Glasgow City and Manchester City friendly ends in stalemate

Glasgow City completed their pre-season fixtures with a hard-fought 0-0 draw against top quality English opposition, Manchester City, in this afternoon’s ng homes match at a windswept Petershill Park.

Glasgow City made two changes from last week’s starting line-up against Everton with new signing, Cheryl McCulloch, handed a home debut.

The first half was evenly contested with both sides enjoying extended periods of possession, but it was the visitors who carved out the first opportunity. A left-footed corner in the second minute by Steph Marsh was met by England International, Steph Houghton, who headed just over.

Glasgow soon took control and enjoyed a series of corners. Both Emma Black and Denise O’Sullivan had efforts blocked as the home side looked for the early breakthrough, but they were unable to test Karen Bardsley in the Man City goal.

Houghton then came close for Man City with a header, and a 25-yard free-kick from the same player went wide before a rasping Jessica Holbrook long-range effort flew over the bar as the visitors began to turn the screw. From the resulting goal-kick, a mix-up in the Glasgow defence presented Krystle Johnson with a chance, but she could only hit the side netting.

With half-time approaching, Glasgow created their best opportunity of the match. Jo Love released Abbi Grant who raced through on goal, but under pressure from Man City defenders, she could only hit her shot straight at the keeper.

After a wicked free-kick from Leanne Ross in the first minute of the second-half, which somehow evaded everyone in the box, the English side took control of proceedings. Isobel Christansen was sent clear but was brilliantly denied by Lee Alexander who smothered at the forward’s feet. Former Everton striker and England international, Toni Duggan, looked to have given Man City the lead after 55 minutes, but her looping header from a corner hit the crossbar.

After 70 minutes, and with Julie Nelson off the field injured, the English side took advantage and Duggan had an angled effort that went inches wide. Jill Scott had a great opportunity for the Manchester side shortly afterwards, but ng homes Player of the Match, Alexander, saved bravely at the midfielder’s feet - picking up a knock in the process. The visitors finished the match strongly, but Glasgow’s well-organised defence matched their opponents’ best attacking efforts and the game ended goalless.

Despite the blank scoreline and gusting wind, both teams are due credit for contesting the game skillfully and energetically.

With Glasgow City missing 9 top team players through injury, and another 2 through Scotland youth duty, this was a fantastic result against a top quality team littered with internationals. Both pre-season fixtures against English opposition have proved to be worthwhile tests ahead of the season opener on the 16th of March against Queens Park at Petershill Park.

Commenting on the match, a happy Glasgow City Head Coach Eddie Wolecki Black said, “Considering that, because of a horrendous injury list, we were on the verge of pulling out of this match and the one last week against Everton, I am delighted we have been able to play two very high level games and been competitive.

“With the amount of changes made to the side due to injuries and departures, we were always going to suffer at the top end of the park. All of our focus therefore has been on defensive shape.

“To come through the game with a clean sheet and a good competitive game under our belt makes me very satisfied indeed.”

Next Sunday, Glasgow City will be having a fans day at Petershill Park, due to having no competitive fixture in the first round of the League Cup. The Scottish Champions will play a bounce game, followed by a chance for the fans to get pictures and autographs with all the players along with a question and answering session with some of City’s biggest stars.

The fun starts at 2pm at Petershill Park on Sunday 2nd March. The fans day is completely free of charge and everyone is welcome.

Teams

Glasgow City: Alexander, McSorley, Love, O’Sullivan, McCulloch, Docherty, Scott, Black, Ross (c), Grant, Nelson.
Subs: Hamilton, Mason, McCall, Leslie, Welsh, Melrose, Ferguson

Manchester City: Bardsley, Harding, Houghton (c), Nightingale, Marsh, Holbrook, Flint, Scott, Johnston, Duggan, Christiansen.
Subs: Worrall, Lipman, Young, Turner, Shepherd, Hassett

Referee: Ross Haswell
Assistants: Nicole Andrews, Donnie McKinnon

ng homes Player of the Match: Lee Alexander

Match report by Graham Semple

Pictures with thanks to Graeme Berry. Top to Bottom - England and Manchester City number 1 Karen Bardsley takes control under pressure from City new signing Cheryl McCulloch, Manchester City's Toni Duggan holds off Glasgow City's Emma Black, Jill Scott (MCFC) and Denise O'Sullivan (GCFC) tussle for possession, ng homes Player of the Match Lee Alexander wth Tony Sweeney from ng homes.

23.02.14