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Dominant Scotland see off Slovakia

Scotland 2 Slovakia 0

Goals from Abi Harrison and Martha Thomas were enough to see off Slovakia in Scotland’s second match in the Pinatar Cup.

It was no less than the team deserved, after dominating from start to finish. Scotland were looking to shake off a 3-1 opening Pinatar Cup defeat to Wales, and were boosted by the delayed arrival of captain Rachel Corsie. The influential centre back has been working her way back from the lingering symptoms of covid and was deemed fit enough for a spot on the bench.

The Scots were at it from the off and coped better with the windswept conditions at an open and exposed Pinatar Arena. They were ahead after four minutes. Caroline Weir played a lovely ball over the Slovakian defence into the path of the alert Harrison, who made no mistake with a clinical finish.

Slovakia were struggling to get to grips with Weir and, within a minute of the opener, she delivered an inviting cross for Thomas, whose header was just wide of the target.

Claire Emslie was also in impressive form – tormenting the opposition defence – and she was unlucky not to be rewarded with a goal after driving from the halfway line before lobbing the keeper. Unfortunately, her effort just crept over the crossbar.

Scotland kept up the pressure and it paid off in 27 minutes, when another determined run and cross from Emslie saw Thomas stretch out a leg to divert the ball beyond keeper Dominika Rezekova.

There was no easing off, with Weir drawing a smart stop from Rezekova after fine link-up play with Elmslie before having another attempt ruled out for offside. Lee Alexander was a peripheral figure until being called into action in 43 minutes to deny Dominika Skorvankova with a low stop.

Scotland were pressing high up the park with intensity and patient in possession. They could have had the game all but wrapped up in first-half injury time, but Harrison’s shot was well saved by Rezekova.

There were two changes at the break, with Chloe Arthur and Lizzie Arnot introduced for Harrison and Lucy Graham, and no drop-off in energy levels. Nicola Docherty flashed a great cross across goal, with the ball eventually scrambled clear as far as Weir, whose shot was bravely blocked.

With 20 minutes to go, Lana Clelland and Christie Murray replaced Emslie and Kirsty Smith as Pedro Martinez Losa shuffled the pack. Jane Ross was also given a run out in place of Thomas as the Scots maintained their stranglehold of the contest.

Sub Clelland – fresh from scoring against Wales – came close to doubling her tournament tally but Rezekova was equal to her fierce half-volley.

Scotland: Lee Alexander, Kirsty Smith (sub Christie Murray 70mins), Sophie Howard, Jennifer Beattie (sub Leah Eddie 86mins), Nicola Docherty, Samantha Kerr, Lucy Graham (sub Chloe Arthur 45mins), Caroline Weir, Abi Harrison (sub Lizzie Arnot 45mins), Martha Thomas (sub Jane Ross 82mins), Claire Emslie (sub Lana Clelland 70mins). Subs not used: Eartha Cumings, Rachel Corsie, Lisa Robertson, Christy Grimshaw, Jenna Clark, Kelly Clark.