Glasgow City win the SWPL title to secure a historic 9 in a row

Image by Andy Buist

Image by Andy Buist

Report by Graham Semple.

Glasgow City defeated Aberdeen 3-1 to secure their ninth consecutive SWPL title and wrap up a thirteenth domestic honour in succession at the Excelsior Stadium this afternoon.

A fluid team move ably finished by Rachel Corsie gave City a first half lead before further strikes from Hayley Lauder and Abbi Grant had the champions-elect on easy street. Kelly Forrest reduced the deficit but any hopes of a dramatic Aberdeen comeback were dashed when Rachel Small missed a penalty.

An ever-improving Aberdeen team were well-drilled and organised and they limited their rivals to just a few clear-cut chances in the early stages. Denise O’Sullivan had a shot cleared off the line and Grant hit the bar with a cross but the Dons were proving to be a tough nut to crack.

The game needed a goal to brighten up proceedings and it duly arrived after 33 minutes. Space was in short supply around the Aberdeen box but a quick and incisive passing move involving Lauder and O’Sullivan presented Corsie with a shooting chance, and the City legend converted clinically.

The goal settled City down and they continued to push, press and probe, however Aberdeen remained compact and made sure there were no further concessions before the interval.

City were in the ascendancy at the start of the second period and they scored almost immediately. A fine cross by Leanne Ross found the head of substitute, Clare Shine, but her goal-bound effort was wonderfully tipped round the post by the Aberdeen goalkeeper, Rebecca Flaherty.

City were now completely dominant and their attacking endeavours were rewarded after 54 minutes.  Lauder set her sights from the edge of the penalty area and curled a sweet right-foot shot into the far corner to make it 2-0.

The Glasgow side continued to flood players forward and they were soon celebrating a goal that effectively killed the contest. Grant’s low and accurate shot proved to be too powerful for Flaherty and the home side now led by three.

City made a raft of substitutions and Megan Cunningham had to be alert to save a fine effort from Nikki Smith as the team from the Granite City began to make chances.

Sarah Crilly almost got her name on the scoresheet for City after latching on to a wonderful dinked pass by Jo Love, but the forward saw her lobbed effort drift just wide.

Aberdeen succeeded in reducing the arrears with six minutes remaining. Forrest diverted a fizzed free-kick delivery from Small into the back of the net as the Dons looked to set up an unlikely comeback.

The Reds’ captain, Small, had a chance to make the last few minutes of the match interesting when her side were awarded a penalty for an incident inside the box, but the defender blazed over and another historic Glasgow City title celebration was able to commence.

The win gives City a historic 9th Premier League title in a row and they now chase the Scottish Cup in the final on the 8th November in the hope of a fourth successive clean sweep of the treble.

Teams:

Glasgow City: Alexander (Cunningham 67’), Lauder, Love, O’Sullivan, Montgomery (McMurchie 46’), Docherty (Crilly 67’), McCulloch (Jones 67’), Ross, Grant, Corsie, Cuthbert (Shine 46’)

Subs Not Used: Rafferty, Whyte

Aberdeen: Flaherty, Cowper, Small, Campbell, Aitkenhead, Stewart, McLauchlan, Forrest, Bruce (Smith 75’), Anderson, McDonald

Subs Not Used: Fitzpatrick, McGregor, Gordon, Patterson, Simpson, Paterson

Referee: Steven Johnston