Celtic Women’s side back on winning trail.
Forfar Farmington 0
Report/Image: Celtic FC
AlthoughCeltic were undoubtedly the superior team with the majority of possession and most of the attacking play, they had to settle for a narrow 1-0 victory courtesy of an opportunist goal from Kathleen McGovern after 18 minutes.
In the opening period, there was no indication as to which team would take control of the match, as possession was regularly gained and conceded by both sides.
Gradually, though, Celtic began to take the attacking initiative. Left-back, Colette Cavanagh repeatedly made aggressive runs down the wing, combining well with Sarah Ewens.
After eight minutes, Ewens, with a typically powerful run, burst past defenders and fired in a cross-shot which was saved by keeper McNicoll.
On the right wing Nicole Cairney was eager to gain possession for the Hoops and made several dashes forward, but was unable to evade her marker completely.
Sensing that the Forfar defence was vulnerable on their right, Chloe Craig and Kelly Clark time after time released Cavanagh and Ewens to attack.
In the 18th minute Ewens yet again beat her challengers to fire in a right-footed drive. The powerful shot was only parried by the goalkeeper, and Kathleen McGovern reacted quickly to fire the ball into the roof of the net.
Although Celtic continued to move forward at every opportunity, with Ewens and Natalie Ross both shooting over the bar, they were unable to put keeper McNicoll to the test.
Another two further opportunities fell for Celtic as half time approached. Firstly a Clark header following a Ewens corner was saved, then a close-range McGovern drive was deflected past.
With Celtic very much in control despite of their slender lead, there was no let-up in the second period. And it was still Ewens and Cavanagh who were causing Forfar most of their problems.
Shots were aimed repeatedly at the Forfar keeper, but a second goal remained elusive. On the hour, a clever pass by Ross through the centre of the home defence set McGovern free but her shot was straight and easily gathered by McNicoll.
With 20 minutes to go Cavanagh took a knock and was replaced was replaced by Claire Crosbie. This allowed centre-back Craig to move into Cavanagh’s position, and soon she too was causing problems for Forfar down the left.
At no stage had Celtic looked like conceding. Then, with the clock ticking towards time added on, Forfar were awarded a free kick 20 yards from goal. There was silence from the Hoops’ support, followed by a sigh of relief as the resulting shot flew high past the goal.
One last chance fell to Celtic, with a similar free kick opportunity at the other end, but nothing came of it.
At the end manager Eddie Wolecki Black said: “I believe we fully deserved our win. We started well and controlled the game and our half-time lead was the reward for that performance.
“If I have to be critical, it is our wastefulness in front of goal which kept the game tight going into the last quarter.
“I was pleased with the three points and another clean sheet. Of course, we have some tough games over the next few weeks and it’s better to be going forward with a decent performance as it helps our confidence.”
Celtic: Mutch, Rafferty, McCulloch, Craig, Cavanagh (Crosbie), Giard, Ross Clark, Cairney (Donaldson), McGovern, Ewens. Subs not used: Knox, Connor.