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Spartans slump to defeat

Match Report by Edmund Brown



Spartans losing streak continued with Celtic winning 3-0 at Ainslie Park, scoring three second half goals to seal the victory and maintain the pressure on second placed team Hibs.

However it did take until the 65th minute for the deadlock to be broken with Abby Harrison tapping the ball home from three yards out. Within ten minutes Celtic doubled their lead with Suzanne Grant putting the ball into the back of the net at the back post and Celtic wrapped the game up in the dying minutes with Heather Richards firing the ball home after the ball broke to the striker.

Spartans started the game brightly and within two minutes came close to opening the scoring but for a punched clearance by Gemma Fay in the Celtic goal. Spartans were awarded a corner after some persistent play by Alana Marshall down the left wing. The winger took the resulting corner which was punched clear by the Scotland Number 1 and away from the danger zone.

Celtic started to create chances of their own and moments after Fay had cleared the danger, Suzanne Grant broke clear of the Spartans defence and, as she entered the box, fired a ball towards the bottom corner only to see the outstretched hand of Rachel Harrison tip the ball around the post.

Spartans were continuing to press for an opener and came close 18 minutes in with Trisha McLaughlin having her shot squandered by Fay. Alana Marshall broke clear on the halfway line and, after skipping past two challenges, played the ball into the path of Diana Barry whose first-time flick found McLaughlin. However the Celtic keeper was quickly off her line to block the winger’s shot and clear the danger from the away side’s goal.

The Spartans winger was starting to create chances and minutes later had a shot from distance only to see it saved easily by Fay. McLaughlin picked the ball up wide on the right and after twisting and turning cut infield before crashing in a left foot shot but straight into the arms of Fay in the Celtic goal.

Celtic rode their luck minutes before half time as a fierce McLaughlin cross was only just put behind by Chloe Arthur with Fay stranded on the goal-line. Claire Crosbie picked the ball up midway through the half and fed McLaughlin down the right wing. After escaping the grasps of the defence the winger sent over a low drive which was cleared past the post by Arthur.

However it was the away side who, after 65 minutes, opened the scoring with Abby Harrison tapping the ball home from four yards out. Grant charged down the right wing and, after getting to the bye-line, cut the ball over to the unmarked Harrison to tap the ball home.

Within ten minutes it was 2-0 as Grant fired the ball home from inside the six yard box. Heather Richards flew down the left wing and, like the first goal, sent over a vicious low cross to the far post where Grant was unmarked to tap the ball home.

Celtic wrapped the game up just before the final whistle with Richards getting the break of the ball outside box before driving into the area and placing the ball past the advancing Rachel Harrison in the Spartans goal.

The Spartans goalkeeper kept the score down in the closing minutes as she pulled off a point blank save from the feet of Grant. Celtic were awarded a corner four minutes from time which was swung in by Hayley Sinclair to the far post where Grant, with her second touch, smashed the ball towards the goal only to see Harrison pull of a great save and block the striker from scoring.

Spartans did create their best opportunity of the game moments before the final whistle however Sarah Ewens sent a curling shot whistling past the post. Lana Clelland, who had come on for Captain Louise Young, won the ball on the left wing and played the ball into Ewens who had created space behind the Celtic defence. After taking a touch, the forward curled the ball past Fay only to see it curl wide of the goal.




Spartans: Rachel Harrison, Alana Marshall, Claire Crosbie, Diana Barry, Bobbie Beveridge, Trisha McLaughlin, Olivia Lukasewich, Louise Young, Sarah Ewens, Katie Reilly, Victoria Farquhar.

Subs: Louise Mason, Lana Clelland, Chloe Fitzpatrick, Sarah Archibald, Louise Moultray

Celtic: Gemma Fay, Chloe Arthur, Emily McKerlie, Chloe Craig, Megan Sneddon, Hayley Sinclair, Hayley Cunningham, Lauren McMillan, Heather Richards, Abbigail Harrison, Suzanne Grant.

Subs: Natalie Ross, Corri Cairns, Nivana Crichton, Rachel O’Neill



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