Report by Graham Semple
Glasgow City completed a memorable week and remarkable season with an emphatic 5-0 win over Spartans in the Scottish Cup Final to wrap up an unprecedented third successive domestic treble.
Two goals apiece from Fiona Brown and Jo Love and a solitary Denise O’Sullivan strike gave City the win and another trophy to add their rapidly increasing honours list.
City made two changes from the side that reached the Champions League quarter-finals in midweek. Niki Dieter replaced the injured Lee Alexander between the sticks and Susan Fairlie replaced Morgan Marlborough in the forward area.
This season’s showpiece finale started slowly. Spartans were content to keep numbers behind the ball in an attempt to frustrate their opponents, and they were successful for the first 25 minutes. City’s play was pedestrian and lacklustre, but a moment of brilliance from Brown changed the complexion of the match.
The 19 year-old collected the ball on the right, cut inside on to her left-foot and sent an unstoppable curling shot into the far corner past the watching Rachel Harrison in the Spartans goal. It was a strike of the highest quality, and something we have seen time and again this season from the club’s Young Player Of The Year.
The goal appeared to relax City and Leanne Ross almost made it two with an excellent shot that rattled the bar from distance. Love was first to react but she was unable to convert the rebound.
The second goal arrived on the stroke of half-time. The ball was laid into the path of O’Sullivan inside the box and she made no mistake. It was fitting that the Republic of Ireland international got her name on the scoresheet after her outstanding season was recognised by her teammates, coaches and supporters at the Player Of The Year awards on Saturday evening.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first, with City pushing and pressing for a third goal. Brown fired over from outside the box and Emma Black hit the bar with an attempted cross, and it appeared only a matter of time before the Glasgow side extended their advantage.
City’s industry was eventually rewarded after 67 minutes. Substitute Marlborough crossed for Fairlie whose attempt was blocked into the path of the advancing Brown who completed her brace with a fine drive.
It was now a case of how many City would score. Love netted a fourth with a neat side-foot finish from outside the box, and excellent close control from Marlborough gave the Scotland internationalist another chance with five minutes remaining which she cleverly chipped into the net over the head of the advancing goalkeeper to make it 5-0.
Fairlie almost added further gloss to the scoreline with three minutes left, but she was denied after a fantastic stop by Harrison.
This was a commanding City win. Their exertions from midweek undoubtedly contributed to the slow start but once they found their stride, the outcome was never in doubt.
"It has been another outstanding year for City and certainly one of the best in the club’s history. The squad has been stretched to its limits but time and again the players have produced when called upon."
The players will now enter a well-earned rest period, but the afterglow of their success will linger throughout the winter months.
Commenting on the win, City Head Coach Eddie Wolecki Black said, “There is no doubt it was a motivated team today and I felt the adrenaline of Wednesday night gave us an extra push. We looked sharp, pressed the ball really well and I thought we were always a threat. We have now gone three full years in the Scottish Cup without losing a single goal and with a record like that you are always going to be in contention to lift the trophy. I would just like to thank all of the players, staff, fans and everyone associated with the club on a quite magnificent season.”
Glasgow City: Deiter, Black (Docherty, 66), McSorley, McCulloch, Ross (c), Brown (Boyce, 86), Love (Whyte, 90+1), O’Sullivan (McMurchie, 82), Lappin, Grant (Marlborough, 66), Fairlie
Subs Not Used: Farrell
Spartans: Harrison, Briggs, Shepherd, Pagliarulo, Marshall, Montgomery, Crosbie, Reilly, McLaughlin (T McLaughlin, 78), Clelland, Ewens (Mason, 45)
Subs Not Used: Nicolson, Barnes, Beveridge, Kerr, McMahon
Player of the Match: Fiona Brown