Perfect ten as Celts move to within three points of European football


By Colette Carr

Celtic moved to within three points of Champions League qualification going into the final day of the SWPL1 season, after a relentless 10-0 victory over Forfar Farmington at a sun-soaked K-Park.

In an intense showing that blew the visitors away after just three minutes, Sarah Ewens registered a perfect hat-trick, while Mariah Lee, Anna Filbey and Chloe Craig grabbed doubles to blast the goal difference deficit in addition to an Alana Bruce own goal.

Celtic came out the blocks fast and broke the deadlock with just three minutes played. Caitlin Hayes cut the Forfar lines with a brilliantly-weighted pass for Ewens, who turned on the touch to stroke it into the back of the net.

Celtic continued to mount the pressure on the visitors and benefited from their ruthless press to force an unfortunate mistake for the Forfar defence. Hayes was at it again as she looked to chip it over for Jacynta, but Bruce made the first connection, but had to watch on as her clearance for a corner floated over Lauren Perry in goal to give Celtic a second after just 12 minutes.

And the Celts kept on going as Craig grabbed her first of the day nodding in a Lisa Robertson corner, before turning provider with the long ball for Lee, who did well to take it down inside the area and turn to tuck away her finish despite being surrounded by Forfar jerseys to make it four after 32 minutes. 

Filbey nearly got herself a goal of the season contender with less than ten to go before the break, sending a stinging shot from on the turn goal-ward, but it came crashing off the post. But the Welsh international didn’t have to wait long though, as she linked up with Lee to dance along the edge of the D and unleash a powerful strike to make it five just before the interval.

Celtic returned looking to show the same intent as the first half and were again rewarded early. Ewens picked out Craig who tried her luck from distance, but Ewens was on hand to pick it up inside the area after it came off the bar, to skilfully blast it into the far side-netting after just five minutes.

Seven minutes later, Celtic’s number seven made it seven as Craig looked to hook it over her head and creep in, but Lee capitalised to tap it in from a yard out after Forfar’s substitute keeper Beth Mowatt fumbled on the line.

The hosts continued to pound away at the Forfar defence, but didn’t get their eighth until the 78th minute when they were awarded a penalty, which Craig duly stepped up to knock in and send the Celts on their way again, as within two minutes it was nine. It was another case of right place at the right time to sneak it over the line from close range.

And it was a perfect ten and a perfect hat-trick for Ewens on the 84th minute as she directed a bullet of a header into the back post from a terrific cross from Izzy Atkinson.

Celtic continued to hunt for more with a dangerous hunger, but it ended 10-0 to the homeside as they head into the final day of the season knowing a win would see them make history.

Celtic: Johnstone, Craig (Bartle), Clark, Hayes, Bowie (Pollard), Robertson, Filbey, Jacynta (McAllister), Donaldson (Atkinson), Ewens, Lee

Subs: Logan, Nicolson, Warrington

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