Match report by Chris Marshall and photo courtesy of Colin Poultney.
Fran Alonso’s tenure as Celtic Head Coach got off to a stuttering start as his side were held to a goalless draw at home to city rivals Glasgow Women in one of only three SWPL Cup ties to thwart Storm Ciara with a point just reward for the well organised SWPL 2 side.
Alonso included winter signings Lisa Robertson, Jodie Bartle, and Sarah Teegarden in his first competitive starting XI as Celtic boss whilst opposite number Craig Joyce named a Glasgow Women side that was unrecognisable from the one that finished 6th in SWPL 2 last season.
In an opening period of few chances the closest either side would come to breaking the deadlock would come when Celtic academy graduate Rebecca McAllister found space at the edge of the six yard box, however the youngster seemed taken by surprise at the space she had found and her tame effort was easily saved by Natalie Docherty. A pair of efforts from Teegarden tested Docherty again but the keeper, who had come into the side following the departure of Sophie Allison to Hibernian, was again up to the task as a defence, marshalled by summer signing from Partick Thistle, Jo Addie, more than held it’s own as the sides went in level at the break.
Celtic spent part of their pre-season in Gran Canaria but amongst the winds that intermittently swirled round K Park they struggled to hit their tempo and at the interval former Lewes Head Coach Alonso rung the changes with Kathleen McGovern and Paige McAllister replaced by Chloe Warrington and another winter capture, Summer Green. The American, who had been left on the bench as she works her way up to full match sharpness, added some much needed impetus and movement to the home sides attack but again any effort towards goal were again comfortably dealt with by Docherty.
With Celtic throwing caution to the wind the visiting attackers were getting more opportunities to turn the Hoops rearguard and after her defence saw off yet another Celtic attack substitute Taylor Fisher had SWPL Cup infamy within her sights. She snatched at her shot though and it fell comfortably into Chloe Logan’s arms with the striker having more time available than perhaps she realised.
Celtic continued to huff and puff but were unable to break down their city foes as Glasgow Women left with a well deserved point with the only sour note for Craig Joyce at full time being injuries to new signings Tara McGonigle and Karsey McGlinchey, the latter of which looking the most severe with the former Glasgow Cirty youngster carried off after having gone down without an opposition player around.
Next up Celtic travel north to take on St. Johnstone in Perth whilst Women host Spartans who top Group A after a late Becky Galbraith strike sealed a 1-0 victory over Saints at Ainslie Park.
Celtic: Logan, Bartle Craig, Clark, McAllister, Nicolson, Robertson, Giard, Teegarden, McAllister, McGovern. Subs: Kerr (GK), Green, Ewens, Bowie, McCulloch, Donaldson. Warrington.
Glasgow Women: Docherty, McGlinchey, Robinson, Addie, Hoole, Ronald, MacTaggart, McGonigle, Paton, Henderson, McDonald. Subs: Hynes, Dickov, Wilson, Fisher, McEwen, McMullan, Keary.
Post-match interviews with Glasgow Women Head Coach, Craig Joyce, Celtic Women Head Coach, Fran Alonso, and Glasgow Women Captain, Lucy Ronald: