The lazy summer break came to an abrupt halt yesterday for Monifieth Reds when they found themselves up against a powerful and competitive Glasgow Girls side in the 4th round of the Scottish Cup at Riverview. This game turned out to be a superb spectacle for girls’ football with some tremendous individual performances in two excellent teams.
The match almost didn’t start in controversial circumstances when it transpired that no referee had been arranged. Hurried arrangements were put in place to ensure that the match could go ahead and that Monifieth wouldn’t forfeit the game which saw Glasgow Girls officials agree to play the play game with the provision that they would referee the match. This meant game on although a ‘real’ referee did turn up in time to take the second half.
From the off Glasgow Girls’ pace, power and precision passing seemed to take Monifieth Reds by surprise and the first few minutes saw them working hard to compete with their very confident and able opponents. It was the Reds however who took the lead when the ball was played from midfield up to Aimee Robertson on the halfway line who quickly turned and drove at the Glasgow defence before unleashing a screamer of a drive that powered into the net.
Glasgow Girls then had a sustained period of pressure that saw them take the lead with two goals that came from chances in the crowded Monifieth box. Glasgow went further ahead when one of their players lashed in a beautiful strike from a free kick that fairly pinged in the back of the net. Monifieth were aggrieved at this though as it was clear that their keeper, AJ Meach, was being impeded by a couple of opposition players just as the free-kick was struck.
Monifieth’s heads did not go down though and their determination to compete was evident as they pressed to get back in the game however half-time saw the score at 3-1 to Glasgow.
The second half saw tactical changes from both sides with Libby Forster being moved in to midfield for the Reds. This move helped change the game in favour of the home team and they gradually became the equal of their excellent opponents if not the slightly more dominant side as they pressed to get back in the game. Aimee Robertson and Kacey McCabe pressed the opponents defence at every opportunity, Liberty Whyte, Katie Shaw and Cally Taylor played tenaciously, Sasha Craig gave a stalwart defensive performance and AJ Meach stood firm in the face of a number of dangerous Glasgow attacks.
The game ended up on a knife-edge when Monifieth pulled a goal back. A foul on the competitive Libby Forster presented the Reds with a free-kick from almost 25 yards out. Aimee Robertson lined it up and fired in a fierce drive from the dead ball that flew towards goal only to be clawed away by the Glasgow keeper in to the path of Katie Shaw who was quickest to pounce and fire the ball home – 3-2 and game on!
The final 15 minutes were hugely exciting with parents from both clubs sportingly caught up in the competition they were watching. It must be said that some our friends from Glasgow had made some wrong decisions about clothing for their trip to ‘sunny’ Monifieth on the day however the excitement of the match had them all warmed up! 🙂
Although the Reds pressed and pressed for an equaliser with efforts off the bar by Libby Forster and two great chances taken off the toe of Kacey McCabe and a goal line block from Aimee Robertson that ended up in an old-fashioned goal mouth stramash the Glasgow team, and in particular their defence, stood firm and held out to the final whistle and passage in to the quarter-finals.
We wish Glasgow Girls all the very best for their next match in the Scottish Cup.
Huge applause though to the girls from Monifieth Reds whose performance possibly didn’t merit a defeat and whose Scottish Cup journey this year has been very exciting.
Match report from independent reporter from Youth Football Scotland can be accessed here.