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Ava Easdon: 'Horrible' criticism of Partick Thistle goalkeeper is bullying - Corsie & Crichton

Ava Easdon playing for Partick Thistle against Rangers
Ava Easdon deputised for regular first choice Megan Cunningham against Rangers

"Horrible" online criticism directed at 17-year-old Partick Thistle goalkeeper Ava Easdon is "bullying", says Scotland captain Rachel Corsie.

Easdon kept goal in Sunday's 4-1 SWPL Cup final loss to Rangers.

Her father Lex hit back at Joey Barton for trying to "belittle and bully" his daughter after the former Manchester City and Rangers player mocked Easdon.

Barton commented on X after a clip was posted of Rangers' opener in which Easdon was caught out of position.

Corsie did not name any individuals but said social media criticism of Easdon "has tarnished the occasion. It is bullying".

Speaking on the BBC's Behind The Goals podcast, the Aston Villa defender added: "We see that a lot now. It's even more worrying that people feel it's OK to do it towards younger players.

"It's not welcome in sport. To bully and target people is not acceptable. It's horrible and it's not warranted.

"There's a difference between critiquing in the game, there's a difference between having an opinion on things and how you choose to use your words and speak about people.

"You have to have room to make mistakes. You're going to make mistakes in your career. Pretty much every goal that's scored, there's a mistake in there. That's how, often, we learn."

Scotland head coach Pedro Martinez Losa and defender Nicola Docherty, the Rangers captain, are among those who have offered messages of support to the teenage goalkeeper.

Easdon is on loan at Thistle from Glasgow City and has made 12 appearances this season.

Former Scotland midfielder Leanne Crichton, who is a coach with SWPL side Motherwell, told Behind the Goals: "It [the occasion] has probably been dampened by the fact Easdon has suffered some terrible online criticism.

"A couple of high profile [people] have been involved on Twitter as well, which I'd rather not discuss. There's been a response from Ava's dad to remind people that she is a child, she's a kid.

"She's been exposed of course as we want to see the women's game at the highest level and showcased at the highest level.

"She has effectively been the second-choice goalkeeper this season. She played in a cup final.

"She was thrown in in what should've been a hugely beneficial learning experience for her. The fact that she's been now having to deal with this is just so, so sad.

"She doesn't receive money to play football. She's playing at a part-time team. I thought she dealt with the occasion so, so well."

Martinez Losa said Easdon is doing "exceptionally well" and is just "following the dreams of many girls to be a professional footballer".

"I have a strong opinion on supporting Ava, a young player who's competing excellently this season for her club," said the Spaniard.

"We are in a developing sport and we have to be aware of that and we have to protect players.

"We're accelerating the progress of the women's game and it's evolution, so there are now other people involved and obviously we can't control that."