Falkirk hosted promotion rivals Westdyke Ladies on Sunday in their most recent League One fixture.
The game had barely kicked off before the first chance arrived. Westdyke were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous area following a Falkirk handball. The taker hit a decent strike that looked to be heading into the back of the Falkirk net, however, thanks to Sarah-Louise Waugh’s quick thinking she was able to catch the ball and deny Westdyke an early goal.
Westdyke proved to be the stronger team in the opening 10 minutes, with the ball mainly staying in the Falkirk half. Westdyke piled on the pressure but Lauren Shaw and Ellie Roberts remained solid throughout the match, putting a stop to numerous Westdyke attacks. As the match progressed, Falkirk saw their first chance as Roberts passed the ball through to Kirsty Gilbert, who was unable to produce Falkirk’s opening goal. Falkirk didn’t have too long to wait though as Iona Bridges found the ball at her feet in the 19th minute. She crossed the ball to to Gilbert, whose curling shot nestled in the bottom left corner of the net.
Towards the end of the first half, Westdyke found themselves down a player temporarily as one player had to leave the field of play due to an injury. The disadvantage did not seem to weaken them though, as they still continued to challenge Falkirk. Just before the break, another chance went Westdyke’s way but the effort went narrowly wide of the post, preserving Falkirk’s lead going into the interval.
Soon after, a pass from Suzanne Wyatt found its way to Claudia Stewart, who drove the ball down the right side of the pitch before attempting a shot at goal but her effort went wide. Stewart found herself with another chance a few minutes later but this time her strike was saved by the Westdyke goalkeeper.
With 15 minutes to go, Falkirk had another chance to double their lead from a corner. Gilbert’s delivery, with the help of a deflection, found its way to the feet of Ellie Roberts who managed to get a shot away from inside a crowded box. Unfortunately the effort sailed over the top of the crossbar, much to the relief of the Westdyke goalkeeper.
With the 90 minutes almost up, Westdyke managed to earn one final chance to equalise when they were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous area. Waugh was on hand to keep the effort out though before the referee blew the final whistle.
The win sees the girls go two points ahead of Westdyke in the promotion race. The pressure is now on Westdyke who Falkirk play again after the league split.
Falkirk Women’s next match is at home this Sunday against St. Mirren in their next League One fixture.