An action-packed game with goals galore ended in Celtic advancing to the semi final of the 13s SWF Scottish Cup thanks to a 7-3 victory over Glasgow City Orange.
Mhairi Crooks helped herself to a hat-trick, and goals from Jade Menzies, Jessica Jayne Smith, Megan Wands, and Georgia Crooks ensured a comprehensive result for Celtic despite consolation goals through Chloe Headland and Sophie McMillan’s brace.
Celtic started with authority and it took a good interception from Headland to stop Mhairi Crooks’ cross finding its target in the opening minutes, but Glasgow could not keep the Hoops out for long.
It was a goal made in the Crooks household that broke the deadlock. Georgia intercepted a Glasgow passing move and showed great awareness to instantly look up and release Mhairi behind the defence. Her shot was too powerful for goalkeeper Rachel Mair who, despite getting a hand to it, was unable to stop it from hitting the top corner.
Mhairi Crooks almost grabbed her second shortly after but Mair made a sharp stop low at her near post to turn it behind for a corner. She could do nothing to stop Celtic’s second goal moments later though. A throw-in from the left wing was intelligently dummied by Smith for Menzies to hit first time, low into the bottom corner. Great teamwork from the Celtic girls.
Celtic made it 3-0 after only 12 minutes and this time it was all about individual brilliance. After her dummy set up the second, Smith took it on herself to go for goal, showing good skill down the right wing to beat her marker and then cutting inside to unleash a long-range strike that left the keeper helpless.
It was clinical finishing in the early stages that looked like putting Celtic out of sight, despite Glasgow not playing poorly at all. Even at three goals down, Glasgow kept playing neat possession football and looked to play their way out of trouble when possible. It was Celtic’s high-pressing play that was causing Glasgow problems and they could not quite create the opportunities they wanted.
When Glasgow did create it was often through Chloe Headland on the right wing. She showed great strength to hold off the Celtic defence and fired Glasgow’s first real chance of the game over the bar. Headland was involved in a good team move by Glasgow, exchanging passes with Carly Brown and Frances Hopgood before cutting the ball back to Kelsey Martin who shot wide. It was the best build-up play of the match from Glasgow and they got the goal their play deserved shortly after.
Unsurprisingly it was Headland that got it, latching onto a fantastic over the top through ball from Sophie McMillan on the left wing and neatly side-footing it past Machagla Macleod in the Celtic goal.
Confidence growing from the goal, Glasgow started to press higher up the pitch and looked more likely to get another goal when Celtic hit them on the counterattack. Chloe Warrington’s long ball from the back caught the Glasgow defence napping and Mhairi Crooks controlled it well and smashed it home.
The first-half goals were not finished there and just a minute later Glasgow got back into the match yet again when McMillan capitalised on a mixup at the back and had a simple finish to make it 4-2 at half-time.
It was an action-packed first half with both teams taking their chances, although Celtic might have been disappointed not to be out of sight considering their 3-0 lead after 12 minutes. It was credit to Glasgow that they kept fighting and forced Celtic into making mistakes at the back.