Celtic immersed victorious in the Glasgow derby with an emphatic win over Rangers Development.
Rangers Development 0
Celtic Academy 7
Craig (7, 65, 84), McGovern (9, 55), Crilly (43, 80)
Rangers in the opening minutes pressed high and Lynsey Baillie forced a good save out of Kerr in the Celtic goal in the first minute. Celtic managed to create a threat of their own from the resulting corner with a fast counter attack that saw both Crilly and McGovern nearly burst through if not for some good defending and an offside flag to stop the latter.
Rangers went even closer to opening the scoring in the fifth minute when Bates brought the ball up the goal line and cut back to McQuillan on the spot who rattled her shot off the post.
Only two minutes later, it was the Ghirls who broke the deadlock after some good link up play between McGovern and Crilly down the right hand side allowed Crilly to use her pace to create space for herself to pick out Craig inside the box, who’s effort initially looked to be saved by Williams but was spilled through her legs and into the net.
Before the ten-minute mark, Celtic had doubled their lead. They were awarded a free kick 35 yards out and up stepped Kathleen McGovern who picked out the top left-hand corner with a spectacular effort.
Celtic continued to press and on 24 minutes it looked like McGovern was going to pick out Craig for her second of the match with a fizzing ball across the six-yard box, but Craig couldn’t quite reach the ball which instead fell to Crilly, who was blocked by some great defensive work. From the resulting corner Megan Wands rose to connect with Henderson’s delivery and put the ball narrowly wide of the far post.
Rangers had a chance to get back into the game when McQuillan spotted Kerr was off her line from 25 yards out and tried to catch her out which came close and required the backtracking goal keeper to tip the ball over the bar.
Once again Rangers looked like they may pull one back as Campbell found Bates at the back post, who was six yards out and would have just needed to tap the ball in but the ball took an unfortunate bobble and she could not get her feet sorted out in time to convert the chance.
Celtic were the side who got another before half time, with Cara Henderson producing a great delivery from the left hand side of the park into the box, which McGonigle controlled excellently before laying it back to Crilly who slotted it in to the bottom corner to make her side’s lead more comfortable going into the break.
Celtic came out into the second half and looked even more dangerous than in the first. Just four minutes in, a brilliant dummy from McGovern allowed Crilly to burst through bearing down on goal, but her shot was straight at Williams.
It only took them ten minutes of the second half to get another as Molley once again released Crilly who used her pace to escape her marker and tear towards goal, this time selflessly passing to McGovern who had a tap in to get her second of the game.
Continuous Celtic pressure was rewarded on the 65th minute when Henderson played a freekick from the right to Craig at the front of the crowd in the box, who excellently volleyed the ball into net first time, leaving the keeper with no chance.
Five minutes later it appeared that McGovern had got her hat-trick when she picked out the bottom corner from just outside the box, but the ball rebounded back out and after a couple of seconds of confusion and appeals, the referee declared that no goal was to be awarded for her effort.
The striker came close on a number of occasions to getting her third after this but she couldn’t quite get the ball over the line. She played a big part in Celtic scoring their sixth as she flicked on a ball from Kerr which sent free Crilly, who got her second with a lovely chip, over the substitute keeper Phillips, into the back post.
There was time for one more before the end, and with three players on two goals, time for one of them to get their hat-trick. Sarah Crilly again used her pace to create space for herself in the box, but once again chose the selfless option to square it for Craig, who composed herself on the penalty spot and fired it past Phillips to make it seven.
The game finished 7-0 to the Academy side which was a true reflection of a dominant Celtic performance.
Manager Michael Tuohy was delighted with the performance and his side’s ability to prevent Rangers from finding a route back into the game “Delighted for the girls today. They worked tirelessly and after a sloppy opening to the game, our performance was excellent from then on. What is particularly pleasing is how relentless we were in the second half, continuing to press and create chances. Our performances have been improving week on week and we will aim to continue this trend again next week.”
The Academy face Hibernian Ladies U23’s next week in a crucial game that could see the Ghirls go level on points with Edinburgh side.
Rangers XI: Williams, Ferguson, Chalmers, McWhirter, Ross, McIntosh, Harty, Campbell, Bates, Baillie, McQuillan
Subs: MacDonald, Fleming, Slaughter, Mulrine, Phillips
Celtic XI: Kerr, Molley, McAllister, Nagle, Warrington, Hendrson, McGonigle, Wands, Crilly, Craig, McGovern
Subs: Simpson, Stewart, Watson, Fulton, Toolan
Report: Scott Lewis
Badges: Rangers FC & Celtic FC