Celtic Women deliver emphatic Scottish Cup win.
Report & Image: Celtic FC
Kelty Hearts 0
Cairney, McGovern 3, Craig 3, Ewens 2, Giard 2.
A debut goal, two hat-tricks and two doubles saw Celtic trounce Second Division side, Kelty Hearts 11 -0 and progress to the Scottish Cup quarter-final. The excellent, wet synthetic surface was ideal for Celtic’s style of play, allowing quick passing movements and running with the ball at pace.
Nicole Cairney, making her first start for the Hoops, was looking lively as she made several good runs down the right wing, and it was Cairney who made the breakthrough after 12 minutes, albeit with a touch of fortune when she sent the ball across goal but it was mishandled by the keeper and ended high into the net.
Josi Giard was next to score after 20 minutes as she dashed into the penalty area and skipped nimbly past the outrushing goalkeeper. From then on Celtic turned on the style and added two more goals before the half-time break, with shots from Chloe Craig and the hard-working Kathleen McGovern.
Giard added a fifth for Celtic only two minutes after the restart with a tap-in after the on-form Sarah Ewens chased down a lost cause and rolled the ball across the undefended goal. Ewens then clipped the ball past the goalkeeper from the edge of the penalty area, before McGovern was rewarded for all her work to complete her hat-trick in the 59th and 65th minutes.
Hearts managed on occasion to work the ball close to the Celtic goal, but keeper Emily Mutch had the easiest of afternoons. As Kelty tired, further goals for Celtic were added by Ewens in the 80th minutes and by Craig in the 86th and 90th minutes to complete her hat-trick.
Celtic coach, Edward Gallagher said: “The players put in a very professional performance against a team who are very competitive and strong within their division.
“The plan was to dominate possession and move the ball quickly and the players did that. There was an opportunity to get players some well-needed game-time and that puts us in a good place ahead next week’s match against Hamilton.
“Kathleen McGovern was fantastic up front, grabbing a hat-trick as was Chloe Craig who, despite playing at the back, always wanted to get involved in attack.
“Finally, I was absolutely delighted by Girls’ Academy graduate Nicole Cairney who has been on the fringes of the first-team over the past few months and she delivered with a great goal and a few assists to match.”
CELTIC: Mutch, Knox (Crilly), Craig, O’Neill (Crosbie), Clark, Adams, Cavanagh, Cairney (Donaldson), McGovern (Keenan), Giard (A Stewart).