Courtesy of Laura Montgomery
Glasgow City continued their remarkable 4 year unbeaten League run with a 2-0 win over Celtic at Petershill Park, to virtually secure the title and Champions League football again next season.
Captain Rachel Corsie gave City the perfect start, as she headed home a Leanne Ross free kick past Celtic and Scotland number one Gemma Fay after only 7 minutes. City continued to dominate the match, but it took until the secondhalf to seal the win when Emma Mitchell came off the bench to score her 26th goal of the season and her 50thcompetitive goal for the club.
Commenting on the win Head Coach Eddie Wolecki Black said
“We knew it was going to be tough coming back from our midweek Champions League defeat. We don’t lose often so we knew it would be difficult to lift the players. However, there is no greater incentive than to be able to virtually seal the title and be back in the UEFA Women’s Champions League again next season.
“To go in at half time only 1-0 up, was through wastefulness on our part in front of goal. Bringing on Emma Mitchell in the second period lifted the tempo of the game and it was significant that she secured the win as she has been instrumental in our success all season. Congratulations to the whole team. You never win a League title with 11 players, you win with a squad and everyone has played a very vital part.”
The opener came after Celtic’s Lauren McMillan fouled City striker Ruesha Littlejohn midway into the Celtic half. The Celtic defender received a yellow card for the foul, but worse was to come for her team as Leanne Ross floated the free kick towards the back post where Corsie climbed highest to head back across goal and into the net.
City should have doubled their advantage moments later as great play from Jane Ross saw the striker beat two players before firing a low driven cross into the six yard box to Jennifer Callaghan, who saw her first and second attempts both blocked by the Celtic rear guard.
Callaghan was to try her luck again on 14 minutes, but her well hit shot was saved by Fay. The Celtic keeper was to deny Callaghan for a third time only 2 minutes later as she got the slightest touch to a City corner ensuring that Callaghan was unable to get a clean header on target and instead her header skimmed the corner of the upright and away to safety.
Jane Ross thought she had doubled her side’s advantage on the 20 minute mark, but after beating Fay, McMillan somehow managed to clear Ross’s shot off the line to keep Celtic in the match.
Less than 60 seconds later, Jo Love had a header come back down off the underside of the bar as she rose to meet an Emma Fernon cross, but her effort did not cross the line and the referee waved play on.
Celtic had a rare forage in the City half on 24 minutes, when Megan Sneddon had a shot from distance which went wide of the target. City responded to the Celtic attack in great fashion as neat play set up Callaghan for a strike, but once more Fay was unable to be beaten as she collected the ball on the second attempt.
Celtic striker Heather Richards hit her side’s only effort on target in the match on 36 minutes, but Claire Johnstone in the City nets got down well tosave the Scotland Under 19 international’s powerfully hit shot.
Shouts from the home side for a penalty for hand ball in the box just before the interval were denied and Ruesha Littlejohn had an effort just wide of the target which had Fay scrambling to cover as City finished the first half on the offensive.
After the break, further efforts from Jane Ross and a great shot by Nicky Docherty went just wide of target for City as they tried in vain to get the second killer goal. City defender Eilish McSorley had two attempts within minutes of each other, firstly from a corner and then from a free kick outside the Celtic box, but again, Celtic stood strong.
Leanne Ross hit a shot straight at Fay on 75 minutes and second half substitute Emma Mitchell headed a Fernon cross into the hands of Fay. The Celtic stopper was looking in great form as she once more denied City, this time racing off her line to save at the feet of Jane Ross, however, substitute Mitchell was to find a way past the impressive keeper as she fired a left foot shot low into the back of the net with 5 minutes left on the clock to give City the 2-0 victory.