SCOTLAND claimed all three points in their World Cup qualifying match against Belarus in Falkirk last night but not before the Belarussians gave them an almighty scare.

In the first meeting between the pair in this qualifying group in Minsk last October, the Scots took all three points courtesy of a 2-1 win but not before having to recover from a goal down.

But with Belarus now sitting bottom of Group 2 and the Scots flying high in second place, six points behind group leaders Switzerland having only dropped points against the Swiss, a convincing home win was anticipated against the Belarussians.

Ahead of this match, both manager Shelley Kerr and captain Rachel Corsie stated that they expected the home side to secure all three points, although they both acknowledged it was likely to be a hard-fought battle and they weren’t wrong.

Kerr made two changes to the starting line-up from the Scots last competitive outing, against Poland in April, with Erin Cuthbert and Kirsty Smith coming in and Jo Love and Fiona Brown dropping onto the bench.

The Scots started by far the brighter of the two sides, dominating the midfield and going forward at every opportunity.

The Belarussians were using all of their physical attributes, committing a plethora of fouls and the Scots found it hard to break them down but the home side remained unperturbed and created a number of half chances - although nothing clear-cut - in the opening 20 minutes and it seemed merely a matter of time before they found the back of the net.

However, entirely against the run of play, Belarus took the lead on the 27-minute mark through a long-range shot from Karina Olkhovic which went over Scotland keeper Lee Alexander’s head and scraped the underside of the bar to make it 1-0 to the visitors.

The goal silenced the crowd and shocked the Scots into action and almost immediately, they charged up the pitch and came incredibly close to equalising.

Jane Ross, who has recently departed Manchester City, had the ball in the back of the net but was ruled offside before then hitting the post just a few minutes later.

Scotland once again rattled the woodwork with Lisa Evans hitting the crossbar seconds after Ross’ effort before a shot from Claire Emslie also crashed against the crossbar - but Belarus’ lead remained intact.

It looked to every one of the 2007-strong crowd that the visitors were going to go in at half-time ahead but with practically the last kick of the ball, Chelsea midfielder Erin Cuthbert equalised for the home side.

An attack up the right wing saw Cuthbert make a run into the box and from the most acute of angles, squeezed a delightful shot past Belarus keeper Natalia Voskobovich for the equaliser.

The goal was the least the Scots deserved for their first-half performance and the half-time scoreline flattered the visitors immensely. But it was yet another reminder to Kerr of the danger of her side failing to capitalise on their chances.

The second half started in much the same fashion as the first had played out with the Scots in the ascendency but not being nearly as clinical as Kerr would have liked.

However, Cuthbert, who looked dangerous throughout the entire game, repaid Kerr impressively for her starting berth by putting the Scots ahead with her second goal of the game.

A low cross from Fiona Brown, who had come on for Emslie at half-time, was coolly controlled by Cuthbert who once again fired the ball past Voskobovich into the back of the net to give the Scots the lead.

The remainder of the game saw the home side continue to dominate with substitute Lana Clelland coming closest to scoring the Scots’ third goal but ultimately they failed to extend their lead any further.

While Kerr was understandably delighted to have picked up all three points, a far more clinical performance will be required when the Scots take on Poland in Kielce on Tuesday if they are to secure another victory and maintain the pressure on Switzerland.