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Seventh heaven for Hoops as battling Killie are beaten

Celtic FC 7

Johnstone (2), Boyce(2), Lawton, Own Goal, Higgins

FC Kilmarnock Blues 2

Murdoch, Allan
  • Sunday, 05 October 2014
  • Stirling University
  • 13's Girls
  • SWF Scottish Cup - Semi Final

Liam Dickson | YFS Central Region Journalist

Celtic guaranteed their place in next month's SWF Scottish Cup Final with a dominating performance from that swept aside a plucky Kilmarnock Blues team. 
  
Seven goals were enough to see Celtic run out comfortable winners in a match that saw great quality from both teams.
 
Celtic didn't have it all their own way from kick off; Kilmarnock's bright early play saw them take a deserved lead through an Amy Murdoch finish.
 
This initial set back appeared to spark Celtic into life. They pressed higher up the pitch and were quickly rewarded with an equaliser as Emma Louise Lawton dispossed the defender and fed in her namesake Emma Johnstone to calmly and confidently finish low to the keeper's right.
 
With parity restored in the scoreline, Celtic set about taking control of the midfield. Lawton down the left and Yasmin Boyce through the middle were particular standouts in applying more and more pressure as Celtic forced a series of long range efforts and set pieces. A combination of brilliant goalkeeping from captain Laura Thomson and last ditch tackles kept Kilmarnock level until midway through the first half. 
  
However, there was a sense of inevitability about the moment Celtic finally made the key breakthrough. Lawton picked the ball up by her own corner flag and ran the length of the left flank, after getting the break of the ball during an attempted give-and-go, to fire high across the keeper and into the top right hand corner.
  
In the blink of an eye, two became three as Johnstone cut in from the left and rocketed a shot low to the keepers left.
  
A string of fantastic saves from Thomson kept Kilmarnock in the game at a stage where they looked in danger of being trampled. The first, a dive high to her left to tip a Kathleen McGovern free kick onto the crossbar was particularly eyecatching, whilst a reflex save to deny Lawton what would have been a spectacular volley was equally as impressive. 
  
Buoyed on by a vocal support, Kilmarnock found a way back into the game; Murdoch's attempted effort was kept alive by Courtney Allan, who managed to squeeze the ball home from a tight angle.
 
Similarly to the opener, Kilmarnock were not able to capitalise on the momentum of scoring as Celtic once again hit back almost immediately. More good play, this time down the right, from Johnstone saw her hit the byline and cross accurately to Boyce who had the composure and the technique to take a touch and pass the ball past a stranded Thomson.
  • Half Time:
  • Celtic FC
  • 5-2
  • FC Kilmarnock Blues
A fired up Kilmarnock emerged for the second half, but for all their endeavor they failed to trouble a confident and organised Celtic team. In fact, it was they who looked the most threatening before an Aimee Boyle bulleted effort from the corner of the box rattled the underside of the crossbar and fell kindly for Boyce to head into an empty net and truly put the game beyond Kilmarnock.
  
As the match edged closer to full time, an unfortunate own goal off the head of a Kilmarnock defender and a lovely finish from Gabrielle Higgins put the icing on the cake of a display that will see Celtic go into the the final at Toryglen full of confidence.   
 
For Celtic, it is their first cup final at this age group in a number of years. They also lost out at the final hurdle of the West Region cup competition this season, but will be elated to have gone all the way in the prestigious national competition.
 
Standing between the Hoops and the trophy are Hearts. Experienced campaigners, having reached the last two finals. It promises to be an exciting battle between east and west, to land Scotland's top honour at the age group.
  • Full Time:
  • Celtic FC
  • 7-2
  • FC Kilmarnock Blues

Lineups

Celtic FC
FC Kilmarnock Blues
1. Jade Baillie
2. Carly Girasoli
3. Kenzi Brown
4. Gabrielle Higgins
5. Emma Lousie Lawton
6. Dionne Polland
7. Kathleen McGovern
8. Aimee Boyle
9. Emma Johnstone
20. Lauren Davidson
50. Yasmin Boyce

Statistics
Free kicks won: 13
Free kicks conceded: 11
Corners: 9
Shots off target: 9
Shots on target: 21
Headers won: 12
Tackles won: 21
1. Laura Thomson
13. Amy Murdoch
14. Jodie Davidson
15. Emeillia Farren
16. Hope Welsh
17. Kirsten Robertson
18. Julie Anne Black
19. Christina Miller
21. Jodie Farrow
22. Courtney Allan

Statistics
Free kicks won: 11
Free kicks conceded: 13
Corners: 3
Shots off target: 3
Shots on target: 2
Headers won: 8
Tackles won: 19
Star Player
Celtic FC
FC Kilmarnock Blues
Emma Lawton turned in an excellent performance for Celtic, capped with a goal.
Laura Thomson kept her side in the game for long spells with a number of strong saves.
Magic Moment
Celtic FC
FC Kilmarnock Blues
Emma Johnstone's unstoppable hit made it 3-1 and gave Celtic the breathing space they needed during a crucial period of the match.
Laura Thomson's spectacular free kick save was the stand out 'wow' moment of the match.
Club Views
Celtic FC
FC Kilmarnock Blues
Interview to follow.
Drew Walker, Kilmarnock coach, said: "Overall we lost to the better side but good luck to Celtic in the final. Delighted with my girls performance overall. We've had a great season with a league cup win and Scottish Cup semi appearance."
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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