Stoney Ladies show no fear against Spartans

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Stoney produced the perfect away performance with controlled, deep lying counter-attacking putting to sword a fleet-footed, slick but punchless Spartan side.

Spartans had threatened first when a corner wasn’t cleared and Urquhart had to clear the ball off the line.

The strength and drive of Stoney’s midfield trio of young Johnston and Katy Townsend and the talismanic Smart were creating chances and Smart had a shot blocked which broke to Penny who slotted it in clinical fashion from near the penalty spot.

As half time approached Stoney were in the ascendancy playing the ball along the ground but more directly than Spartans more intricate style.

The second half saw a positional change with Stoney’s midfielder Katy Townsend sitting in front of the back four allowing Smart and Johnston to push on through the middle. Keeper Imray was rarely tested in the second half but when called on looked increasingly assured.

The defence was water tight with full back Moir strong in the challenge on the right and captain Bowie throwing herself into tackles and passing with composure down the left hand side.

The central defensive paring of the athletic McBay and the assured sweeper Laura Townsend showed how well they work together by not allowing Spartans a sniff of a chance through the centre.

Everyone thought centre forward Penny doubled the lead when she crashed a shot off the bar down onto the line.

The second wasn’t long in coming as the dangerous Smith cut in from the left and fired in a cross shot which Spartans keeper couldn’t get to at her near post as the ball evading her and the onrushing Penny.

With 20 minutes to go Stephen came on and almost immediately showed her power with a forty yard belter which Spartans keeper had to scramble to collect.

The last 10 minutes saw Spartans dominate possession but get nowhere near Stoney’s goal with the iron curtain that was Stoney’s ultra-efficient defence in no mood to give away anything.

Thus ended a fine Stoney performance showing grit and organisation.