Gartcairn close in on title glory after overcoming tricky surface during latest win

Glencairn Women’s boss Robert McCallum says home advantage will be a welcome boost for his players as they close in on the Championship South title.

The Lanarkshire side are guaranteed a promotion play-off spot after coming from behind to seal a convincing 5-1 victory over Edinburgh Caledonia at Meggetland.

Cheryl Watt grabbed a hat-trick while Sarah Wardlaw notched a brace. Having found themselves 1-0 down, McCallum’s side pulled it back to 2-1 before half-time, and netted twice five minutes after the restart.

Gartcairn have been awarded a 3-0 win over Edinburgh City after their match this Sunday was cancelled, and anything but a Rossvale win over Caledonia seals title glory.

Hutchinson Vale the final day opposition later this month and finishing first would guarantee a place in SWPL 2 competition next season.

McCallum says he was pleased with how his side dealt with a tricky surface on their travels: “It was a tricky surface up at Meggetland.

“The camber on the park is unreal and it was really flat for 3G, so it was a really fast park too. It took our players a wee while to get used to. They were playing passes and it was just zooming out of play because of the speed of the park.

“Edinburgh Caledonia went ahead and they are a good team. We knew we were in for a tough ride and it proved that way. We got a good reaction and Cheryl scored soon after that.

“At 2-1 we told the players to relax, play the football we know we can play and trust in each other. Edinburgh Caledonia were under no pressure and they were a really nice team. They are good technically.”

A reminder of their good play in previous matches was delivered to the Gartcairn players at half-time, and it made all the difference with a strong start to the second half.

They have won 17 of their 20 games this season and Sunday’s match took them to 103 league goals for the season.

McCallum added: “We always want to see what we are doing in the training sessions put into practice. We want to try and break teams down, exploiting their weaknesses.

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“When you don’t see that happening on a matchday, it is frustrating, so we then try to remind them at half-time. Fair play to the players, we scored two goals in the first five minutes of the second half.

“That was when we started playing the ball, passing it short and playing it out wide.

“We then bump it straight into the middle and that was the tactic we wanted to play.

“We knew that Edinburgh Caledonia’s defense was shifting too far over when we began to shift the ball out wide. Then we had that space to run into through the middle.

“We did that and then effectively took our foot off the gas. You are 4-1 up then and making sure you don’t let any stupid goals in.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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