Thistle Women win Ottley Trophey

For the first time in a number of years Thistle have their hands on the Ottley Trophy after an away win over last years’ champions Southend United. The young Thistle White team started the game at pace, with passing and combinations which left the experienced Southend side chasing shadows. It came as little surprise when Niamh Shirley opened the scoring after 10 minutes with a powerful strike from just inside the box with the build up play involved most of the team.
This was followed by a free kick, which Nicole Anderson slotted home curling it in from 25 metres out.
More good play and solid defence, especially at right and left back from Tara Ballie and Elizabeth Hamlin, prevented Southend from creating anything substantial and a second Niamh Shirley strike similar to the first, put Thistle 3-0 up before half time.
Southend stepped up significantly in the second half and created more chances although a strong captains performance from Shontelle Dixon and her centre back partner Sarah Bryan kept Southend at bay until a late challenge gifted the greens a penalty which keeper Brandy Brown was unlucky not to save. Southend reverted to long ball football and whilst this increased the pressure somewhat, Thistle coped and hit back with Aimee Stubbs managing to get a strong knee to a corner which the Southend keeper was helpless to stop.
At 4-1 the game should have been sealed but continued pressure and long balls from Southend took it’s toll on the Thistle team who struggled to settle in the last 20 minutes and gave away two goals. Ultimately this wasn’t enough for Southend who could not account for the excellent first 60 minutes from Thistle. Final score 4-3 to Thistle. Thistle player of the day was Tara Ballie.