Young OG (40), McGovern (57, 70, 76), Cairney (74, 88)
Report: Scott Lewis
The Academy side continued their fine run of form that saw them increase the gap to six points between them and third placed Colts, with a convincing win.
The visitors nearly took an early lead when McGonigle tried to touch McGovern’s header past the Colts keeper and covering defenders from a corner, but she was denied by the crossbar before the ball being cleared by the hosts.
Celtic continued to press the hosts and were posing a great threat down the left-hand side of the pitch, with Simpson, McGovern and Cairney linking up excellently to create space for each other and attack at speed.
Cumbernauld had a chance of their own when Young picked out Fern in space, in the box, who couldn’t connect properly with her attempted volley and the ball instead rolled towards Kerr for her to collect comfortably.
Minutes later, Wands played a fantastic ball that split the Colt’s defence and set Cairney through who crossed to McGovern, who fizzed the ball narrowly wide of the far post. Celtic continued to press for an opener and once again great work down the left between Simpson, Cairney and McGovern caused the Colts real problems. A mis-controlled cross from Simpson ended up at the feet of Molley on the far side, who used superb skill to beat two players and burst into the box before getting away a shot herself, that went inches past the outside of the far post.
Five minutes before the break, the visitors managed to get the breakthrough- albeit with a slice of luck. An inviting cross into the box by Cairney was deflected off of Young and ended up in the back of the Colts net.
Celtic were spurred on by this and looked determined to increase their lead before the whistle for half time. Their best opportunity came from a fast counter from a Colts corner that saw McGovern burst into the box and force a fantastic save from McSherry in goal. Even with continuous pressure, they were unable to get a second and went into the break with the one goal advantage.
Celtic started where they left off in the second half, with Simpson going on a fantastic run before attempting to play through Cairney but the midfielder couldn’t quite reach her pass. Minutes later they created a fantastic opportunity for themselves to double their advantage as a neat one-two on the edge of the area between McGovern and Henderson allowed the midfielder to burst into the box and get a shot away that looked destined for the bottom corner but once again McSherry was equal to it with another outstanding save.
Just before the hour mark, the visitors’ dominance paid off when Stewart put in a fantastic cross from the right-hand side that found the feet of McGovern at the back post who was six yards out. The striker composedly took a touch, set herself and then fired the ball into the back of the net.
Ten minutes later she got her second, as substitute Craig put in a great cross from the right that the striker finished impressively over McSherry with a half volley. Celtic almost had their new three goal cushion reduced back to two straight away again as Fern pressed well and caused confusion in the Academy defence that saw both McAllister and Watson fail to clear the ball properly and the striker have the opportunity at a one on one with Kerr. She couldn’t direct her shot past the Academy keeper who stood tall to hold her effort and maintain the three-goal gap.
The ghirls had the perfect reaction to this scare as a minute later, with 74 minutes gone, Cairney picked the ball up 25 yards out, took a touch and brilliantly curled the ball into the far top corner. A superb finish that all but ended any remaining hope from the hosts.
The visitors were in no mood to ease of however, as only a couple of minutes later they once again increased their lead. Darcy Molley picked out McGovern from a corner who headed home to get her hattrick. McGonigle looked to get a touch but the ball seemed to have already crossed the line. The striker therefore claimed the goal and her hattrick.
Craig put a fizzing delivery across the six-yard box that looked certain for McGovern to tap in for her fourth, to end any doubt over her hattrick, but McSherry came rushing out and put the striker off causing her to pull out from going for the ball and having an unfortunate collision with the Colts keeper.
The game was rounded off when the Academy grabbed their sixth late on when Cairney ran in to challenge the Colts centre back to a Craig cross, which hit off the incoming midfielder’s knee and looped over the substitute keeper and into the back of the net. A great afternoon for her, being key to many of her side’s most dangerous attacks.
The game ended 6-0 and it also marks a sixth consecutive win in a row for the Academy who remain level on points with Hibs at the top of the table,
CUMBERNAULD COLTS STARTING XI: McSHERRY, YOUNG, GILBERT, FERN, MORRISON, SHAW, JOHNSTON, GUTHRIE, DICKSON, KERR, HUTCHINSON.
SUBS: McPHEE, BLAIR, WILSON, MARTIN
CELTIC ACADEMY STARTING XI: KERR, SIMPSON, WATSON, McALLISTER, MOLLEY, HENDERSON, McGONIGLE, WANDS, STEWART, CAIRNEY, McGOVERN.
SUBS: TOOLAN, CRILLY, CRAIG, WARRINGTON.