Report by Graham Semple
Glasgow City eased into the semi-finals of the SWPL Cup with a thumping 11-0 win over Hutchison Vale at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie this afternoon.
A hat-trick from Fiona Brown, a double from Jo Love and goals apiece from Hayley Lauder, Abbi Grant, Denise O’Sullivan, Leanne Ross, Erin Cuthbert and the returning Alyshia Walker gave City an emphatic victory.
City went into the match as strong favourites and they exerted their superiority from the first whistle. The visitors struggled to cope with this bright and energetic start from the home side and it appeared only a matter of time before the floodgates opened.
Chances came and went in the first 10 minutes for City. Ross had a header well saved and Brown rattled the crossbar with a volleyed attempt from six yards before the deadlock was broken moments later.
A delightful dink over the top of the Vale defence from Nicky Docherty found the unmarked Love, who coolly slotted the ball into the far corner to give her side a deserved lead.
Four minutes later Lauder grabbed the second goal of the game. The midfielder took full advantage of a smart cut-back from Emma Black and she lashed the ball into the far corner with a venomous strike.
A slick team move at the edge of the box involving Love, O’Sullivan, Lauder and finally, Brown, gave City a 3-0 lead. Sharp and incisive one-touch play from the City players in the build-up to the goal typified the slick and intricate football that the cup holders like to display.
Grant bundled home a fourth from close range after another pinpoint delivery from the rampaging Black and Brown cracked home her second and City’s fifth with a fine shot. The home side were threatened to run riot.
Five minutes before half-time Love notched her second with a shot from just outside the box and O’Sullivan got her name on the scoresheet shortly afterwards with a simple finish to make it 7-0 at the interval.
City picked up where they left off at the start of the second period with yet another goal. O’Sullivan rolled the ball into the path of the onrushing Ross and the captain found the far corner with a sweet left-footed strike to make it 8-0.
Just after the hour mark, Brown completed her hat-trick to make it 9-0. The forward was in the right place at the right time to tap home the rebound after Ross had hit the post with a header.
City notched their tenth after 78 minutes. Substitute Cuthbert slipped the ball into the net after a great run before Walker - also on as a replacement - calmly slotted home from inside the six yard box to make it 11-0. The number nine is on the comeback trail after a prolonged period on the sidelines with injury and she was swamped by her delighted teammates.
Chances continued to come and go in the latter stages of the match for City, but the home side were thwarted by the woodwork and excellent goalkeeping as the match drew to a close.
Commenting on the match, City Head Coach Eddie Wolecki Black said, "It was very pleasing to actually be able to prepare the team all week for today's game. As the performance showed it really makes a difference. Our level of play was of a very good standard and our intensity was high. The players are now pushing each other to new levels and I believe this will increase over the coming weeks and months.
"There are times when I have stood and applauded some of our play and today was another such occasion. We are far from the perfect team, however we are looking better with each game."
Glasgow City: Cunningham, Rafferty, Lauder (Fairlie 62), Love, O’Sullivan (Montgomery 62), Docherty (McMurchie 56), McCulloch, Black (Cuthbert 56), Ross (c), Brown, Grant
Hutchison Vale: Connolly, Clarke, Rogers, Henderson, Kaney, Dunn, Walkingshaw, Gavin, Taylor, Carse, McFarlane