Inverness Caledonian Thistle Women’s Football Club came out on top in a convincing victory over Ellon Meadows in a comprehensive pre-season friendly win at Inverness Royal Academy.
Despite the difference in scoreline Ellon Meadows did create chances throughout the game, including the first of the match. Taylor Clark had a shot from distance, which was saved well by Caley keeper Lilly Macdonald.
Regardless of the bright start for Meadows it was Caley Thistle who opened the scoring after five minutes when Niamh Anderson showed great technique to dribble past Mia Knowles before playing through Iona MacArthur to finish nicely into the bottom corner.
Inverness then doubled their lead two minutes later when Millie Carte threaded the ball through the defence to the on running MacArthur. She cooly slotted past the goalkeeper to bag her second of the game.
MacArthur then completed her impressive first half hattrick not long after her second. She collected the ball from Carter’s throw in, then cut inside her defender to fire into the bottom corner.
Miriam Mclean then got herself involved in the Inverness attacks dribbling through the Meadows defence before sliding a lovely through ball to MacArthur who scored again into the bottom corner. Less than a minute later MacArthur scored another one on one to grab her fifth.
In the 30th minute, Mclean continued to show her pace and control driving into Ellon’s box only to be brought down, leaving the referee no option but to award a penalty to the hosts. Niamh Anderson kept her cool and fired the ball into the bottom corner , dispatching the spot-kick with ease.
The last action of the first half came in the 44th minute, when Alexa Mann put in a brilliant cross from the left-hand side allowing Mclean to deflect the ball into the back of the net.
Half Time : Inverness Caledonian Thistle Women’s Football Club 7 Ellon Meadows 0
It did not take long for Inverness to add to their tally after half time as Ellie Anderson placed her shot into the bottom corner for her first of the afternoon.
It could have been more for Inverness if it were not thanks to a brilliant goal keeping performance from Maddison Bell in the second half. The best of which came, in the 58th minute making herself big to produce a brilliant last-ditch block of McLean’s shot
However, Mclean could not be kept quiet as she soon secured a quick-fire double minutes later to complete a hat trick of her own. The first of which came after a quality pass from Niamh Anderson leaving Mclean no option but to score. She then received a great delivery from Helen Urquhart setting up her third goal.
Inverness scored their final goal in the 85th minute, Mclean using some brilliant footwork to create space for herself to dink the ball over the defence ahead of MacArthur who drew a brilliant save from Bell. Unfortunately for Bell the ball rebounded to the feet of Ellie Anderson who rolled it into the empty net for her second of the game.
Ellon Meadows had the final chance of the match in the 89th minute and almost scored a spectacular goal. Bethany Duncan turned her marker at the edge of the box and then fired her shot off the crossbar a minute
Inverness showed their class throughout the match and will continue to develop as the play more friendlies. Ellon Meadows did show glimpses of quality though and should not be too disheartened by the result. They will certainly get tighter at the back as they play more games together and have potential to improve before they play competitive games in the coming months.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle Magic Moment
Caley’s magic moment came in the build up to their final goal when Mclean took a lovely touch inside the midfield to create space for herself before lobbing a perfectly weighted pass for MacArthur to run onto in the lead up to a goal.
Ellon Meadows Magic Moment
Just before the hour mark Maclean ran through one on one in what looked like a certain goal, but Bell closed down the attacker brilliantly to make a vital save for her team.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle Star Player
There were a few contenders for star player, but it is hard to look past Iona MacArthur after scoring five goals, showing great composure for every finish.
Ellon Meadows Star Player
Bethany Duncan looked comfortable on the ball throughout the game and helped create chances for Ellon. She also came closest to scoring with her last-minute shot of the crossbar.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle Women’s Football Club: Lily Macdonald, Orla Evans, Lois Stewart, Chloe Devin, Niamh Parker, Carys Hollands, Jess Mackenzie, Emily Murray, Iona MacArthur, Niamh Anderson, Alexa Mann, Millie Carr, Willow Searle, Miriam Mclean, Ellie Anderson, Helen Urquhart, Grace Clark, May Harkins.
Ellon Meadows: Ruby Duncan, Mia Knowles, Bethany Baird, Kayla Willox, Leonie Smith, Valerija Kurmelova, Aimee Anderson, Eve Ross, Taylor Clark, Bethany Duncan, Morrin Grant, Leoni Ross, Millie McKenzie, Maddison Bell.
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