Celts collect nine points in eight days with Hibs win


By Colette Carr

Defiant Celtic came from behind to beat Hibs 3-1 at a sun-soaked K-Park as they picked up maximum points from a gruelling week as the season hots up.

A crucial equaliser from Kate Nicolson just before the break allowed the Celts to enter the second period on level terms, before a Chloe Craig penalty and an incredible Sarah Ewens finish allowed the Celts to move comfortably into cruise control by the hour mark.

Having collected six points throughout the week with a runaway 5-1 win at Spartans before battling to a 1-0 Glasgow Derby victory at Celtic Park on Wednesday, the Hoops had no option but to make it nine points in eight days as they continued their pursuit of Champions League football next season.

Chloe Logan pulled out a save of the season contender as she stretched to force Colette Cavanagh’s long-range strike onto the post after just three minutes, but it would be the visitors who would draw first blood. On the 24th minute, Caitlin Hayes’ challenge on the edge of the area was deemed late and Amy Gallacher lifted her freekick over the wall and into the top corner. 

The Celts were given a lifeline just before the break though in a moment to remember for 17-year-old Nicolson who picked up her first senior career goal. Lisa Robertson stood over the freekick just inside Hibs’ half before floating the ball into Hayes’ head, but it was Nicolson who was quickest to react, bringing the ball down to turn and smash it through the packed box drawing it level ahead the break.

Celtic started the second period with intent and were rewarded with a goal to take them ahead just seven minutes after the restart. Mariah Lee cut in and released a shot from just outside the 18-yard box, but Hibs captain Joelle Murray entered the book as her arm blocked the goalbound shot, leaving Craig to step up and dispatch her effort low under Emily Mutch.

Just moments later Carla Boyce of Hibs was screaming for a spot kick at the other end, but the referee adjudged the ball to have come off Keeva Keenan’s chest and waved play on. 

But the Celts were never to be under any more real pressure, and just before the hour mark, the Celts were sitting comfortably two goals ahead. Great hold-up play from Lee seen her get her second goal involvement of the day as she remained strong to turn at the byline and cut it back for the waiting Ewens, who caught it first time to rattle a left-footed screamer in off the crossbar at the near post on the 58th minute. 

Fran Alonso’s side saw out the half comfortably, and having amassed a brilliant nine out nine points over the course of the week, focus turns to the trip up to Forfar Farmington next weekend.

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