Hearts 1-1 Forfar: Goalkeeper Lauren Perry scores to snatch draw for visitors
Forfar Farmington goalkeeper Lauren Perry admitted she was “shocked” to score a dramatic late equaliser as her side drew 1-1 with Hearts at Oriam.
Perry was waved forward by Forfar boss Kevin McGreskin for a free-kick, which she took and subsequently floated the ball beyond her opposite number in the Hearts goal.
It ended a whirlwind week for the Northern Irish stopper who watched her country qualify for the European Championships for the first time.
“The sideline were screaming at me to play Cassie [Cowper] down the line and I thought I’m just gonna hit it and hope for the best” Perry told Anyone’s Game.
“I did think ‘Oh no’ when I put it in the box, but thankfully it came off. It’s nothing less than we deserved.
“They all count. I’ll take it, I was aiming for DP’s [Donna Paterson’s] head. I’m just shocked it went in the back of the net.”
And Forfar head coach laughed that his side had worked on the free-kick routine all week.
He said: “If we’re being honest, it’s not the greatest delivery and it’s caught out the goalkeeper.
“We need to be honest, particularly in the first half, Hearts were much better than us.
“We’ve kind of got out of jail, but sometimes you ned a bit of luck in football and we got it at the end.”
It was late heartbreak for the home side, although the draw did lift them off the bottom of the table for the first time this season.
Before Perry’s latr heroics, she had a tough start to the match.
Hearts took the lead early on when Monica Forsyth found space and managed to loft the ball over Perry and into the far corner of the net.
She was called into action soon after, forced to claw away a wayward clearing header from Kirsty Fraser.
The home side was dominant for the majority of the game but failed to add to their tally. Forsyth went closest with a lashed effort that forced a good save out of the Forfar goalkeeper.
The match was also marred by flaring tempers, as both sides battled hard. Donna Paterson seeing yellow for a desperate sliding challenge on Rachel Walkingshaw who also was booked for her reaction.
The home side would have thought they would be able to see the game out and claim the three points, limiting Forfar to speculative shots from range, before Perry stepped up to the free-kick.
Despite the late equaliser, there is plenty for Hearts to be positive about, today’s performance builds on last week’s spirited first-half effort before losing 3-0 to Celtic.
Manager Andy Kirk has the side playing an aggressive front-foot way that unsettled Forfar. Their fluid attacking trio causing the away side’s defence no end of headaches.
The draw will feel like two points dropped for Kirk’s team but they have still lifted themselves off the bottom, Motherwell lost 8-0 to Glasgow City later in the day and take Hearts’ place at the foot of the SWPL1 table.
Both sides return to action on Wednesday night, Hearts making the trip to Lanarkshire to face Motherwell, while Forfar Farmington host Spartans as the battle for fourth spot rages on.
Player of the match - Lauren Perry
It has to be the goalscoring goalkeeper.