Fleeting Thumps Celtic Winner

By Edmund Brown

The second half of the 2013 Scottish Women’s Premier League campaign got off to a flyer for Celtic as they closed the gap on Spartans with a 3-0 win at Lennoxtown.

The home side took the lead with a deflected Chloe Arthur strike from the edge of the area on eight minutes before doubling their lead midway through the second half thanks to a Julie Fleeting thunderbolt. The Hoops sealed the victory and the three points in the last minute of normal time when Maread Fulton, who was through on goal, fired the ball into the bottom corner.

Spartans started the brighter of the two teams and could have been ahead inside the first five minutes but for a great save by Gemma Fay who tipped the ball onto the bar from a Kirsty McLaughlin strike. Trisha McLaughlin won a corner down the right wing which was swung to the edge of the area for Kirsty McLaughlin to crash in a shot which Fay tipped onto the bar before a goalmouth scramble ensued. With the ball bouncing around the area like a pinball game it took a clearance by Chloe Craig, on the Celtic goal-line, to clear the danger.

Celtic, after this scare, proceeded to take the game by the scruff of the neck and within minutes created a half chance with Fiona Brown firing the ball straight into the arms of Rachel Harrison. Brown, playing down the left wing, beat Spartans fullback Ashley Nicolson for pace before cutting infield and firing a right foot shot straight at Harrison.

The home side came close moments later when the Spartans defence created trouble for themselves by giving the ball straight to Chloe Arthur who crashed a thunderous drive towards the bottom corner only to see the outstretched hand of Harrison tip the ball around the post.

With only eight minutes on the clock Celtic took the lead when, again, Arthur won the ball back on the right hand side of midfield before peeling inside and crashing in a shot which deflected off defender Stephanie Briggs and into the back of the net.

Spartans could have been all square within minutes of the restart with a Claire Crosbie header being tipped over the bar by Fay. Alana Marshall swung in a free kick from the left wing which was met with force by Crosbie but her header was tipped over by the outstretched hand of Scotland’s Number One.

Celtic did come close to increasing their lead minutes before halftime when debutant Julie Fleeting latched onto an Arthur cross only to see her shot on the turn fly over the bar from 12 yards out. Arthur charged down the right wing and as she reached the bye-line she fired over a cross to Fleeting who, on the turn, fired a shot over the bar.

It was only a matter of time before Celtic doubled their advantage but for a great save by Harrison in the Spartans goal. Nirvana Crighton, who was causing Spartans problems with her pace, fled past Nicolson down the left before crashing in a cross to Fleeting however her shot from three yards out was blocked point blank by the Spartans Keeper.

However Fleeting got the upperhand of the Spartans shot stopper on 68 minutes when she curled a right foot shot into the top corner from the edge of the area. Carla Jackson, who had come off the substitutes bench, danced her way down the wing before sending in a low cross to Fleeting who, in one move, turned and fired the ball into the top corner.

Celtic sealed the victory moments before the full time whistle when Maread Fulton stole the ball off Spartans centre half Crosbie and sped towards goal before firing the ball past Harrison and into the bottom corner.

Full Time: Celtic 3-0 Spartans


Celtic: Gemma Fay, Chloe Craig, Emma Brownlie, Maread Fulton, Mhari Gilmore, Julie Fleeting, Kelly Clark, Nivana Crighton, Fiona Brown, Chloe Arthur, Molly McKean.

Substitutes: Chloe Logan, Racheal O’Neill, Abigail Harrison, Carla Jackson, Hayley Sinclair, Shelby Kearney, Leigh Nicol

Spartans: Rachel Harrison, Alana Marshall, Stephanie Briggs, Claire Crosbie, Ashley Nicolson, Katie Reilly, Diana Barry, Kirsty McLaughlin, Trisha McLaughlin, Sarah Ewens, Lana Clelland

Substitutes: Charlene Lessells, Louise Patterson, Louise Moultray, Louise Mason, Bobbie Beveridge, Rebecca Zoltie, Elliss Jenkins








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