Ferguson is full of the joys after Scots see off Irish

A DELIGHTED Scotland ladies midfielder Julie Ferguson claimed: "You couldn't really ask for more", after the national side survived a late rally by Northern Ireland to win 2-1 at McDiarmid Park.

The midfield star was delighted with the vital victory, which marks the end of the friendlies before the Euro 2007 qualifying campaign begins away to Russia at the end of next month. But, while the final result was just what the doctor ordered, Ferguson admitted things were a bit too close for comfort as the game drew to a close.

"We went 2-0 up and then Northern Ireland scored in the last five or ten minutes which gave us a bit of a nervy finish," she said.

"It was a good win because we had a few players missing like Julie Fleeting and, especially going into the Russia game, it was a big positive, a big plus."

Ferguson added: "The fact that we have won with a few players missing, and shown we have strength in depth, is pleasing."

"We played a good passing game and were working hard to make sure we were always pressing the ball."

It was the first win for new Scotland coach Anna Signeul at the Swede's fourth attempt.

The Scots went in 1-0 up at the half after ex-Hibee Pauline Hamill's floated free kick was parried into the path of captain Shelly Kerr, who finished from close range. The lead was doubled after the interval when Megan Sneddon headed in Hibs defender Stacy Cook's deep cross at the back post. Then came Sarah McFadden's late counter for the Irish, which set the Scots on edge.