ERIN CUTHBERT admits that she could barely have felt a greater sense of relief than that which washed over her when she saw the ball hit the back of the net in the 65th minute of Scotland’s World Cup qualifier against Belarus on Thursday evening.

That goal, which Cuthbert displayed an impressive piece of skill to finish off, secured a 2-1 win for the Scots and more importantly, a vital three points which has kept them in the hunt for a World Cup qualifying place.

Cuthbert scored both the Scots’ goals on the night, but she admits it was the winner which really had her heart going.

“I was so relieved when the second went in,” she said.

“I think we really needed that - it was 1-1 and the nerves were starting to kick in.

“But we did really well and I wouldn’t say that the scoreline reflected the game at all - we had so many chances and on another day, they’re going to go in.

“It was just the final part that let us down a little bit.”

Scotland were heavy favourites going into the game – Belarus were sitting bottom of Group 2 while the Scots were second, six points behind group leaders Switzerland with a game in hand.

The Belarussians made things awkward for the Scots at Falkirk Stadium but the home side did little to help their own cause, failing to convert over a dozen of the chances they created throughout the course of the game.

The Belarussians even managed to take the lead in the first half - entirely against the run of play - and it took until stoppage time of the first half for Cuthbert to grab Scotland’s equaliser.

And while the 19-year-old admits her side were not as clinical as they could have been, they never lost the belief that victory was in their hands.

“We made it hard for ourselves but at the end of the day, we got the three points,” the Chelsea midfielder said.

“But even when they scored, we never thought of playing any differently from how we had been because we were playing well up to that point.

“So it was a case of just playing our normal game - we’ve got the attacking quality to break a team like that down over 90 minutes.”

Scotland now travel to Kielce to take on Poland on Tuesday and they know that another three points are vital if they are to maintain the pressure on Switzerland at the top of the group.

Cuthbert and her teammates secured a 3-0 win against the Poles in their first meeting of this qualifying campaign in Paisley in April but the scoreline suggests a more comfortable game that it in fact was on the night.

The return match next week will, Cuthbert acknowledged, be an almighty battle but the teenager is confident that another three points can be secured.

“Against top-level opposition, you probably won’t get quite as many chances as we did against Belarus,” she said.

“But credit to Belarus, they did brilliant and made it hard for us.

“Poland will be a different threat and we’ll have to be wary of them but we have a lot of talent in our squad and we have enough attacking quality that we can break any team down.”