Glasgow City 2
(Grant 43, Murray 59)
Buoyed by a good performance and a well-earned draw in their earlier league match, Celtic were hoping to build on that showing in the final fixture of the first half of their summer season. It ended in disappointment for the Hoops, though, when Glasgow City hit top form to gain a comfortable 2-0 win.
The away team began the match full of attacking menace and pressed Celtic back into defence at every opportunity. The Celtic back line had to be alert with tackles and blocks as City forced a series of corners in the early stages.
Fortunately, Hoops goalkeeper Megan Cunningham was in fine form, intelligently reading the flight and bounce of the ball on several occasions to gather comfortably.
After eight minutes the first clear-cut chance was created when City defender Docherty sent in a shot from distance but Cunningham threw herself across goal to deflect the ball to safety.
Natalie Ross was applying herself tenaciously in midfield, assisted by Ruesha Littlejohn, playing deeper than normal. Littlejohn was showing willing to carry the ball forward to feed Heather Richards operating wide on the left.
It was from a Richards attack that Celtic had their first real chance of the afternoon. In the 23rd minute, not long after a scare when City hit the post, Richards broke clear on the left wing, cut inside and sent in a fierce shot, but it was safely gathered by goalkeeper Alexander.
Having survived the early pressure, Celtic were gaining more of a foothold as the half progressed and saw more possession in Glasgow City’s half. Openings were still proving difficult to create, and it was really no surprise when City broke the deadlock two minutes before the interval with Grant firing the ball into the net after making space for her shot.
Shortly after that, City had another good chance, but Lauder’s shot was held easily by Cunningham. Only one goal behind at the interval, there was still optimism in the Celtic camp.
However, thoughts of a quick comeback had to be put on the backburner as City continued to test the Hoops’ defence with swift attacking moves. The post came to Celtic’s rescue once more as City continued to press.
In 56 minutes the Hoops’ spirits were lifted as striker Suzanne Mulvey broke clean through the City defence, but Docherty earned herself a booking when she illegally halted the attack. Littlejohn’s powerful free-kick was on target, but was straight at the goalkeeper.
Glasgow City immediately replied with a shot from Kerr but she was foiled by a thrilling diving save from Cunningham. Soon after, the game was put beyond Celtic when Murray scored after the ball had struck the crossbar.
There was to be no further scoring, although Natalie Ross hit the City bar with a snapshot and the Celtic post was again rattled.
Top player for Celtic was Megan Cunningham who had a very busy afternoon, but was composed, brave and agile throughout.
Celtic: Cunningham, Poucel (Middleton), Clark (Hodges), Whyte, Rafferty, McFarlane, Ross, Littlejohn, Crilly, Mulvey, Richards (Howat). Subs not used Dalgliesh, Fitzsimmons.
Report & Picture: Celtic FC