'I thought we were out of it' - Gary Doctor praises Hamilton's promotion push
Hamilton Academical 5-1 Dundee United: Thumping win moves Lanarkshire side second in SWPL 2
Hamilton head coach Gary Doctor hailed his side for battling back into the SWPL 2 promotion race after admitting he thought their hopes were over two weeks ago.
Accies leapfrogged Dundee United into second place with a 5-1 thumping at Duncanfield.
And they now sit just two points behind leaders Aberdeen, albeit having played two games more.
“Thinking were we were after that game [1-0 defeat to St Johnstone] we thought we were out of it, we thought we had too much to do,” Doctor told Anyone’s Game.
“But we have done it.”
Following the loss to St Johnstone, Accies have beaten Partick Thistle and Aberdeen before thumping United.
And, should they beat Boroughmuir Thistle on Sunday, coupled with Dundee United and Partick both failing to win, then the Lanarkshire side will be promoted to the top flight.
Doctor said: “Coming into these fixtures I don’t think anyone has had a tougher run, back-to-back over seven days and the players have just been outstanding”
The unfortunate Rebecca McMillan opened the scoring for the Accies when she headed into her own net.
Josephine Girad and an Amy Anderson penalty saw the home side head to the stands 3-0 ahead at half-time.
After the break Giard grabbed her second before United pulled one back through Nieve Guthrie, but Hamilton rounded off a fine evenings work when Rachel Ross slotted home their fifth of the evening with 10 minutes left.
“I don’t think we could have rolled up tonight expecting to come away 5-1,” said Doctor.
“A wee bit of shock at the way the game panned out, but we have been brilliant this last week and we just carried that into tonight, that momentum.”
It was United who nearly took the lead in this one when Stina Kleppe’s effort was cleared off the line by Georgie McTear with the referee waiving off the away side’s claims that the Hamilton stopper used an arm.
Hamilton had a slice of fortune with the opener skipper Anderson floated a lovely ball in the box. McMillan managed to get in front of Kathleen McGovern – who was to be a constant threat all evening - only to see her header soar by the despairing Aaliyah-Jay Meach into her own net.
The home side doubled their advantage when the impressive McGovern shot from a tight angle catching Meach unawares and she fumbled the ball, which fell delightfully for Giard to tap home.
Robyn Smith, Philippa McCallum and Guthre all went close for United before MT Gardiner, on her 70th Accies appearance, won her side a penalty after she was upended by Rebecca Foote. Up stepped skipper Anderson to smash past Meach.
The second half started with some United pressure, but a mixture of good defending and poor decision making was to let United down and the game seemed over as a contest when Giard slotted home her second from a well worked move.
United pulled one back after Jade Mclaren linked well with Guthrie and she slotted home what turned out to be a consolation for United.
Giard should have had a hat-trick near the end as her shot was well saved by Meach before up stepped substitute Rachel Ross to seal the win and send Accies one step closer to promotion.
Anyone’s Game Player of the Match
Josephine Giard just steals it from strike partner Kathleen McGovern. Both were excellent up top for the Accies. Giard scored two and could have had a third. Impressive performance from the forward.