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GLASGOW CITY DEFEAT SPARTANS TO WIN THE SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE CUP

Match Report by Edmund Brown

Photographs by Stephen Kennedy SWFitba

 

 

Glasgow City claimed the first silverware of the season by beating Spartans 5-1 to be crowned Scottish Premier League Cup Champions at Alloa’s Recreation Park.

Last season’s league champions took a four goal advantage into the half time break through strikes from Jane Ross, Danica Dalziel, Emma Mitchell and with Leanne Ross getting a goal either side of the half time giving the league leaders a five goal advantage going into the last half hour. Spartans did manage to get a consolation goal back through their playmaker Lana Clelland however City’s first half display proved to be too much for the Edinburgh side resulting in the trophy heading west along the M8 to Glasgow.

 

City burst out of the blocks straight from kick-off and three minutes in had a real opportunity as Jane Ross connected with an Emma Mitchell cross only to see her left foot drive fly over the bar from eight yards out.

Moments later Mitchell herself had a chance to open the scoring however Spartans Keeper Rachel Harrison was able to get down low to palm the winger’s shot away. Rachel Corsie brought the ball out of defence and after travelling towards the Spartans goal fed the ball out wide to Mitchell on the right wing who, after cutting inside, sent a vicious right foot shot towards the target only to see Harrison palm it away from danger.

The inevitable was only moments away and within eight minutes City opened the scoring with Jane Ross nipping in ahead of Claire Crosbie to flick the ball into the net. Lisa Evans charged down the right wing and as she reached the bye-line she cut the ball back to Ross who, after getting free of her marker at the near post, flicked the ball home from inside the six yard box.

Shortly after the City opener, Spartans striker Sarah Ewens got a glimpse of the City goal as she outpaced the central defence as she chased down a clever ball over the top. However City Keeper Claire Johnstone was quickly off her line to win the 50/50 with the North Edinburgh side’s striker and hooked the ball clear from danger.

However the pressure on the Spartans goal was mounting and with quarter of an hour gone Jane Ross was played through on goal however with only the keeper to beat she tried to lob Harrison

but her effort went wide of the right hand post. Leanne Ross collected the ball inside the Spartans half and with the outside of her foot flicked the ball into the path of her namesake who, with her first touch, flicked the ball over the advancing Harrison but the ball bounced wide of the goal.

Spartans were managing to cause the City defence problems on the break and with 17 minutes on the clock Louise Mason latched onto a loose pass by Eilish McSorley but her shot flew inches over the bar from the edge of the box.

However with 23 minutes gone Glasgow scored their second of the game with Danica Dalziel crashing a fierce right foot drive in off the underside of the bar. Jane Ross charged down the left wing and sent a low diagonal cross that reached Dalziel on the edge of the area. The City fullback steadied herself before sending in a thunderous right foot shot that Harrison got a hand to but could only watch as the ball crashed off the underside of the bar and into the back of the net.

City weren’t letting up and within minutes could have been further ahead with Captain Rachel Corsie connecting with a header only to see the ball fly past the post.

It was however 3-0 moments later as City sped down the right wing with Evans sending a cross to the edge of the six yard box for Mitchell to dispatch a curling shot away from the keeper and into the opposite corner of the net.

Seven minutes before half time City got their fourth of the game with Leanne Ross tapping the ball home from four yards out. Mitchell collected a Corsie pass just inside the Spartans half and drove towards goal before unleashing a vicious drive from the edge of the area. With the ball swerving and with the rain making the ball slippery, Keeper Harrison could only parry the ball only to see Leanne Ross charge in and flick the ball into the back of the net.

Ten minutes into the second half Leanne Ross got her second of the game to make it 5-0 after breaking clear of the defence to slot the ball home. Ross, on the edge of the area, played a quick one-two with Mitchell and as she broke clear of the defence she smashed a right foot shot into the back of the net past the diving Harrison.

Minutes later City were came close to increasing their lead as Evans cut in off the left wing and drove at the Spartans defence but as she was stretching her shot was easily collected by Harrison at her near post.

With just over an hour played Spartans got their consolation goal as Lana Clelland crashed the ball home after chipping the goalkeeper. Bobbie Beveridge broke up a City attack and sent a cross-field pass to Clelland who had beaten the offside trap. As Johnstone came out to narrow the angle, Clelland chipped the ball over the advancing keeper and fired a half volley into the back of the net.

This goal gave the North Edinburgh side confidence and minutes later Danni Pagliarulo broke clear in central midfield and after getting a return pass from Clelland, she managed to break clear of the City defence but her through ball to Barry was read by Johnstone in the City goal with the keeper out quickly to smother the ball.

 

Debbi McCulloch, Spartans Head Coach was pleased that the team’s performance was much improved compared to the league performance but was obviously upset to not be picking up the trophy. She said: “We knew it was going to be tough but I felt we gave a good account of ourselves especially after the league performance. I said to the girls that so long as we come away with our dignity intact and perform to the level we know we can then I will be happy and so I am really proud of my players. We did give away three cheap goals and with the standard Glasgow play at you really can’t afford to do so but we also created a couple of chances as well which on another day we might have put away. But as I said I am extremely proud of my team.”

Spartans goalscorer Lana Clelland was disappointed to lose the cup final but feels the team showed signs of the levels they can reach. She said: “It’s very disappointing. Glasgow City are a very good team and it is hard to compete against them because they are so strong in every department. I think we showed tonight that we are a better team than we appeared when we played them in the league recently. However I would say that the best is yet to come from us because we have a strong, but young squad and we will only get better through time. We will keep working hard to try and close the gap on City and we must learn from experiences like tonight to ensure we don’t go through them again. We need to put tonight behind us, we can’t change the result and it’s about what we do going forward that counts.”

 

Teams:

Spartans: Rachel Harrison, Claire Crosbie, Louise Mason (Trisha McLaughlin, 70mins), Chloe Fitzpatrick, Diana Barry, Molly McKean, Bobbie Beveridge, Lana Clelland, Louise Young (Danni Pagliarulo, 57 mins), Sarah Ewens (Louise Magilton, 60 mins), Victoria Farquhar.

Unused Subs: Joanna Hutcheson, Nichola Sturrock, Louise Moultray, Heli Hakkinen.

Glasgow City: Claire Johnstone, Emma Mitchell (Julie Melrose, 80 mins), Eilish McSorley, Joanne Love (Katharina Lindner, 80 mins), Leanne Crichton, Jane Ross, Rachel Corsie, Nicola Docherty, Leanne Ross, Lisa Evans (Ciara Barnes, 80 mins), Danica Dalziel.

Unused subs: Amy McDonald, Christie Murray

Referee: Lorraine Clark.

Assistant Referees: Kylie McMullan and Erin Cunningham

4th Official: Jennifer Carbery



 

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