Debbi McCulloch slams ‘bipolar’ Spartans after Hamilton stage two goal comeback

A poor second half performance from Spartans saw Hamilton come from two goals to rescue a 2-2 draw at Ainslie Park.
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The hosts were cruising at half-time after finding themselves two goals up after just five minutes. However, a lackluster second period allowed Hamiton back into the game before a mistake from Rebecca Foote ultimately cost Spartans all three points. Manager Debbi McCulloch was furious that her side let the win slip from their grasp.

“Nothing really surprises me in football,” she told the Edinburgh Evening News. “In the first half we were so comfortable, we looked excellent, but in the second half, I’m not too sure what happened, the players will have to answer that. Our intensity dropped, we struggled to deal with Hamilton on the counter attack, the game became very open and we struggled with that as well. Alicia Yates, pulled off a fantastic save to not see us lose the game.

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“It’s a very frustrating time at home for us now which some would say that’s a good problem, but it is not one I am enjoying one bit. We are still looking for our first win at home, but we are winning when we go away, it doesn’t make any sense. We were just too casual, it was a very scrappy game, difficult to get hold of the ball, we lacked quality in the second half and the players need to take responsibility for that.”

Spartans are still searching for their first home win this campaign. Credit: Spartans WomenSpartans are still searching for their first home win this campaign. Credit: Spartans Women
Spartans are still searching for their first home win this campaign. Credit: Spartans Women

It took Spartans just 45 seconds to take the lead. A brilliant cross found the foot of Simone McMahon on the edge of the foot and the midfielder superbly blasted the ball into the top corner to get the hosts off to an emphatic start. Just four minutes later, Spartans doubled their lead as Dion McMahon headed home from Alana Marshall’s corner. The hosts continued to have the sway of momentum and Sarah Clelland was unlucky to her shot spur wide of the target inside the box.

In the second half, Hamilton pulled a goal back quickly as Josephine Giard placed the ball beyond Yates after being played through. Spartans tried to restore their two goal lead quickly as Louise Mason saw her effort bounce wide. The visitors equalised with 15 minutes left to play after a dreadful mistake from Foote saw her play the ball directly to Giard one-on-one who made no mistake. Hamilton almost completed their comeback right at the end as Yates did well to meet Abbie McDonald’spowerful effort.

“I wanted all nine [points from three games], I am not happy” she added. “I don’t think we should be happy with just the seven out of the nine points, that’s two valuable points dropped if we want to be in the top six. That’s no disrespect to Hamilton, that’s because of the way we played in the second half that that has happened. We were in control of that game and that’s not good enough. I will never be happy with performances like that.

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“I am delighted for Simone and Dion [McMahon] for getting on the scoresheet, they were two really good goals. But ultimately, as a team everyone in a white jersey needs to look at themselves and really have to assess what they have to do to be better because that shouldn’t have happened.”

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