Forfar Farmington 5
Tori Sousa 14, 73, Amy Gallacher 19, 21, Keira Johnstone 58
Heart of Midlothian 2
Rachel Walkingshaw 33, Gemma Mason 77
21st June: Forfar Farmington are eight points from safety with ten games played and only one win and a draw.
4th October: Nine games later, Farmington clinch safety after extending their lead over the relegation zone to ten points with two games remaining.
You could call it the great escape. Going from relegation candidates to the in-form side in Scottish football, if not British football, with nine wins in a row scoring 35 and conceding only five.
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 ten for the season, and Tori Sousa coupled with Keira Johnstone’s eighth of the season was enough for the young squad.
22 year old Sousa has scored eight goals in her eight games since joining with six in her last three and the American was delighted after the game at how they went about their game, saying “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 three nil 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.”
The talented midfielder also reckons they can take the same mentality that helped them stay up into the last two game even if they are dead rubber matches. Sousa said “I think the side can win the last two games, we have Hamilton and Stirling left, last time we played Stirling it was a pretty intense game so that was good competition. Our aim is to finish the season in seventh place and we all have the belief we can achieve that.”
After last week’s comfortable win over Inverness City, Neish made just one change with Amy Gallacher coming in for Alex Russell. Defender Gemma Collier also returned to the bench after missing the last two games with work commitments.
The first chance of the game came in the tenth minute, Derrian Gollan sending a cross in for Amy Gallacher but she saw her effort fly over the bar.
Four minutes later 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.
After just 19 minutes the lead was doubled; youth internationalist Amy 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, Nicola Davidson’s free kick from the halfway line was met by Gallacher; her initial effort being tipped onto the bar before she rose to nod home the rebound.
Johnstone thought she had made it 4-0 after just twenty five minutes but referee Kenny Beats blew for a foul on the keeper.
Sousa and the Dunbar both had chances to extend the lead with both firing wide before Hearts pulled a goal back in the 33rd minute. Debutant Rachel Walkingshaw capitalised on a poor McNicoll clearance by floating the ball over her into the net from 40 yards.
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, hitting the woodwork again four minutes into the half, Dunbar the unlucky player this time.
Two minutes later Holly Napier curled wide before Sousa blasted over from the edge of the box.
After 58 minutes Forfar netted their fourth of the game, a Gallacher cross found Sousa, her shot was blocked so she stabbed the ball towards Johnstone who fired home.
Just after the hour mark it was Hearts turn to hit the woodwork, scorer Walkingshaw’s effort rattling the crossbar.
Simone McMahon was next to have an effort for the visitors as they desperately hunted for a way back into the game.
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 five or more goals for the third week running, 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, albeit Hearts can feel they deserve to be there too, league reconstruction meaning they are one of four teams to go down.
Forfar Farmington: Fiona McNicoll, Sophie Milligan, Megan Burns (Kayleigh Noble 71), Jade McLaren (Gemma Collier 83), Lindsey Dunbar, Tori Sousa, Keira Johnstone (Sally Patterson 85), Nicola Davidson, Holly Napier, Derrian Gollan (Alex Russell 64), Amy Gallacher.
Hearts: Lorna Esson, Louise Moultray, Megan Paterson, Kirsty McLaughlin (Ashley Carse 66), Simone McMahon (Amber Robertson 67), Demi Falconer, Brogan Anderson (Gemma Mason 66), Ashley Nicolson, Stacey Hutchison (Kara Kidd 62), Michelle Faughnan (Rebecca Smith 71), Rachel Walkingshaw.