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Wellings and Craig doubles claim opening day victory

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By Colette Carr

Celtic claimed the first three points up for grabs of the season with an impressive 4-2 victory in a tricky opening day trip up to Aberdeen.

Manager Fran Alonso handed four of his summer signings their full SWPL1 debuts with Charlie Wellings, Cheyenne Shorts, Liv Chance and Maria Olafsdottir Gros all finding a spot in the starting eleven, as doubles from Wellings and Chloe Craig sealed the victory as the league campaign finally got underway.

It was a breathless first half with the visitors pressing from the off with Wellings testing the keeper early on before Bowie was denied in the one-on-one.

With just 14 minutes on the clock Wellings opened her SWPL1 account in typical fashion, running onto a well-timed long ball from Shorts to drive at the keeper and hit it through her at her near post. 

The Celts faced a spot of misfortune though on the 22nd minute, when Kelly Clark’s headed clearance from the corner crept into her own net and gave the hosts an early lifeline, but it only took the Hoops two minutes to recover their advantage as Craig  clipped it in from the acute angle to restore the lead.

Alonso’s side continued to pile the pressure on the league newcomers with Wellings and McGovern proving a constant thorn in their side despite going in just one ahead at the break. Their attacking intent spilled into the second period with an early chance within the opening minute dashed only by the raised flag of the assistant referee, before Wellings and Teegarden clocked up more chances for the Hoops, with Wellings watching on as her hit on the turn was held, before Teegarden’s low drilled shot through bodies just missed the mark.

Despite numerous opportunities Celtic had to bide their time and wait until the 80th minute for their third, with Wellings controlling Clarissa Larisey’s cross with complete ease to bring it down and burst the net in near top corner from inside the box.

Celtic were punished for a lapse in judgement though just six minutes later as Eilidh Shore looped a high header over Rachael Johnstone at the near post on the break.

And the late show continued deep into the additional time with Larisey being brought down by the onrushing Gilmour leaving the referee with no option but to point to the spot, with Craig dispatching with ease to secure her brace for the evening and rubber-stamp all three points in the hard-fought league opener.


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