Hamilton Accies 0
(Ross 2, Ewens 2)
Doubles each from Natalie Ross and Sarah Ewens sent Celtic to a comfortable 4-0 win at New Douglas Park, and with Spartans and Stirling University losing, the win put the Hoops up to third place in the league.
A confident start from Celtic, with the lion’s share of the ball, put Accies on the defensive for most of the first half. Natalie Ross stood out in the early stages, with her determination and tenacity keeping her side well on top. On the right, Alex Middleton and Jamie-Lee Napier were very much on form as they pushed forward.
For all their good build-up play, Celtic were unable to test Fleming in the Hamilton goal. Long-range shots from Ross and Kirsty Howat, twice, failed to hit the target.
Several Howat corners were swung in dangerously, but Hamilton always managed to get the ball clear. That is, until the 25th minute when yet another Howat corner was met by a cluster of eight players. None managed a decisive touch and as the ball bounced and ricocheted on the edge of the six-yard box, Ross pounced to fire the ball into goal.
At this stage, it looked as if Celtic would add a few goals to their lead, but Hamilton were ambitious when they did have the ball, and Celtic were unable to relax on their lead. A fine Ruesha Littlejohn free-kick in 40 minutes beat the keeper, but it rebounded off the post.
When the second goal arrived, it was an identikit of the first. This time Howat’s corner was met by Courtney Whyte whose header was blocked by the sheer number of bodies in front of her. Forward, Ewens reacted quickly to strike into the net from very close in.
Celtic, with their 2-0 lead, would have been expected to press home their advantage with more goals. They were strangely subdued in the opening minutes of the second half, however, and Hamilton almost got back into it with two successive corners and a shot into the side net.
On-form Ewens was putting in an energetic performance, with clever runs into space, and she was nearest to adding to the Hoops’ tally when she brought out a fine save from Fleming at her near post in 70 minutes.
Ewens it was who added a third goal and effectively settled the outcome only minutes later. This time, her clever run was spotted by Ross and she finished with confidence.
The final goal, scored by Ross, was created by Ewens. Her explosive run to the goal line was completed by a driven cutback and, as several players dashed in to meet the ball, Ross was the one to get a final touch.
In the end it was a clear-cut win for the Hoops, but as in previous matches against Accies, they found genuine scoring opportunities difficult to manufacture.
Ewens and Ross were the Hoops’ stand-out players, with Girls’ Academy graduates, Napier and Connor giving accomplished, confident performances. Centre-backs, Kelly Clark and Courtney Whyte strolled through the match with their admirable ability to read the game.
Celtic: Cunningham, Middleton (Rafferty), Clark, Whyte, Connor (Fitzsimmons), Richards, Ross, Littlejohn, Napier, Howat, Ewens.
Sub not used Gibson.
Report & Picture: Celtic FC