2018 has seen quite a turnaround in fortunes for Zoe Ness.

Just a couple of months ago, she had never even been capped for Scotland yet this week, she won her third cap and scored her first goal for her country.

22-year-old Ness came on as a substitute in Scotland’s 3-0 World Cup qualifier victory against Poland at the Paisley 2021 Stadium on Tuesday evening and having lost against Switzerland the previous week, the match was a must-win if the Scots wanted to keep their hopes of topping group 2 and securing automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup alive.

For much of the game, the Poles were the more threatening but as the final half-hour approached, Poland were awarded a dubious penalty which Scotland keeper Lee Alexander saved before Ness really made her mark on the game. The Durham striker opened the scoring for Scotland and admitted she could not be more delighted about scoring her first senior international goal.

“You need to get across your defender and be the first one touching it,” she said. “Luckily it’s gone in the back of the net. That’s my first goal and it will be one to remember, that’s for sure.”

Ness’ career is the perfect illustration of how valuable an asset persistence is. Many others would have become disillusioned about being so close to their first cap but failing to secure it, particularly when she was included in former coach Anna Signeul’s squad in 2016. But instead of getting disheartened, she used her predicament to drive her on and is better for it.

“It was disappointing (in 2016) that I didn’t get game time but it gave me the drive and motivation to go away and work hard,” she said. “I didn’t get an opportunity in 2016 but I guess that’s football at times. Luckily I’ve had the chance to play now and to have scored my first goal, I’m really chuffed.”