Seven in Three, Makes it Three in Three

Chris Marshall
5 min readJul 15, 2023

In the second of a series of dispatches covering the Scotland Women’s National Team this summer, I report on a comfortable start to the season for SWNT as three goals in seven minutes secure a 3–0 victory over Northern Ireland.

Tomorrow a feature piece will be dropping looking at one of the squad and how their influence continues to grow in the final third.

If you want to support this series, that would be ace, Glasgow to Dundee to Tampere and back has cost bank you can do so here ( No pressure though.

Scotland continued their build up for this autumn’s Nations League campaign with a comfortable 3–0 victory over Northern Ireland at a rainswept Dens Park, as three goals in seven first half minutes secured a third successive win of 2023.

It was a slow start as both sides looked to get back into the swing of on pitch action following a summer break that must have felt a lifetime away from the conditions the game would be contested in with the mid-July deluges rarely subsiding.

Pedro Martinéz Losa had made three changes from the side that defeated Costa Rica 4–0 at Hampden back in April with Erin Cuthbert, Fiona Brown and Martha Thomas replacing Claire Emslie, Lauren Davidson and Rachel McLauchlan as Caroline Weir took the armband on her 99th appearance for her country.

A crowd of 5,148 attended Dens Park as Scotland defeated Northern Ireland 3–0

Weir may have but it was the returning Cuthbert, who missed the victories over Australia and Costa Rica through injury, that would open the scoring, stroking home an Emma Watson cutback low into Shannon Turner’s near post having been earlier denied by the Northern Irish keeper from a similar position as Scotland began peppering the Irish flanks.

That lead would be doubled five minutes later with Scottish pressure building. Rangers full-back Nicola Docherty would see a skidding effort from range slalom through the leapfrogging legs of Emma Mukandi only for Turner to push the shot wide. Scotland were not to be denied though as FC Bayern midfielder Sam Kerr would head home her first international goal from the resultant Weir corner.

A third would come less than two minutes later as Kirsty Hanson’s relentless bombardment down the Northern Irish flanks continued to have Kenny Shiels’ side on the back foot. This time it would be Martha Thomas who would turn the ball home leaving the visitors to regroup in the hope of finding a way back into the game before halftime. That moment almost came in the 42nd minute when a Rachel Furness effort would hit the post and bounce clear along the goal line, an effort that would be the closest the Irish would come to scoring.

With the result put to bed a constant stream of substitutions made for a disjointed second half as both managers took the opportunity to use the full extent of their allocation to get early season minutes into collective legs with only brief flurries towards goal at either end as the conditions started to take their toll.

Those substitutions did however bring a duo of debuts for Scotland with Bristol City’s Amy Rodgers, who looked assured when stepping in at centre half for a heavily strapped up Sophie Howard and Rangers 18-year-old midfielder Kirsty MacLean earning their first caps in dark blue as the game meandered towards its conclusion.

Scotland now head to Tampere to face Finland on Tuesday evening with a victory secured courtesy of a swaggering fifteen minute first half spell.

Sam Kerr Post Match-Thoughts

On scoring her first goal for Scotland — “It was really good, I thought Sophie Howard had actually stolen it off me so luckily it crossed the line before she got a touch. I was a bit confused to begin with but the rest of the girls were like “no it’s yours” and so yeah, really honoured to score my first goal for Scotland.”

On the performance as a whole — “We’ve had a summer break so we were a bit rusty coming in but we’ve had a really good week in training, reminding ourselves of our principles and yeah at times it was a bit scrappy, but at times I felt we played some really good football and we managed to score three goals. That’s probably something we’ve missed in the past, that clinical edge to see off games so scoring three goals is excellent.”

On momentum building ahead of the Nations League — “If you look at us a year ago compared to now, you can see our performances and our results are improving and we continue to work on our style of play and that’s a process. We obviously need to acknowledge that it’s not going to be perfect, you need to sometimes make mistakes and build on it. So we’re hoping to get another good result against Finland to set us up for the Nations League later in the year.”

Scotland Head Coach Pedro Matinez Losa Post-Match Thoughts

On the result — “It was a good test and in the first half especially we found a good tempo and had a lot of the ball, finding a way to break down the opposition and we scored three goals. The second half became a little more sloppy because of the condition of the pitch but I’m happy not to concede, to score goals and to not pick up any injuries.”

On Amy Rodgers making her debut at centre back — “Initially we had one plan but then we wanted to protect Sophie Howard and so decided it would be good to give Amy minutes in that defensive position as she can play there, and we have to take that opportunity to do that when there is a little less pressure on a game. It was also great to give an opportunity to Kirsty (MacLean) too without that pressure.”

Scotland: Gibson, Docherty, Mukandi, Howard (‘61), Brown (’71 ), Kerr (‘78), Weir (‘78), Hanson, Watson, Thomas (‘61), Cuthbert (’71 ). Subs: Fife (GK), Cummings (GK), J. Clark, MacLean (’78), Evans (’71 ), Hay, McLauchlan (’71 ), K. Clark (‘78), Rodgers (‘61), Muir, Davidson (‘61), Napier.

Goals: Cuthbert (‘32), Kerr (‘37), Thomas (“39)

Northern Ireland: Turner, McKenna, Vance, McFadden (‘88), Hamilton (‘88), McCarron (‘59), Magill (‘59), Furness (‘59), Wade (‘59), Holloway, Andrews. Subs: Norney (GK), Woods (GK), Morgan (‘88), Callaghan (‘59), McGuinness (‘59), Burrows, Caldwell, Maxwell (‘59), Bell (‘59), Wilson (‘88), Beattie, McMaster.

Att: 5,148

Thanks for reading. Mon eh SWNT. And speak again soon.

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Chris Marshall

Writer | Piehopper | Scottish Women’s Football Hype Man.