The ladies of Forfar Farmington celebrated one of the most important wins in their 30-year history in emphatic fashion on Sunday.
The top Angus football club have been a constant presence in the Scottish top-flight for 20 years but an incoming league restructure saw the club needing a draw to guarantee a place in the new-look Women’s Premier League.
Farmington welcomed Edinburgh big-hitters Hearts to Station Park, Forfar Athletic’s home ground, with hopes for a large attendance to cheer them on.
The squad managed to secure their status in grand style, beating the city team 5-2.
Farmington were led by doubles from US signing Tori Sousa and Amy Gallacher, both midfielders, and striker Keira Johnstone.
Club chairman Colin Brown paid tribute to the “fantastic” players and coaching staff.
“This weekend was our most important game for a long time and I’d like to congratulate the players for stepping up to the occasion,” he said.
“This game made sure that Farmington will go on to represent Angus at the top table in Scottish women’s football.
“I’d also like to thank the support who made their voices heard today.”
League restructuring will see the current 12-team top flight changed next season, and Farmington went into the crucial clash as the country’s in-form side of late.
The win over Hearts is the club’s ninth in a row.
Mr Brown, now a Forfar councillor, took a team of boys to Farmington, Connecticut, at the invitation of friend and former local, Al Bell, in 1980.
A few years later the first seeds of girls’ football in Forfar were sown and the Angus town can now boast the biggest women’s set-up in the country.
Now the club has more than 230 signed players and 100 children playing across Angus.
Mr Brown added: “Other clubs have massive resources, but we have achieved so much on and off the park through sheer hard work by the players and coaches, and the huge support of volunteers in every aspect of the running of the club.”
Farmington went ahead in the 14th minute when Derrian Gollan set up Tori Sousa to slot the ball home.
And five minutes later, Amy Gallacher made it two without reply after a weaving run and a curling shot.
Gallacher grabbed her second in two minutes with a header from a Davidson free-kick.
Walkingshaw pulled one back for Hearts in the 33rd minute and the game was 3-1 at half time.
Forfar pulled further ahead in the 58th minute with a goal from Keira Johnstone, with Sousa and Gallacher both involved in the lead-up.
Sousa scored again in the 73rd minute from 25 yards. The visitors grabbed their second in the 77th minute.