Aberdeen Women co-boss Emma Hunter says their cup win over Spartans affirms their Premier quality.
The Dons shocked the Scottish Women’s Premier League One with two goals in five minutes to comeback from behind and progress in the Scottish Cup.
Lauren Gordon and Chloe Gover both netted for the Reds in the third round tie, which left Hunter and Harley Hamdani “immensely proud”.
Hunter said: “They should be proud of themselves, we are a strong group who play for each other.
“To be honest, at half time we felt we were unfortunate to be behind and that was the key message that we were still in this game and we talked about the areas we needed to refine and went out there with the confidence that the game was still there to be won.
“The maturity and resilience for such a young squad has been a real positive this season so far.
“When you combine that with the tactical and technical ability of this group, it makes for a strong side that can compete with the top teams in the country.”
The Dons, who sit top of the SWFL Division One North – the third tier – have insisted since they became part of the Pittodrie club at the beginning of the season they could return to the top league of Scottish women’s football – in which Spartans are currently fifth.
Hunter insists that a win like the victory on Sunday can inspire her team to make that return a reality, saying: “It’s a message we have been telling them all season that we feel we can compete at that level and as a team we knew we could upset Spartans.
“The result certainly affirms that, and even more importantly we played the game in our style, so we know that what we are currently doing is working.
“It gives us that much needed assurance that what we are instilling is effective and with the hard work, focus and determination we can achieve what we have set out to do.”
Things didn’t go quite as well for other north-east sides in the cup – Westdyke were beaten on their travels by Queen’s Park 5-1 and Stonehaven Ladies were knocked out by league rivals Dunfermline Athletic.