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Park’s Motor Group SWPL Team of the Week – 14th May
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- SWPL 2
Team of the Week from games played from Wednesday 10th to Sunday 14th May.
Written by Jack Donnelly
Goalkeeper – Annalisa McCann (Aberdeen)
Aberdeen saw out two matches decided by very narrow margins over the last week, with goalkeeper McCann making sure the Dons remained competitive across the 180 minutes. The 18-year-old kept Dundee United at bay, making four saves, before doing everything she could to keep Aberdeen alive in their 2-1 loss to Hamilton, as she made six saves. McCann was also an important part of the Dons’ progression, as she misplaced just two of her short passes out from the back across both games, with her efforts contributing to Aberdeen securing their place in the top flight for next season.
Defender – Caitlin Armstrong (Boroughmuir Thistle)
Boroughmuir Thistle did what they had to do on Sunday – their win over East Fife kept them within touching distance of the Park’s Motor Group SWPL playoff place, with Armstrong making sure things were neat and tidy at the back as Thistle recorded a 2-0 victory. Misplacing just one pass from 28 attempted, the 18-year-old won nine duels, made three interceptions and made a further nine recoveries.
Defender – Eilidh Martin (Hamilton Academical)
After a 4-2 loss to Spartans, things were looking bleak for Hamilton, but a 2-1 win over Aberdeen on Sunday made sure Accies remained in the fight for Park’s Motor Group SWPL survival, with Martin’s winning goal worth everything to Gary Doctor’s side. The young full back’s third goal of the season ensured that her side would have it all to play for in their final day, all-or-nothing clash with Dundee United. Across both fixtures, Martin also won 16 duels, made 11 interceptions and recovered possession 25 times.
Defender – Claire O’Riordan (Celtic)
With the three-horse title race extending to the final day of the season, Celtic find themselves in with a chance to snatch the Park’s Motor Group SWPL crown for themselves, thanks to huge wins over Glasgow City and Hibernian, with O’Riordan scoring in both fixtures. The goals – two powerful headers past two experienced goalkeepers in Lee Gibson and Benedicte Haaland – coupled with two assured defensive performances, ensured that on Sunday, as Celtic host Hearts at Celtic Park, the Glasgow side have a chance to secure their maiden SWPL title.
Midfielder – Abby Robinson (Kilmarnock)
The Ayrshire side edged out Stirling University in a 4-3 thriller at the Students’ home ground to keep themselves within a point of second-placed Gartcairn, with Robinson’s first-half brace making sure Killie took the three points back west. The 24-year-old was right in the thick of the midfield battle, as she completed nine dribbles, won 25 duels and made 13 recoveries to go alongside her double.
Midfielder – Jade McLaren (Dundee United)
While McLaren will have been gutted to lose such a tight affair against Aberdeen in the last minute, she more than made up for it in the following match, as she netted twice in an excellent 5-0 win over Glasgow Women. Those goals – a smart glancing header and a first-time strike on the outside of her right boot – took McLaren to six for the season, and she’ll be looking to build on this in the Terrors’ final day clash against Hamilton in a battle to steer clear of the relegation playoff place.
Midfielder – Charlotte Gammie (Montrose)
It was trophy day at Links Park on Sunday afternoon and champions Montrose made sure that a record-breaking crowd went home entertained, as they saw off Queen’s Park with an impressive 6-0 victory, in which midfield maestro Charlotte Gammie was integral. The Mo’s joint-top scorer laid on five of her side’s six goals in a fantastic playmaking performance as Montrose cruised to victory, making it 23 matches without defeat.
Midfielder – Louisa Boyes (Motherwell)
Motherwell’s Boyes enjoyed a busy couple of fixtures over the course of the last seven days, as the Well ran out 3-0 winners over Glasgow Women before challenging an in-form Spartans right to the final whistle in a 3-2 loss at Ainslie Park. The midfielder scored twice in the former with a pair of clever finishes, while also maintaining an average pass completion rate of 78.5% across both fixtures. Boyes also won 22 duels and made 14 recoveries over the course of both matches.
Forward – Morgan Steedman (St Johnstone)
The Perth side find themselves as one of four sides who could potentially finish in the Park’s Motor Grouo SWPL playoff place this coming weekend, thanks in no small part to Steedman’s efforts in their 3-2 win over Gartcairn on Sunday. Scoring in her fourth consecutive game, the 27-year-old netted twice to not only keep the points in Perth, but blow the race for second wide open as we head toward the final day.
Forward & Star Player – Kirsty Howat (Rangers)
Rangers have wrestled with their city rivals in Glasgow City and Celtic for top spot throughout the entire season and now, thanks to two wins in the last week and the efforts of Kirsty Howat, the reigning champions have the chance to reclaim the title at Ibrox this weekend. The Scotland internationalist was crucial in Rangers’ wins over Partick Thistle and Hearts, as she took her tally to 20 with the season for her strike against Thistle and her hat trick against Hearts, while also maintaining an average pass accuracy of 80% across both games.
Forward – Rebecca Galbraith (Spartans)
Spartans have relished their football since the league split, and have maintained a healthy position at the top of the bottom half, claiming 19 points from a possible 21 in this time and scoring for fun, with Rebecca Galbraith picking up 10 goals in nine games, with four of those coming in the last week. A lone strike in a 4-2 win over Hamilton was followed up by a sensational first-half hat trick in a 3-2 win over Motherwell at Ainslie Park.