Aberdeen Women picked up their first three points of the SWPL1 league campaign with a 2-0 win against Partick Thistle.
The Dons controlled large portions of the game and were the deserved winners on the final whistle.
Co-manager Emma Hunter insists picking up the three points was always the main objective against the Jags.
She said: “For us, the three points are obviously what we wanted to achieve there.
“That was the goal. We knew that the game would be really challenging and we know the way that Partick Thistle approach the game.
“We always knew that was going to be tough and the priority was to get the three points.
“I know it seems early in the season, only being the second game to prioritise the points, but I think it just gives you that bit of momentum right at the start to show that you’re not battling at the bottom at the start of the league.
“I think that then transpires to the players and every point that you pick up at this stage and when you’re competing in SWPL1 is really important.”
A winning display
Partick Thistle were no easy opposition and they made it as difficult as possible for Aberdeen to dominate the game. In possession, Aberdeen were well in control but often lacked the final pass to create a goal scoring opportunity.
The Dons boss said: “We knew we could take a lot of things, learning from the likes of Rangers and Celtic in the big games but we probably knew then we wouldn’t have much possession of the ball.
“Coming into the game, we knew that we would have a lot of the ball and it was really important that we kept the ball.
“We made sure that we were able to control tempo. It was more difficult to do that and although we had possession, in particular the first half, we weren’t creating as many chances as we would have liked.
“Maybe, half-chances here and there but not really opportunities to test the goalkeeper enough.
“So, we made a few tweaks at half time and spoke to them a little bit about that. I felt we definitely got more opportunities in the second half but Partick made it difficult for us to get the ball down and play the type of football that we know we like to play.
“We’ve got to be pleased with the overall performance and I think we did control the game for large parts of it. Of course, when you’re only winning 1-0 with 15, 20 minutes left, the opposition are bound to put a bit of pressure on you but then at the very end we took the second goal and it sealed it for us.”
— Aberdeen FC Women (@AberdeenWomen) September 12, 2021
Hunter was impressed with how her young side coped with the physicality of their opposition. Central defenders Donna Patterson and Jess Broadrick coped especially well against the threat of Partick’s new loan signing, London Pollard.
She said: “We were pleased with our resilience and the ability to match up to that physicality. It’s maybe something that you wouldn’t expect from such a young squad but we work on that.
“We make sure that we do have the strength, they do a lot of strength and conditioning work, we are a very fit team. Fitness isn’t just about running really hard for 90 minutes.”
“It takes in the power, the strength, the endurance and that type of effort as well. It’s something that as a group of players I think we’ve definitely gotten better at and something that we will continue to grow on.”
Goals, goals, goals
Aberdeen have now scored two goals in their last three games in SWPL1 and the SWPL Cup. The Dons’ attacking presence will be vital throughout the league campaign as they seek to keep their goal difference to a minimum.
Hunter said: “Defensively I’ve been really pleased with us from the start of the season. Obviously, you concede four goals to Celtic and five against Rangers, you might think you’re crazy thinking that.
“But we’ve seen recently Rangers are putting seven or eight passed teams so I think, defensively we are getting stronger as games go on. We’re getting harder to break down and I think we are a team that can go and score goals as well.
“That’s evident scoring against Rangers and Celtic and putting two past Partick Thistle so, our goal difference we have kept at a level pegging. That has been our goal as well, to keep the goal difference really low and we have done that.”