Broadwood Stadium bared witness to a clash of Cumbernauld Colts and Central Girls fighting for the gold of the 13’s League Cup Final with Central Girls FA storming to victory. Central dominated possession from whistle-to-whistle against strong opponents with double hat-tricks coming from Chelsea McEachran and Megan Gallagher and with Taylor Rose Hamill and Rhianne Ferguson also adding to the score sheet.
The Grangemouth outfit were the team of the two kicking off and pressurising from the first whistle. The opening minute watched McEachran closing in and showing the Cumbernauld girls no time before slotting through Hamill on two occasions, both of which narrowly missed breaking the deadlock.
With Cumbernauld on the back-foot McEachran met the end of a beautiful through ball with a right footed strike into the far corner. Fuelled on momentum Central Girls showed no signs of easing off after opening the score sheet when the second minute saw Gallagher tearing down the left flank and doubling the score.
On the 5th minute mark McEachran tried the target again and on the ricochet from Rachel Caddell’s gloves Gallagher capitalised spreading the margin between the teams once more. In attempt to respond to the power surge of Central, the North Lanarkshire girls opted for long ball options to the strikers which were swept up by a controlled Zoe Mary Young. On the 7th minute McEachran mimicked her previous goal by smashing home into the same far corner pushing Central Girls 4-0 up.
Colts then faced a decision when goalkeeper Rachael Caddell was forced to go off with an injury, and dedicated to the cause Laura Connelly stepped up to face the challenge of playing in goals.
The injury break and substitution showed no signs of denting the concentration of the Central Girls with just seconds afterwards McEachran completed her hat-trick by reaching the end of a long ball and slotting past the new Cumbernauld goalkeeper. The 6th goal for Central arrived just one minute later with another long run from Gallagher, skipping past two defenders and pushing the ball into the bottom corner.
Cumbernauld, despite their uphill struggle showed true fighting spirit in their defensive pressures and pushing Central backwards for a period. The fighting spirit however was strong in both sides and Central broke on the counter with Gallagher again showing her quick feet and composure with sublime trickery out on the left wing prior to cutting in and finishing with a deft side foot into far corner pushing the lead to 7.
With Gallagher now on four goals she did not ease her foot off the pedal and just a moment later her quick feet put her in the position of another shot on target but all credit to Caddell who parried the shot to safety. This, then became a trend with the next three shots on target being saved.
It was not until the 25th minute that Central could break the barrier between Caddell and net when a long throw in was met by the head of McEachran and under Caddell’s legs into the back of the net. The momentum was built upon once more with Gallagher sharply adding another to the score sheet with a double twist and turn and jabbing the ball into the top corner for Central’s next goal on the stroke of half time.