Celts enjoy impressive league win over Hamilton.
Craig 2, Donaldson OG
Hamilton Academical 1
Report & Image: Celtic FC
Celtic secured a 4-1 victory over Hamilton as they returned to league duty at the weekend, though they had to come from behind to secure the win. Chloe Craig scored twice, while Rachel Donaldson also netted and there was an own goal from Hamilton in the win.
It was the visitors who took the lead on 13 minutes when they broke forward at pace, and the final shot evaded Emily Mutch in the Celtic goal.
The Hoops went in search of an equaliser, but it was a frustrating first 45 minutes as they found the Hamilton defence a tough one to break through, and the visitors almost extended their lead on the stroke of half-time, with Mutch producing an excellent save to deny them.
Celtic introduced Natalie Ross in centre midfield and made several positional changes after the break, and those changes had the desired effect.
The equaliser came from a six-yard box scramble following a corner. The ball dropped nicely for Craig and as she took aim to score, a defender nipped the ball from her foot, only to see it fly into the roof of the net.
After 75 minutes, good play down the right by Donaldson allowed her to fire in an accurate shot which was blocked on the goal-line, eventually arriving back at her feet. The midfielder shot again and this time she scored after a wicked deflection from a defender.
With only eight minutes left, Colette Cavanagh burst through the centre of Accies’ defence, but was upended some 20 yards from goal. Chloe Craig fired the resulting free-kick well beyond the goalkeeper to make sure of a win for her side. And on 88 minutes, Craig added another with a close-in shot to complete the scoring.
Speaking after the game coach Edward Gallagher said: “We didn’t start that well and credit to a well-organised Accies team, who took full advantage of that during the opening period and gave themselves a lead to hang on to.
“They were defensively well-drilled and offered a threat on the counter. We slowly came into the game near the end of the first-half but lacked that speed of play which we know we can achieve.
“The second half was much better and the players really stepped it up a gear. We were first to every ball, showed a real desire to win every 50-50 and while there were two deflected goals, our hunger to get the win in the second period meant there was always going to be one winner.”
CELTIC: Mutch, Keenan (Ross), McCulloch, O’Neill, Craig, Clark, Knox, Adams (Cavanagh), Ewens (Crilly), Donaldson (Cairney), McGovern (Giard).
Subs not used: Connor, Crosbie.