by Graham Semple
Glasgow City continued their march towards the SWPL title with a 4-0 win over Aberdeen at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie this afternoon.
Goals from Fiona Brown (25), Suzanne Lappin (42, 83) and Abbi Grant (44) were enough to ensure City maintained their 100% winning record.
Aberdeen signalled their intent after five minutes with the first meaningful chance of the match. Slack play from the City defence at the edge of the box presented Rachel McLauchlan with a shooting chance, but her rasping drive rattled the crossbar and was cleared to safety.
Despite dominating territorially, clear goalscoring chances were few and far between for the home side in the opening quarter of an hour. This changed after 16 minutes when Emma Black’s deep cross was only cleared as far as Lappin twenty yards out, and her well-struck volley forced the Aberdeen goalkeeper, Rebecca Flaherty, into action.
City took the lead nine minutes later. Brown raced on to a Jo Love pass and squeezed the ball beyond the Aberdeen goalkeeper. The goal provider then had an opportunity to get her name on the scoresheet but her header from a Black cross went straight at Flaherty.
Aberdeen were not disheartened at losing the lead and continued to venture up the pitch in numbers when the opportunity arose. A corner for the visitors was only half-cleared to Cheryl Ann Anderson who had time and space at the edge of the box, but her attempt drifted over.
In the last five minutes of the first half City took a firm grip of the game. A Brown cross caused problems for the Aberdeen defence and Lappin showed great improvisation to instinctively dink the ball beyond the flat-footed Dons goalkeeper to double the league leaders’ advantage.
Moments later the decisive third goal arrived. A Jo Love shot was blocked, but only as far as the onrushing Grant who knocked the ball into the net to give City a 3-0 half-time lead.
The second period was only a minute old when Brown forced a good stop from the Aberdeen shot-stopper as the champions continued with their relentless approach. Lappin then headed wide and Grant hit the bar from close range but the fourth goal continued to elude City.
Aberdeen reminded City of the threat they posed after 56 minutes. Substitute Rebecca Dempster’s shot from the edge of the box forced Niki Dieter to divert the ball wide with an excellent piece of goalkeeping.
City continued in the pursuit of more goals and Lappin almost notched her second but her header struck the post. When Eilish McSorley saw an effort drift wide it appeared that the Glasgow side would have to settle for a three-goal winning margin.
With seven minutes remaining though the fourth goal arrived when a sustained period of pressure finally told. Lappin and Love combined in the box and the former’s header grazed the underside of the bar before nestling in the net. City enjoyed further corners and half-chances but there was to be no further scoring.
This was yet another strong display from City and they fully merited the three points. Aberdeen started positively but were outgunned in the end by a superior team.
Commenting on the win, City boss Wolecki Black said, “We were slow to get into the game today. However we did go in at the half time 3-0 up and took our chances well.
“I thought second half we really controlled the game, passed the ball well and created a number of chances. It was pleasing to see Sue get back on the scoresheet after her injury absence and I am convinced she is only going to get better for what is a vital stage of the season for us.”
Glasgow City Team: Deiter, Black, Docherty, McSorley, Love, Crichton (McMurchie 65), Lappin, McCulloch, Brown (Whyte 67), Grant, Nelson
Substitutes: Alexander, Farrell
Aberdeen: Flaherty, Small, Fitzpatrick, Campbell, McLauchlan, Murray, Stewart, Scott, Anderson, Aitkenhead, McDonald
Substitutes: Sangster, Wright, McGregor, Forrest, Dempster, Cowper, Coleman