Glasgow City return to SWPL action with convincing win
Glasgow City showed few signs of suffering a Champions League hangover with a convincing 8-1 victory over Spartans as they returned to action in the SWPL. Today's match was kindly sponsored by a City supporter from Cork.
An opening goal from City’s Suzanne Lappin, was soon cancelled out by an equaliser from Spartans Alana Marshall, before Lappin went on to hit a hat-trick and further goals from Sarah Crilly, Jo Love, Eilish McSorley, Danni Pagliarulo and Ruesha Littlejohn ensured City remain on course for their seventh successive Premier League title.
Commenting on the win, Glasgow City Head Coach Eddie Wolecki Black said, “I thought we were slow to start today and looked a little bit flat, which is not surprising given the build-up to our last game. But once, we got going, I thought we were in complete control and dominated the match. As we take on Spartans again in two weeks time in the Scottish Cup, today’s result also gives us great confidence going into that match.
“It was good to see the goals shared out amongst the team again and it was also great for us to utilise our whole squad and ensure adequate rest for those players who had played with Scotland midweek. As a club we know what is required to retain the title and we will keep working towards that target each week.”
City took the lead on 18 minutes when Sue Lappin headed home a Leanne Ross free kick. However, the Champions were not ahead for long when less than 2 minutes later, Alana Marshall produced an expert finish from just inside the box as she rifled an effort into the top corner, leaving City’s Lee Alexander no chance in nets.
The home side worked hard to get their noses back in front, with Littlejohn and Crilly going very close in particular as City pushed for the third goal of the match. City’s efforts were eventually rewarded when Eilish McSorley finished off a clever set piece involving Lappin and Leanne Ross.
Five minutes before the break and it was 3-1 as City produced an excellent team goal. Jo Love sent a defence splitting pass out wide to Littlejohn, who played it back to Love just inside the box. The City and Scotland midfielder took one touch before firing an unstoppable shot past Rachel Harrison into the back of the net to give her side a two goal cushion at half time.
Glasgow City turned up the heat in the second half with the sponsor’s player of the match Sarah Crilly scoring her side’s fourth of the game as she volleyed home a Nicky Docherty cross.
Harrison denied a goal bound header from Lappin on 51 minutes, but could do nothing to stop Danni Pagliarulo scoring her team’s fifth of the afternoon as she hit a powerful volley into the back of the net after a City corner.
Lappin was on the scoresheet again finishing well after a cleverly weighted pass by McSorley.
The City midfielder was soon on target once more scoring her hat-trick on 70 minutes as she headed another Ross set piece delivery past Harrison.
Just before full-time, City rounded off a fine day as Ruesha Littlejohn finished from close range after another Lappin header looked to be travelling into the back of the net.
City’s next match is away to Aberdeen on Sunday 1st September.
Pictures by Andy Buist: Top - City celebrate goal. Bottom - Sponsors Player of the Match, Sarah Crilly