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ANALYSIS: McGovern goal the difference to gift Celts the cup

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Celtic opted to start the match in an attacking manner, opting for a 4-2-3-1 formation which would sometimes change to a double strike force of Lucy Sinclair and Kathleen McGovern.

Glasgow opted to put their attacking options higher up the pitch, putting out a 3-4-3 formation with Emma McLure playing as the leading striker. She lead the line well early on, proving to be a focal point for the attacking side of their game, consistently finding the ball inside clever areas within in the Celtic half.

In the early affairs of the match Celtic seemed to be struggling to play their passing game, and found many passes either going stray or being intercepted by a City body. As a result, their opponents had much of the possession in the opening ten minutes, pressing Celtic inside their own half and not giving them a chance to build attacks from the back. The hoops were not allowed to enjoy a split-second of possession whilst the back three of Glasgow City remained largely untested.

Celtic made an early substitution on the 27 minute mark as Gabrielle Higgins entered the pitch tin the place of Georgia Crooks, though it was unsure whether the change was enforced or a tactical decision to get a foothold in the match. City were having more efforts on goal within the first half hour, although many of them came from long-distance. One of those long-distance efforts however did strike cause trouble midway through the first half, as Lucy Ronald’s lobbed effort from a cleared corner struck the crossbar and bounced away,

Celtic may have been frustrated with their lack of first half possession, but it was they who found the net first in the 35th minute, as Kathleen McGovern was slid through from a lovely pass from Aisha Maughan. The finished that followed was full of composure, and came somewhat against the run of play. She had threatened before on a few occasions when her angled runs threatened to get beyond the City defence.

The goal seemed to give Celtic a new lease of life, as it was them who began to find chances falling their way before half-time, hitting the side netting and seeing an effort sails narrowly over the bar, and they began to match City in terms of attempts at goal.

After the restart, City opted to make a change and bring Danielle Mullen into the equation, moving into the striker’s position. The change seemed to aid their search for an equaliser, as chances began to fall their way as they did early in the second half.

Celtic seemed to be trying to replicate the McGovern goal on several occasions, slotting either long balls or through-balls into her path, although Sophie Allison was out quick to deny her on a few occasions. They seemed intent to find a second goal, having four attackers right at the top of the pitch at times.

Glasgow could sense their opponents sniffing for a second goal, and so opted to make a switch of bringing Hannah Stewart into the equation to replace Karsey McGlichey, who slotted into the midfield in an attempt to gain control of the centre of the pitch.

Celtic made a substitution of their own when Mahri Crooks entered the field in place of Gabrielle Higgins, and she moved into the striking position as the Celts looked to wrap the game up. Claire McFarlane also came on for the Hoops, replacing Aisha Maughan and taking her spot on the right-wing.

Glasgow were doing all they could to grab that elusive equaliser, but Celtic were strong, organised and proving to be a tough nut to crack, and they introduced Kacey Black to replace Lucy Sinclair in an attempt to shore up the midfield.

City placed Mullen upfront to partner Taylor Hamill in a final roll of the dice to equalise, but it was to no avail as Celtic held out to clinch the SWF Youth Cup.

Gregor Kerr | YFS South East Region Journalist
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