Five-star performance from Buchan

Louise Brown keeps a tight control for Buchan ladies
Louise Brown keeps a tight control for Buchan ladies

For the second week in a row, Buchan Ladies went into a match knowing that anything less than three points was not an option.

However, visitors Kilwinning also knew how vital a win was for them to stay in the SWPL.

Kilwinning put Buchan under a spell of pressure for the first few minutes, but it was the home side who had the first clear chances. Stewart forcing a save, then just short of connecting with a lobbed pass and Reid firing just wide.

Buchan were pinned into their own half for a spell, weathering some attacks until they broke forward. Winning a free kick just into the visitors’ half Reid crossed for Stewart to nod a delicate header over the keeper in 14 minutes.

The Ayrshire side pressed hard again gaining their first clear chance on 24 minutes - Caldwell received in the middle and allowed time to turn before placing a shot wide.

They battled on still with more possession but their forwards were unable to cope with the physical presence of Urquhart, the referee waving away several claims for fouls from hard but fair tackles.

Rae, Smart and Strachan were working hard giving nothing away in the last third of the pitch aided by Cruden dipping back to help.

On 27 minutes a pass to the right was received by the hard-working winger Sutherland who ran forward and launched a shot from 25 yards for Buchan’s second

The home side settled a little, with Strachan and Sutherland causing problems on the right, but Kilwinning weathered the pressure.

Kilwinning had a chance with a freekick 25 yards out but fired it high and wide. They pressed again passing the ball well but a couple of key tackles from Cruden eliminated the danger.

Two-nil up at half-time, Buchan came out fighting with Stewart charging forward on a mazy run, twisting and turning for space before sending a shot just over the bar.

Kilwinning pulled a vital goal back three minutes in from a corner - Flaherty managing to punch away only for McLeod to shoot home.

Buchan responded in the best possible way within a minute when Johnston sprinted forward before sending a narrow angled shot high into the far corner.

The third goal seemed to rattle the visitors a little, and Buchan were able to defend on the halfway line as they pushed forward.

The pressure paid off when Reid passed in from the right to Johnston who wrongfooted the keeper by passing the ball into the right of the net.

Stung by the goal, Kilwinning pressed forward and Buchan had to defend hard with even striker Stewart clearing a ball from her own penalty area.

Under pressure for a spell, a combination of sterling defending and scrappy clearances prevented further goals for the visitors.

Caldwell had a strike from a narrow angle which went wide, then a corner was plucked from the air easily by Flaherty. Further forays, now down the right, were being handled well by Brown and Smart closing down quickly.

For Buchan, Innes, Anderson and Duncan replaced Strachan, Brown and Cruden and the team took some time to settle in, letting Kilwinning forward a little more but still no clear danger.

The chances continued for Buchan - Reid on the right crossing in forJohnston but the keeper saved well. Johnston again forced a parry from a long shot but there was nobody chasing in to take advantage.

On 86 minutes the game was wrapped up when a pass into space on the left was collected by Stewart who chased straight at goal and a rocketed a shot into the far righthand corner.

Anderson surged forward from the defence and placed a shot just wide and the final threat game in the last minute saw Stewart pelting in from the right and unselfishly passing to Ritchie who was closed down before she could fire.

This was a good win for the quines in a tough battle which was not as one-sided as the score may suggest.

But the three points are safely in the bag putting Buchan in third bottom position again out of the relegation zone for the moment.

Buchan: Louise Brown(Diane Duncan 76), Linsey Cruden, (Danica Ritchie 80), Rebecca Flaherty, Lydia Johnston, Gemma Rae, Zoe Smart (Katrina Innes 70), Leanne Reid, Hannah Stewart, Connie Strachan (Sophie Anderson 72), Michelle Sutherland, Jenni Urquhart