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Daily Record
Daily Record
Ben Ramage

St Mirren Women urged to take lessons from Falkirk defeat as new signing takes aim at Stenhousemuir

Kate Cooper insists her Buddies must learn from their painful defeat to Falkirk after squandering a three-goal lead.

The Saints were hoping to cut the gap to their promotion rivals to just two points and were on course to do so after racing clear at Mossedge.

Maxine Fury grabbed a quickfire brace, with Gemma Dickson also netting to put the Paisley side in total control of the match at half-time.

St Mirren took their foot off the gas after the break though, with Falkirk going on to turn the game on its head and escape home with all three points.

And Saints manager Cooper is adamant her side must heed the warning to never assume they’ve got a result in the bag at any point, no matter how far ahead they are.

Cooper told Renfrewshire Live Sport: “Overall, the first half was extremely positive. We controlled the game very well and were two up within the opening 15 minutes.

“We were in a great position at half-time, but we knew it wasn’t done at that point and we tried to get that message across to the players.

“Women’s football in general is very attacking. We see big scorelines because we want the game to be entertaining, so we knew Falkirk had the capability of pulling it back.

“Unfortunately we just weren’t driving and taking control of the game like we were in the first half. Hats off to Falkirk, they pushed and pushed and got the result in the end.

“But ultimately that felt like one that got away for us. We felt we lost it ourselves.

“At the end of the day we need to find growth and learn from it. We won’t focus on the negatives, we’ll have the courage to examine ourselves and look at what we can do better to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

“We must learn to keep going and not let teams get back into the game when we’re in control.”

It doesn’t get much easier for St Mirren Women this weekend with a tough away trip to face Stenhousemuir, the side currently sitting just above them in the SWF League One table.

Cooper is confident her side will bounce back from their Falkirk disappointment, particularly young goalkeeper Sophie Cannon.

Cooper said: “The challenge for us now is to stay in the top six and show we can cope with the challenge of playing the top five teams in the table after the split.

“Accountability and ownership are very important. We want every player and member of staff to be able to learn from every game and it’s clear we have done that over the last year.

“We finished third-bottom of the table last season, so the growth is there for everyone to see. It shows how far we’ve come that the expectation for us was to beat Falkirk.

“We have the potential to be a Championship team but we need to show we can be consistent. We’d won five of our six games before the Falkirk loss and it’s about maintaining that consistency.

“Sophie is only 20. We will always show loyalty to our players and unfortunately goalkeeper mistakes are often more evident than outfield players mistakes.

“She has got huge potential though and I know she will grow from that Falkirk game. She’s ambitious and wants to develop and that is what pushes players from having an average career to having a great one.”

Meanwhile new St Mirren recruit Jenny Dougall believes she’s joined a team on the rise.

And the confident young striker is hoping to prove her worth by helping her new Buddies topple her University pals at Stenhousemuir this weekend.

Dougall, 21, recently linked up with the Saints after being convinced to make the switch from Giffnock Soccer Centre.

After making her first start in the narrow 4-3 defeat to Falkirk, Dougall feels she’s joined the right team at the right time.

Dougall, an engineering student, said: “I’ve been playing with Strathclyde Uni as well as Giffnock and a few of the girls told me to come and try it out at St Mirren.

“I was really impressed with the set up and the amount of experience the club have in their team. I think I can learn a lot from the players and from Kate Cooper. There’s a really positive atmosphere here and it certainly seems like the club is on the rise. There’s a game lined up at the stadium as well which will be a great experience for me as a younger player.

“The Falkirk game was tough in the end, but it was great to get my first start and get to know the players even better. I’m looking forward to taking on Stenny because I play with a lot of them at Strathclyde I want to beat them on the park on Sunday, 100 per cent.”


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