Forfar Farmington 5-2 Hearts: Forfar secure safety ahead of league reconstruction

Photo - David Young
Photo - David Young

At the end of June Forfar Farmington were eight points from safety in the Premier League, with one win and one draw from 10 games.

Nine games later, the side secured their spot in next season’s eight-team league after hammering Hearts 5-2 to extend their lead over the relegation zone to 10 points with two games.

The former relegation candidates bloomed into a fearsome, freely-scoring outfit, and are currently the most in-form team in Scotland - if not Britain - with nine successive wins and a barrel-load of goals scored along the way.

A larger crowd than normal saw Damon Neish’s side defeat Hearts 5-2 at Station Park on Sunday, keeping their Premier League status for an eleventh season.

Doubles from Amy Gallacher, who took her tally to 10 for the season, and Tori Sousa added to Keira Johnstone’s eighth of the season was enough for the young squad.

Sousa has scored eight goals in her eight games since joining, with six in her last three, and the American was delighted at how the team went about their game.

She said: “I’m not one for scoring goals often, but when they go in like that, it’s great.

“I thought it was a good game, we came out really well, going 3-0 ahead which was fantastic but I think we got a little lackadaisical so they managed to pull one back. We went into half time, our whole team talk was just to come out stronger and finish the game off and I think we did that.”

After last week’s comfortable win over Inverness City, Neish made just one change with Gallacher coming in for Alex Russell.

It took less than 15 minutes until the deadlock was broken through Sousa.

Dunbar and Gollan combined to set her up and she slipped the ball under the Hearts keeper to the delight of the 168 fans who attended.

The lead was soon doubled as Gallacher waltzed her way through three defenders before curling the ball into the top corner from outside the box.

Two minutes later she grabbed her second of the afternoon after meeting Nicola Davidson’s free kick from the halfway line; her initial effort was tipped onto the bar before she rose to nod home the rebound.

Sousa and the Dunbar both had chances to extend the lead with both firing wide before Hearts pulled a goal back.

Gallacher thought she had her hat-trick before half time when she met Sousa’s cross but her shot cannoned off the crossbar and bounced back off the line.

Farmington began the second half with the same intensity as the first 45 and hit the woodwork again four minutes into the half, Dunbar the unlucky player this time.

After 58 minutes Forfar netted their fourth of the game - a Gallacher cross found Sousa, her shot was blocked but she stabbed the ball towards Johnstone who fired home.

Dunbar did well in the 68th minute to race forward and meet a long McLaren cross, flicking her header just past the post.

Five minutes later Farmington scored again; a poor kick out from the Hearts keeper fell to Sousa who, after taking a couple of touches, curled a great effort from 25 yards into the top corner.

Hearts did get another consolation goal in the 77th minute after a counter attack allowed sub Gemma Mason to slot home.

As the game entered the final stages Forfar still looked to attack and extend their lead, despite needing just a point to seal safety.

Gallacher sent her shot from the edge of the box wide in the 80th minute, with the attacker unlucky not to get her first senior hat-trick.

In the last minute captain Nicola Davidson almost had the final say, meeting a Napier corner at the back post, the header going the wrong side of the bar.

The result means that Farmington keep their place in the Premier League next season.

Forfar Farmington: McNicoll, Milligan, Burns ( Noble 71), McLaren ( Collier 83), Dunbar, Sousa, Johnstone ( Patterson 85), Davidson, Napier, Gollan ( Russell 64), Gallacher.