Spartans manager blasts squad after shock home loss

Debbi McCulloch insists her squad were too "arrogant" against Dundee United. Credit: Spartans Women Facebook Debbi McCulloch insists her squad were too "arrogant" against Dundee United. Credit: Spartans Women Facebook
Debbi McCulloch insists her squad were too "arrogant" against Dundee United. Credit: Spartans Women Facebook | Spartans Women Facebook
A last-gasp winner from Cassie Cowper meant Dundee United came away with a shock 2-1 victory against Spartans at Ainslie Park.

The hosts were 1-0 up at half-time thanks to Lauren Berman’s fantastic effort. However, Dundee United never gave up and managed to turn the game on its head to collect their third league win of the season. Manager Debbi McCulloch was far from happy with her teams performance as they continue to search for their first home win of the campaign.

“We let ourselves down, we let our club down,” she told the Edinburgh Evening News. “The players have to take full responsibility unfortunately. I will always stick up for them, stand by them, stand in front of them but after we scored the first goal and were looking good and in control, we got too arrogant, got sloppy with the ball. I said at half time, if we don’t raise the intensity and the quality, Dundee United will come back into it, they did. Then we started to chase a win, which I am fine with, but keep your shape and discipline and we don’t do that. We started to play stupid balls into silly areas and Dundee United got their win.”

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Spartans edged opening exchanges with Hannah Jordan flashing two great balls across goal, but no one could get the vital touch needed. The hosts opened the scoring after 19 minutes. Berman collected the ball just inside Dundee United’s half and, after a good run, blasted the ball into the bottom corner from distance. Spartans almost had an immediate second thanks to Becky Galbraith but the lineman had his flag up for offside. 

As the second half began, Spartans continued to search for a vital second goal as Jordan’s cross hit the side netting early on. However, a succession of fouls from both teams really stopped the game from getting into its rhythm. Galbraith had a half chance midway into the half as space opened up on the edge of the box but her effort was an easy save for the ‘keeper. Dundee United got themselves back into the game 63 minutes in as Rachel Todd’s distanced effort clipped in off the post. Ronaigh Douglas looked to find an immediate response as she blasted a shot straight at the ‘keeper from distance. Dundee United almost took the lead themselves when the ball dropped to Summer Christie who fired her effort over the bar. Galbraith managed to find a way through their backline with five minutes to go and hit the top of the bar with a cross. Dundee United found the winner in added time as Cowper smashed a freekick in off the bar to condemn Spartans to another defeat. 

“It’s a lack of discipline, a lack of leadership and a lack of people taking responsibility,” McCulloch added. “Unfortunately this evening there were too many excuses and not enough people trying to find solutions. That is something I will speak to the players about because we spoke about it at half-time, we asked them to step up and unfortunately instead of stepping up some people stepped sideways today.”

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