Women's U17s: Hamilton 5-4 Letham

Written by Colette Carr.

By Colette Carr:
Hannah O'Keane was the hero for the home side with a last minute winner to settle a nine-goal thriller.
Accies welcomed Letham as they kicked off their pre-season campaign, and it took them only 15 minutes to get back into their stride.

A fantastic goal, courtesy of Helena Montague, opened the scoring with her low strike from thirty yards firing past the out of position keeper to nestle neatly in the bottom of the net. 
Letham went straight on the attack however, a break through the middle forcing a great stop from keeper Colette Fleming, before sweeper Clare Campbell cleared the ball to safety.  The visitors followed this up with another two opportunities, firing wide and hitting the woodwork, before Hamilton forward OKeane found herself one on one with the keeper, holding on just too long. 

The hosts doubled their lead in 23 minutes. Captain Jodie Brannan slotting the ball inside the box to OKeane, allowing her to place her effort beyond the keeper.  Accies then seemed determined to build on this score line, and good link up play from Brannan and Laura Gallen created many chances. 

The half hour mark saw Letham pull one back, the simple low ball in the bottom corner proving too much for the stretching Fleming.  Only 3 minutes later, they were level, the forward finding space in the middle of the box to roll the ball into the back of the net.

Hamilton responded well however, pressurising before new signing Kayleigh McHugh’s chip from twenty yards slipped out the keepers gloves, cruelly rolling over the line, Letham again under.  Accies’ fourth also came from a goalkeeping error, the keeper again spilling the ball after Gallen’s low strike from a Montague pass, allowing it to cross the line on the 44th minute.

The visitors drove forward again, finding the back of the net, however, their celebrations were short lived, as the ref had already blown his whistle against them, for a tackle on the edge of the box.  Accies soon had their chance to grab their fifth, Montague heading Brannan’s well placed corner over the bar.  The opportunity then fell to Sam MacMillan on 68 minutes, reading Gallen’s cross well, before a brilliant touch to break away from her marker and travel into the area, her blistering pass bouncing back out, off the underside of the crossbar. 

The strong visitors were back on the score sheet again, their third finally coming after a low cross into the busy box was blocked, but fell to the forwards feet, tapping the ball into Fleming’s goal.  This sparked a barrel load of Letham efforts, and with four minutes to go, they grabbed an equaliser, the goal scored again from close range.  It also looked as though the East league side were to steal the win with two minutes left to play, the forward skipping round Fleming only for Marissa Storey to save the day For Hamilton.  With the game looking to end in a stalemate, OKeane regained Accies lead by meeting the end of Brannan’s pass to the front of goal face to place her effort, as the referee blew full time, Hamilton winning their first preseason match of 2013.

The win spells hopefully a bright start for the new look u17s side, hopefully continuing their preseason on a high, continuing this into the league itself.

Player of the match:
Jodie Brannan

Hamilton Accies:
Fleming, MacMillan, Storey, McBrearty, Scott, Montague, OKeane,  Brannan, McHugh, Campbell, Mason, Gallen, Flynn, Toolan
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