Celtic Ghirls lose out to City in league clash…
Report and Picture: Celtic FC
Glasgow City 3
Despite a promising start to the game, Celtic found it difficult to retain their foothold in the match and had to endure a difficult second half, eventually losing by 3-0 to Glasgow City.
It was a bright opening for the Hoops who were, for a time, more than matching City in midfield. In the seventh minute, a clever pass from Natalie Ross found Nicole Pullar in the clear, but the striker’s pace had put her in an offside position.
More chances were created by Celtic in the following few minutes, with Lee Alexander in the City goal kept busy. The first clear-cut chance fell to Pullar, but her shot from close-in was brilliantly parried by Alexander.
Gradually, though, City gained their composure and, finding space, started probing attacks which challenged the Hoops defence. Georgie Rafferty at centre back was really commanding at this stage, making solid tackles and intelligent interventions.
Thereafter, Kiera Gibson in the Celtic goal had to be alert, notably diving full length to tip a long-range shot around the post.
City were beginning to take control and in the 18th minute, Cheryl McCulloch and Rafferty had to look lively to thwart another attack. It was no surprise when, in the 25th minute, City took the lead. A free kick by Leanne Ross on the left eluded everyone and the ball crept in at the near post.
By now Celtic were finding it difficult to mount attacks with Ross in the centre of Celtic’s midfield closely guarded throughout, giving her little space to influence the game.
Twice before the break there was cause for Celtic optimism when first a free kick was awarded within striking distance, but Rafferty was unable to test the goalkeeper. Then followed a break by Pullar, but she was eventually bundled off the ball.
Half time arrived with City on top and leading 1-0, but there was still a feeling that Celtic could play themselves back into it.
City began the second half full of menace and within minutes twice threatened to increase their lead with keeper Gibson doing well to keep them out. Now it was a rear-guard action for the Hoops, and when Gibson conceded a penalty, converted by Ross after only four minutes, the writing was on the wall.
Despite some brave defending by Celtic and further stops from Gibson, Glasgow City added to their lead when a clever first-time flick by Lauder from a Love cross flew far beyond Gibson.
Unfortunately Celtic could do little to subdue City and had to settle for a 3-0 defeat.
Celtic: Gibson, Keenan (Connor), Rafferty, McCulloch, Cavanagh, Clark (O’Neill), Adams, Ross, Pullar, Donaldson (Knox), Giard (Ewens).
Subs not used: Cunningham, Fitzsimmons.