League Cup hopes blown off course in Granite City

2O2A9345Spartans League Cup hopes were blown away at a blustery Sunnybank after a three goal spell inside the opening 17 minutes sent Aberdeen well on their way to the semi finals at Ainslie Park.


It might have been a different outcome for the depleted Spartans side had Rebecca Flaherty not pawed away Michelle Russell’s 7th minute net bound shot to keep her goal intact. 

With the wind advantage plus Spartans keeper Eartha Cumings facing the Granite City sun, it was the hosts who delivered a triple whammy in an eight minute frenzy.
Dons skipper Rachael Small was on hand to head home at the far post after Shannon McGregor squeezed in a cross tight on the bye-line.
Five minutes later, Aberdeen doubled their lead. Nikki Smith benefitted from the ball being won in midfield and she drove a low strike into the bottom corner out of Cumings’ reach.
Then, in the 20th minute, Small made it a double & her side’s third when she converted Cheryl Anderson’s cross.
On the half hour mark, Spartans attempt to take one of the semi final berths at their home ground were made more challenging when Dion McMahon’s attempted clearance unfortunately found its way past Cumings and into the net.
The remainder of the half saw Spartans rally, desperate to find a way back into the tie before the break.
HT: Aberdeen 4-0 Spartans
The second half began with a change for the visitors, with Jen Malone replacing Louise Mason.
There was to be a quick change on the scoreboard too when McGregor controlled a Small pass before dispatching home the Dons 5th of the afternoon with 45 seconds of the restart.
Spartans looked to salvage some pride and a series of corners from Alana Marshall almost carve open an opportunity to get a quick response
That patience finally paid off with twenty minutes to go with arguably the goal of the game. A Michelle Russell back heel saw Alana Marshall open up a space and let fly from 25 yards. Her shot sailed over Flaherty to make it 5-1.
Moments after the re-start, Jamie Lee Smith replaced Dani Pagliarulo. It didn’t take long for the teenager to make her mark, with a timely challenge in her own box, preventing the home from restoring their five goal advantage.
A final attempt by Bobbie Beveridge came close to reducing the deficit further, only to watch her venomous shot whizz across the face of the goal and head behind.
Full Time: Aberdeen 5-1 Spartans