SWPL: Hamilton Academical leapfrog Hearts in battle for promotion

By Andrew SouthwickBBC Scotland at the Hope CBD Stadium
SWPL 2 top four

Hamilton Academical moved into top spot in SWPL 2 with a comprehensive 3-0 win over promotion rivals Glasgow Girls.

Kirstie McIntosh, MT Gardiner and Dionne Brown all scored in a dominant 90 minutes.

That moved them above Hearts - who lost at the weekend to Dundee United - with those two sides and Glasgow Girls all just one point behind Hamilton.

"There's pressure in every game if you want promotion because it's so cut throat," said head coach Gary Doctor.

"It was a good performance. We were frustrated we didn't have more goals at half-time, but I felt that our will and the condition of the players would see us through in the end and it was a really good win."

In SWPL 1, leaders Glasgow City celebrated having five players named in Shelley Kerr's Scotland squad for the World Cup with a 3-0 win over Stirling University.

Hibs, still on a high from their SWPL Cup win last week, beat Motherwell 7-1 to move back into second spot on goal difference, with Celtic only managing a 2-0 win against Spartans.

Clare Gemmell scored direct from a corner for Rangers as they held off a late fightback from Forfar Farmington to win 3-2.

SWPL 2 club Hutchison Vale, meanwhile, have been fined £1000 for failing to fulfil their fixture against Kilmarnock on 28 April. The Ayrshire side have been awarded a 3-0 win.

Hungrier

Accies began the night two points behind Glasgow Girls and having played a game more.

That gave the home side all the motivation they needed in what is a wafer-thin battle for the one promotion spot and they took control of the game right from the start.

Nina Fitzsimmons and Megan Quigley had early chances, while captain Amy Anderson should have burst the net when she was left all alone in the box, but she put her effort wide.

A goal was inevitable and McIntosh delivered it when she rolled the ball in from just outside the area.

Brown headed off a post before the break with Accies not quite making their dominance tell. Despite their first half struggle, the visitors were still very much in the game.

But that changed after the break. With those in red and white hoops queuing up at the back post, Gardiner added a low finish to a cross from the right.

From out of nothing, though, Glasgow Girls almost found a foothold in the game, with Emma Portious' free-kick hitting the crossbar.

Minutes later and Brown added a glorious finish - holding off a defender then looping the ball over the goalkeeper from the edge of the box.

Doctor's side kept up the pressure even with the points safe. Danielle Connolly had a shot saved from point-blank range and Brown got on the end of a sweeping team move but put her effort wide.