Published: 9th November 2023
A late winner secured all three points for Dundee United Women on Wednesday night against Spartans at a cold Ainslie Park.
Despite falling behind to a Lauren Berman strike, rockets from Rachel Todd and Cassie Cowper completed a turnaround in the second half.
The Team Talk
The only ‘change’ of any sort in the starting XI was that of Fiona McNicoll’s second debut after playing as a trialist, with Georgie Robb and Celtic loan duo Keira Chuter and Abbie Cusack returning to the bench.
The opening fifteen minutes was never going to be a spell that was memorable for anyone in attendance as neither side could carve out a shot on goal.
Spartans broke the deadlock with the first opportunity of the game in the 18th minute when Lauren Berman received the ball on the left wing before cutting in and sending a 25 yard strike past McNicoll.
Alana Marshall tried her luck with a free kick shortly after this, the hosts’ captain failing to keep her set-piece from going over the bar.
United’s first chance came in the 24th minute; Leah Sidey seeing her shot blocked after a corner and the ball fell to Summer Christie who saw her long range effort held by Johnstone.
Hannah Jordan came close for the hosts shortly before the break as United went in a goal down.
INTO THE BREAK
United started the second half off well but couldn’t break down a determined Spartans defence.
At the other end United were just as hard to break down, reducing Spartans to a long range strike that was gathered with ease.
A deserved equaliser came just after the hour mark and it was a fantastic effort from Rachel Todd.
The skipper picked the ball up from Robyn Smith on the halfway line, raced forward before cutting in from the right and sending a fantastic strike into the top corner via the post.
Seven minutes later Summer Christie fired over when Cassie Cowper’s free kick fell to her inside the box.
Spartans sub Mya Bates looked to carve space open for herself inside the area but couldn’t keep her effort down after doing so.
The hosts’ keeper Johnstone had to look sharp to deny a long range effort from Todd as the game eked into the dying stages.
The game looked to be heading for a draw but two minutes into injury time United found a late winner.
Jo Fraser was fouled 25 yards from goal and Cassie Cowper stepped up to take the set piece, sending a wonderful strike over Johnstone and in off the crossbar.
The remainder of added time felt like forever but United remained strong to take all three points and put themselves above the hosts in the league table.
This coming Sunday they return to Edinburgh to take on Hibernian in the Sky Sports Cup quarter final.
McNicoll, Frew, Wilson, Jameison, Bruce, Smith (Murphy 90+3), Todd (Fraser 89), Sidey (Robb 70), Christie (Cusack 89), Cowper, Knight (Noble 46)
Goals: Todd 62’, Cowper 90+2’