Spartans travelled to Celtic in match day three of the SWPL season.
It was a bright start from Spartans as link up play between Frew and Bates saw the winger float a dangerous ball into the box, no takers from the Spartans attack and Celtic clear well.
Celtic attacked well which saw the hosts break past Yates but Robyn McCafferty dealt with the threat.
Spartans were first to have the ball in the back of the net. Marshall floated a free kick into the box which eventually fell to Bates who powered home. However, the linesman raised his flag and Bates was denied a first competitive goal in Spartans colours.
It was end to end stuff at the Excelsior Stadium, Alicia Yates pulled off a fantastic fingertip saves to deny the hosts an opener in the 18th minute. Spartans immediately burst forward on the counter with Bates, Galbraith and Jordan all breaking into the Celtic final third. Jordan’s resulting effort was eventually well held by Tajonar on her full debut for Celtic.
Celtic did open the scoring through Otto in the 24th minute. A Celtic cut back found her free in the box and she made no mistake as she powered home low into Yates’ bottom left hand corner.
Celtic would add another from the penalty spot 11 minutes later after Galbraith tripped Gallagher in the box. Craig’s effort was powerful and high and despite Yates getting a hand to the ball, there was no stopping the effort from hitting the back of the net.
Yates commanded the box well for the first 45, taking claim to anything that came into her six yard box.
Celtic took a two goal advantage into the break.
It wasn’t the start to the half the Edinburgh side were looking for. Celtic breaking forward from kick off resulting in Larisey’s strike finding the back of the net for Celtic’s third of the afternoon.
Celtic broke forward again 10 minutes later, Larisey going one on one with Yates but Yates was equal to it, saving well to deny the Canadian her second of the afternoon.
Spartans weathered a wave of Celtic attacks for much of the second half however Yates and the Spartans defence were well organised and stood strong.
Changes were made to get Debbi McCulloch’s side back into the game. With attacking options McQuillan and Mason providing some fresh legs, alongside Douglas, Reynolds and Sidey. McQuillan and Mason got forward well, with McQuillan testing Celtic’s new addition in the Celtic goal with a long range effort.
Celtic would later seal up the three points, awarded their second penalty of the afternoon. The hosts again converting from the spot to make the final score 4-0 to the Glasgow side.
We’re next in SWPL action back at Ainslie Park against Partick Thistle on August 28 (kick off 1pm).
Spartans team: 1. Yates, 7. Jameison, 8.Frew (70 Sidey), 11. Marshall (57 Douglas), 12. Ria McCafferty, 17. Robyn McCafferty, 18. Galbraith (57 McQuillan), 21. Jordan (57 Mason), 22. Robinson, 24. Smart (70 Reynolds), 27. Bates.
Substitutes: 13. Harrison, 3. Clelland, 4. S McMahon, 5. D McMahon.
Celtic team: 17. Tajonar, 18. Hayes, 15. Clark, 6. Craig (73 Bowie), 7. Gallagher (73 Mengyu), 4. Robertson, 2. Otto, 22. Ashworth-Clifford (Fergusson), 10. Larisey, 11. Chance (58 Chance), 8. Jacynta (58 Menglu)
Substitutes: Ross, Birchill, Cusack, Marwaha, McAneny