Renfrew Ladies cruised into the League Cup Quarter Finals with a comprehensive defeat of North Division leaders Granite City at New Western Park.
It was a trip into the unknown for both sides who have made flying starts in their respective leagues, but experience told in the end with Renfrew Ladies making the most of the many chances they created.
It was a competitive and confident start from both sides with the ball being zipped around the perfect playing surface. Renfrew opened the scoring in the opening couple of minutes when Sammy Jo Smith played a ball into the feet of Claire Rae who turned and put a beautiful through ball into the stride of Karen Baillie who rounded the keeper before firing home to make it 1-0.
The goal settled the hosts and a long shot from Claire was well saved by the visiting keeper. Her opposite number Sam McQuillian in the Renfrew goal is yet to lose a goal in competitive football this season but saved well as Granite City tried to restore parity. Renfrew reacted well and Erin Gould saw her volley well blocked by the keeper.
On 21 minutes a long clearance from Sam beat almost everyone, but Claire reacted quickest to run on past the last defender and shoot past the keeper to make it 2-0. On the half hour a great run from Sammy resulted in her cross being cut out. The ball fell to Claire who unleashed a powerful shot which was blocked for a corner. Sammy sent over the kick which found Karen but her overhead kick was just over the bar. Six minutes later Renfrew extended their lead and yet again it was a corner that gave the visitors a problem.
Sammy's cross was only partially cleared, but dropped nicely to Jane Murphy 12 yards out. Her turn and shot found the top corner and it was 3-0. Renfrew were now well on top but Granite City had a couple of chances to get back into the match as firstly Sam had to be smartly out to block a shot, before a visiting player saw her shot go close.
Yet again Renfrew stepped up a gear and it was 4-0 when Erin Gould sprinted down the line skipping past a couple of tackles, before putting in a cross that deceived the keeper and found the net. With a couple of minutes later Sammy had a run and shot which rattled the bar. Karen reacted quickest to volley home the rebound from 8 yards out and as the half time whistle blew, the score was Renfrew Ladies 5 -0 Granite City Ladies.
There were 3 early chances for Granite City at the start of the 2nd half, but they were unable to find a finish, with Sam diving to her right to keep one out. Claire had a couple of chances too, but failed to hit the target. Renfrew changed things around with Katrina Mulveny replacing Erin, and Natalie O'Neill replacing two goal Karen.
With 67 minutes on the clock Renfrew made it six, with a goal from Lindsay Fitzpatrick who latched onto a through ball before firing home from narrow angle past the advancing keeper. Claire had another chance as she ran through on the keeper but the last defender denied her with a great block. Sammy scored after a one two with Claire to make it 7-0 before Renfrew made three changes. Gail Hawthorn, Sophie Laird and Kirsty Ross replaced Lindsay, Sammy, and Debbie McGarrell. There was a long delay following an injury to a Granite City player but, when play resumed, it was Renfrew who looked more likely to extend their advantage. A good run and powerful shot from Natalie forced a good save from the keeper before Renfrew scored their last of the day with a couple of minutes left. Gail won a 50-50 ball on left hand edge of the box, before cutting onto her right foot and shooting past the keeper to make the final score 8-0.
Another great team performance today as Renfrew reached 50 goals in 6 competitive matches, and all without conceding a goal. Today could have been a tricky one for the team, but the Ladies showed their intentions from the first whistle, and put on a professional and polished performance which blew away their young opponents.
Renfrew: Sam, Jane, Debbie, Eilidh, Janice, Lee, Lindsay, Sammy, Erin, Claire, Karen
Subs used: Kat, Gail, Sophie, Natalie, Kirsty
Reported by Alan Liddell Renfrew Ladies FC