An early goal from Megan Wands was the difference in securing the ghirls academy a place in the final of the League Cup next Thursday…..
Report: Scott Lewis
Aberdeen FC Ladies 23’s 0
Celtic Women’s Academy 1
It was a hard-fought victory by the travelling side who showed great character to prevail victors in a scrappy encounter.
Celtic created a number of chances right from the off, as Kathleen McGovern put in a fantastic ball across goal after spinning her player to try and set up Sarah Crilly, who couldn’t quite get there to turn it in to the net. Minutes later the visitors pressure paid off, some excellent link up play between Molley and Crilly down the right hand side frees Crilly to break into box in space, who plays an inviting ball across the six yard box that just evades McGovern but is caught onto at the back post by Wands who taps in to give her side an early lead.
Aberdeen started to grow into the game more after conceding offering a couple of dangerous counter attacks and beginning to see more of the ball. They very came close to equalising on 18 minutes as Hutchinson had a tremendous effort saved by Kerr that was flying towards the bottom right corner. A real warning for the visitors.
The game was a real scrappy one so far with both sides struggling to keep a real grasp of possession and the ball spending a lot of the time in the air and play being broken down regularly with the referee awarding fouls.
Celtic did however manage to continue to create chances for themselves as Wands played through Crilly who’s first touch helped her burst away from the defender and have only the keeper left to beat but her second touch was a little too strong and it allowed Pratt to beat her to the ball.
Crilly and Molley once again linked up well down the right-hand side to allow Crilly space to send in a brilliant cross into a dangerous area between defenders and keeper which McGovern was first to, but her effort was glanced off the outside of the far post and wide.
Into the second half and Celtic once again started fast, as in only the second minute of the half Emma Craig intercepted a short goal kick to set herself up well but she could not find the target in the end.
Celtic looked much more composed in the second half and were starting to play more fluent. Chloe Warrington produced an outstanding ball over the top from the half way line that sent McGovern through on goal, the striker tried to chip the ball over Pratt who was rushing out but her effort went over the bar.
Aberdeen were struggling to get much of the ball but still came extremely close to equalising on a number of occasions from set pieces. Elanor Cooper thundered a shot off the cross bar from a free kick 25 yards out from goal and on a couple of occasions from corners the home side seen their header’s go narrowly wide.
Celtic looked the more likely of the two to score again in the second period and from a corner of their own they came close as the ball beat everyone bar Fulton at the back post who couldn’t catch her volley right and the ball went out for a goal kick.
They continued to create chances throughout the second half and Crilly in particular was threatening to get her name on the score sheet. In the final ten minutes of the game she had two great chances to secure the game as Craig played a ball once again across the six-yard box but sliding in she couldn’t quite get to it. Minutes later the ball was played to her in the box and with a great first touch and burst of pace she created space for herself and forced a fantastic low save from Pratt.
The game finished 1-0 to the Academy side ensuring that they reached the League Cup final for the second consecutive year.
Edward Gallagher Girls Academy Manager “I’m delighted for the players as they’ve managed to reach another league cup final after also reaching last years. The team did fantastically well last year finishing runners up in the league and also in the cup and the players set themselves targets to try match and also better that this year.
Aberdeen were a very good side today and on a tough grass park they pressed us well and made it difficult for us to play our usual football. We defended very well throughout the match and a great piece of play in the first half gave us the winning goal.
It’s another game for the players to look forward to and being involved with this group I know that they will use everything learned in last year’s final to prepare for this years”
Aberdeen FC Ladies 23’s: Pratt, Rogers, Carter, Proctor, Hutchinson, Jamieson, Shore, Cooper, Murray, Collins, Hewitt.
Subs: Neish, Hannah, McAllan, Shand, Caney, Reid, Innes