Glasgow City 5
Rosen 3, Shine, Cuthbert
This was the third league meeting of the season between the two Glasgow Clubs, with both previous scorelines very close. It turned out to be an awkward afternoon for the Hoops, though, when Glasgow City hit top form to inflict a 5-0 defeat.
The first chance of the match fell to Celtic when, after only a minute of play, they were awarded a free kick just yards outside the City penalty area. Skipper Kelly Clark lined up to take the kick in the hope that she’d be able to give the Hoops a flying start as she had done several times this season. On this occasion her shot failed to hit the target.
City responded with several pacey attacks, mainly down their right wing, with Brown and Crilly showing great pace and acceleration. A cut-back across the face of goal eluded Celtic’s defenders but the final strike at an open goal was miss-hit past the post.
This was only a temporary let-off and after eight minutes another burst of pace and cut-back from Brown allowed Shine to open the scoring from close in.
Celtic were fighting for every ball in midfield with Natalie Ross and Kerry Montgomery prominent as usual, and Heather Richards, playing on the right was also seeing plenty of the ball. They were unable to advance far into City territory, with the home side closing down very quickly and tackling forcefully.
With Glasgow City on top, and the Celtic defence at full stretch, it was no surprise when Rosen scored a second for them in 26 minutes.
Megan Cunningham in the Celtic goal was having a busy afternoon, and before half-time had made two exceptional saves to keep her side in the game.
The first was when a curling shot from distance looked set to creep in at the ‘postage stamp’ corner, but with a terrific leap and a one-handed save she clawed the ball past. The second was even more special when she beat away a shot from point-blank range. These two fine interventions kept the score at 2-0 at the interval.
Glasgow City kept up their pace and attacking game in the second half, pushing the Celtic defence and midfield closer to their own goal. Throughout this half Clark was a rock at the centre of the Hoops defence, with astute positioning and interceptions allied to some tigerish tackling keeping City at bay.
It was down the two wings, however, where City were making most headway, with Brown an absolute menace each time she gathered the ball, using her speed to fly past defenders, even hitting the post after a run through the defence.
Goals inevitably followed with Rosen on target in 60 and 75 minutes and Cuthbert three minutes later making the final score 5-0.
It was difficult for Celtic’s striker Suzanne Mulvey to make much impression with the few times she had possession, but she certainly made the defenders work when she did have the ball, using a turn of speed and her strength to retain possession. During one of these bursts forward she brought out the best in City keeper Fay who had to dive bravely at her feet at the edge of the penalty box.
Celtic’s Player of the Match was Kelly Clark who, as noted, was defensively very solid throughout. Megan Cunningham, too, was in fine form with further saves in the second half keeping the score down.
This was a frustrating afternoon for the Celtic players and coaches since they’d run City close earlier, although the team did play with grit, determination and no little effort for the full 90 minutes.
Manager, David Haley said: “We are extremely disappointed with our overall performance. But credit to City because I felt that they played to their maximum and put us under pressure constantly throughout the match.
“We showed glimpses of good play but nowhere near enough in a game like this. We will learn a great deal from this defeat and continue to try and improve from now until the end of the season and make sure our season ends with positive performances and results”
Celtic: Cunningham, Middleton, Clark (c), Whyte, Dalgliesh (Connolly), Richards (Howat), Montgomery, Ross, Grant (Paton), Littlejohn, Mulvey. Subs not used Kerr, McBrearty, Rafferty
Reported by Celtic FC Picture: Celtic FC