By Graham Semple
Glasgow City returned to domestic action with a comprehensive 7-0 win over Celtic 20s in the third round of the Scottish Cup at Petershill Park this afternoon.
Eilish McSorley opened the floodgates from the penalty spot; there were two goals apiece from Courtney Whyte and Susan Fairlie, Fiona Brown chipped in with a tidy finish and a Jo Love free-kick completed an emphatic win.
After a busy and productive week in the Champions League, City shuffled the pack and made five changes from the team that thumped WFC Kharkiv and qualified for the knockout stages.
The match began slowly as both sides adjusted to the blustery conditions but gradually City began to control possession and ask questions of the Celtic rearguard. Lauren McMurchie was first to set her sights and have a go from distance, but her strike was comfortably dealt with by the visitors’ goalkeeper.
City opened the scoring after 12 minutes with a penalty kick. A defender’s handball on the line presented McSorley with an opportunity to give her side the lead and she confidently slotted home with the Celtic goalkeeper rooted to the spot.
The Scottish champions were causing havoc down the left side as the away side struggled to cope with Brown and it was the former Celtic player who provided the ammunition for the second goal. Her delightful cross was met perfectly by Fairlie who did not have to break stride as she headed the ball into the net to double City’s lead.
The third goal was another header. This time it was Monday’s Champions League goal heroine, Courtney Whyte, who evaded her marker inside the box to nod home. The 16 year-old then scored the goal of the game with a fantastic standing overhead kick after the dynamic Brown had set up the opportunity with some great wing play.
In the second-half, the youthful Celtic team continued to battle and compete, but they were unable to match the quality on show from the home side. City began to up the shot-count with Whyte, Brown, Docherty and Fairlie all trying their luck, but to no avail.
After 59 minutes the fifth goal arrived. Whyte robbed the Celtic defence of possession at the edge of the box and looked odds on to complete her hat-trick, but her shot was blocked by Laura Hamilton. When it fell kindly for Fairlie, she had the simple task of rolling the ball into the unguarded net.
Emma Black was then presented with a good opportunity to make it six, but her attempted lob was hit with too much loft and it sailed just over the bar. With just over 20 minutes to go, Brown notched the sixth when she gathered a neat McMurchie pass and made no mistake.
Substitute Love made it 7-0 with a free-kick from the edge of the box. Her shot deflected off the defensive wall and past the unfortunate Hamilton who was left helpless. In stoppage time Leanne Crichton was felled in the box and the referee rightly pointed to the spot. Whyte was afforded the opportunity to net her hat-trick to complete a memorable week, but she missed the target with the last kick of the game.
After their European exertions, this was another impressive performance by City who coped admirably with the blowy and difficult conditions.
Glasgow City: N Deiter, L McMurchie, E McSorley (L Circhton 65), C Boyce, N Docherty, C Whyte, C McCulloch, E Black (J Love 65), F Brown (A Grant 76), S Fairlie, J Nelson
Subs Not Used: A Farrell, L Alexander
Celtic: L Hamilton, D Wardrop, C McKay (S MacMillan 79), E McKerlie, J Paton, C Docherty, P Henry (M Bain 39), S McManus, C McGuire, N Johnston (H Preston 79), H Crosbie
Subs Not Used: L McGregor, M McFadden, R Webb, J Campbell
Referee: David Burns