City edge out Celts in Scottish Cup tie


City edge out Celts in Scottish Cup tie

SSE Scottish Women’s Cup, quarter-final

Sunday, September 15, K-Park Academy, East Kilbride



(Ross 35, Howat 62)

THERE was disappointment as Celtic bowed out of the Scottish Cup at the hands of league leaders, Glasgow City, as they lost 2-0 in a competitive 90 minutes of action.

Leanne Ross’ expert free-kick before half-time and ex-Celt, Kirsty Howat’s second-half effort were enough to book the visitors’ place in the semi-finals and see the Hoops exit the competition.

The outcome means all Celtic eyes are now full tilt on a second-place finish in the Scottish top flight.

The Hoops started well in the opening stages with Sarah Ewens powering down the left to cross in, but nobody could get on the end of it. Both sides looked to establish control in the tense first half hour, with Clare Shine striking wide for the visitors and Kat Smart trying to convert a long throw from Keeva Keenan.

Around the half-hour mark, Celtic stepped it up a gear, with Kathleen McGovern doing well to win it in the middle and release Rachel Donaldson down the right flank, before winning a freekick that was floated into the box by Chloe Craig in the 33rd minute.

However, two minutes later, Glasgow City broke the deadlock. The referee awarded a free-kick just outside the area after the ball bounced off the underside of Cheryl McCulloch’s arm, and Ross made no mistake as she lifted her effort over the wall to see it crash in off the crossbar to put the visitors one up.

With five minutes left until the break, Ewens crossed in the free-kick from deep in City’s half, but Smart couldn’t get her final shot away and the Hoops went into half-time 1-0 down.

Celtic’s hunt for an equaliser started brightly in the second half with Josephine Giard’s solo effort down the wing to square in was tapped out for a corner, before Ewens also went close.

On the hour mark, McGovern did well to pressure Carly Girasoli into playing it back to Lee Alexander, and despite charging down, it went out for a corner.

Just two minutes later, though, City doubled their lead. A through ball from McLauchlan found Howat, who instinctively touched and sent it into the top corner.

Ewens’ continued to provide a threat slicing another great shot just wide, before Giard and Donaldson were unlucky to see their efforts in the area cleared.

With fourteen left to play, Celtic were incensed after a big penalty shout was waved away as Giard was brought down under a heavy challenge in the follow through, but it wasn’t to be as Celtic ultimately exited the competition at the quarter final stages to the same side that bettered them in the League Cup quarters.

Celtic: Cunningham, C Craig, Keenan, Cox, McCulloch, O’Neill (McLaughlan), Giard, Smart, Donaldson (Hay), McGovern, Ewens

Subs: Logan, Crosbie, Hodges, E Craig, McBrearty

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