passed out of play.
The Inverurie defence worked well and managed to thwart the final push by GCW and ran out deserved winners on the day. The team now look to the crunch match with Aberdeen Ladies on Saturday, March 12, at 1pm at Strathburn Park, Inverurie.
Inverurie Ladies 1st XI: Donna Douglas, Raeleen Thomson, Marlene Mitchell, Carol Johnston, Mhairi Johnston, Susan Simpson, Fiona Spence, Angie Shearer, Emma Donaldson, Phillipa Holdsworth