Republic of Ireland manager Colin Bell says his team deserved their win over Slovakia in the 2019 World Cup qualifier, but was far from impressed with their first-half showing.
Substitute Amber Barrett sealed a 2-1 win at the Tallaght Stadium with a fantastic strike four minutes from time when it appeared the battling Slovaks were going to hold on for their first point of the campaign.
Despite dominating possession in the first half aided by a strong breeze, Ireland failed to create a meaningful scoring opportunity and Bell says he wasn’t happy with how the opening 45 minutes panned out.
"It was a bit of a scrap," he told RTÉ Sport. "The conditions didn’t help and we just had to adapt, which unfortunately we didn’t do so intelligently in the first half.
"We got it sorted out in the second half. It was a well-deserved win, we were the more active team, but we allowed them back into it with a rather bizarre goal."
With injuries forcing Bell into three personnel switches from the 0-0 draw with the Netherlands last time out, the manager conceded it impacted the team’s approach.
"We had players in different positions, the balance of the team was a little bit off-set because of that. We don’t have the strength-in-depth to compensate for certain positions, but the girls that took the job on did really well. Their attitude is really fantastic."
The home side had their first shot on target in the 69th minute before Leanne Kiernan opened the scoring. A lapse from goalkeeper Marie Hourihan allowed the Slovaks back into the contest three minutes later before Barrett struck late on the delight of the crowd.
Bell singled the two goalscorers out for special praise.
"They are two home-based players. We have worked really hard with them and it was fantastic to see them on the scoresheet."
Next up is the Netherlands on Tuesday, but with 10 points from four games so far, Bell is more than happy with how Group 3 is progressing ahead of the visit of the European champions.
"We need to get the points in the bag we should be getting. Six points from Slovakia, three from Northern Ireland keeps us in there, no matter what happens on Tuesday.