Glasgow City lift the 2011 SWPL title
Glasgow City took to the park as Champions for season 2011, and looked every bit a team which has dominated the Scottish game for the last five years as they showed some outstanding passing and long periods of possession against one of their closest challengers. Perhaps even more pleasing for the City followers is that the City team which started and won this match, had an average age of only 21.7 years old.
City recorded their first shot on goal after less than a minute when Emma Mitchell cut in and fired a powerful effort with her left foot, but Gemma Fay in the Celtic nets, held well.
The home side recorded a few more efforts on and wide of target before Captain Rachel Corsie had a shot from distance, once again held by Fay as Celtic came under immense pressure from City in the opening period.
City’s next best opportunity to open the scoring came on 17 minutes when City and Scotland striker Jane Ross hit a left foot shot but again Fay saved well.
Celtic had their first real attack and attempt on goal after 18 minutes, when Fiona Brown broke down the left and hit a tantalising ball across the 6 yard box which forced City keeper Lee Alexander to produce a brave stop at the feet of Suzanne Grant to prevent Celtic taking the lead.
Sadly it was to be one of the few moments of the match Alexander was involved in as she had to go off injured for a head knock and was replaced by Claire Johnstone.
As the match wore on, more chances came and went for City. A brilliant turn by Jane Ross left Michelle Barr struggling and the Scotland striker hit a powerful shot just over the bar. Great play by Emma Woolley moments later saw her curl an effort towards the far corner, which just evaded Jo Love from turning it in to give City the lead their dominance and possession perhaps deserved.
Lisa Evans was inches from being the one to give the Champions that vital goal when her right foot effort from outside the box went inches wide Fay’s left hand post. Not long after, good play by Jane Ross set Jo Love up at the edge for strike at goal, but her shot sailed over the bar.
City’s dominant display of passing and possession eventually got them the reward they were after when a long period of City passing gave space to Jo Love, who beat her marker and hit a shot towards goal which was turned in by Danica Dalziel.
Celtic had a chance to reply moments later, but Claire Johnstone saved well.
Half time 1-0.
Two minutes after the restart and Emma Mitchell broke down the right hand side but her shot just missed the top corner. More good play from City, this time involving Lisa Evans and Jane Ross had Fay scrambling at her back post as Evans hit a cross which almost crept in.
City did make it 2-0 and what a cracker it was. Fay cleared her lines after a City attack and Mitchell picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and hit an unstoppable drive high into the back of the net.
Less than 65 minutes in and Emma Woolley was brought down at the edge of the box. With regular free kick expert Christie Murray out injured, Emma Mitchell showed her own dead ball credentials as she curled a great effort around the wall and past the diving Fay to make it 3-0 to City.
Celtic got a goal back with fifteen minutes left when Jo Love bundled over Suzanne Grant in the box and up stepped Chloe Craig to slot home past Johnstone.
City could have made it four, but Fay saved well once more following a fierce drive from Eilish McSorley after a City free kick.
Commenting on the match and the title, Head Coach Eddie Wolecki Black said, “I want to congratulate all players and staff on another title. On the game itself, Celtic obviously set up a game plan to frustrate us with five at the back and a bank of four protecting the defence, which forced us to find solutions, which in the first half we struggled a little with. However, after the break, we utilised the ball far better and got into areas which allowed us to create opportunities. We now look forward to Wednesday’s semi-final against the same opponents.”
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