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Celtic leave it late to lift Division 1 League Cup

Hibernian U23s 0

Celtic Academy 1

McGovern 84
  • Thursday, 03 May 2018
  • Ainslie Park
  • Scottish Women's Football Division 1 League Cup

In a strange turn of events two youth teams battled it out in this Division 1 Cup Final and it was Celtic who prevailed to lift the trophy. In a very tight affair, Celtic probably just shaded it, and on the back of their second performance, were worthy winners on the day.

Both sides entered this match high on confidence, with Celtic and Hibernian both winning their previous three matches, however, it was Hibernian who began brightest.

Good work in midfield by Hibernian’s Morgan Turner allowed her to find Jamie Lee Smith, who engineered space well before unleashing a powerful effort which Celtic keeper Lisa Kerr turned round the post.

Celtic hit back immediately and only a few minutes later were very unlucky not to be ahead. A corner from Cara Henderson was met well by Shannon Nagle, however, her header went just wide of the post.

On the back of this chance, Celtic began to take control of possession, without fashioning too many chances. Their only other major opportunity before the break came on 20 minutes when a long ball found its way to Kathleen McGovern. She managed to knock the ball over the goalkeeper, however, she couldn’t force the ball over the line, as the Hibernian defence cleared.

Despite prolonged periods of Celtic possession, the Hibees did create probably the best opportunity of the first period just before the half-hour mark. Celtic’s captain Nicole Cairney was caught in possession by Nicole Rutherford and she drove forward and played in Kirsty Morrison but her tame effort was straight at Lisa Kerr.

This chance was the last of a very close first half, as both sides went into the break on level terms.

  • Half Time:
  • Hibernian U23s
  • 0-0
  • Celtic Academy

The Hibees once again started the brighter of the two sides, and, just two minutes after the interval they should have been in front. Once again Rutherford was at the heart of the move, as she was played in on goal, but she couldn’t take advantage as her shot was well saved by Lisa Kerr.  

Ten minutes later Celtic came closest to the opening goal of the cup final. Again it was a corner from Henderson which Shannon Nagle met, and she was very unlucky to see her powerful header come back off the crossbar, and the scores remained level.

Nagle’s effort, just before the hour mark, started a crazy ten minute period where the Hoops would go onto hit the upright four times.

Firstly, on 61 minutes, a cross from Megan Wands caught the wind and, bizarrely, it bounced off the bar twice before finally going behind for a goal kick. Only a few minutes later, Celtic won a free-kick on the edge of the box, from which McGovern took responsibility, and her strong effort was expertly tipped onto the bar by Hibs goalie Alicia Yates.

Celtic could have been forgiven for thinking it wasn’t going to be their day, however, eight minutes from time their luck was to change. Nicole Cairney picked up possession on the right wing and ran into the box. She steadied herself and delivered a cross which was blocked by the hand of the Hibs defender and referee Liza MacKenzie pointed to the spot.

Again it was Kathleen McGovern who took responsibility, and she stepped up to coolly pass the ball down the middle to put the Hoops in front five minutes from the end, sparking jubilant scenes among the Celtic squad.

No clear-cut chances were created in the closing minutes, as the game descended into a midfield battle. Celtic managed to hold onto their lead for the remainder of the match, and as a result, they lifted the silverware.

  • Full Time:
  • Hibernian U23s
  • 0-1
  • Celtic Academy

Lineups

Hibernian U23s
Celtic Academy
1. Alicia Yates
2. Anna Dickov
3. Shannon Leisham
4. Nicola Jamieson
5. Megan Kerr
6. Holly Aitchison
7. Jamie Lee Smith
8. Rhia McCafferty
9. Nicole Rutherford
10. Morgan Turner
11. Kirsty Morrison
12. Ellie Jai Reid
14. Niamh Fellenger
15. Zoe Charmichael
16. Chelsea Lowe
17. Caitlin Lynch
1. Lisa Kerr
2. Maxine Simpson
4. Kaysha Watson
5. Shannon Nagle
6. Cara Henderson
7. Darcy Molley
11. Nicole Cairney
12. Kathleen Toolan
14. Tara McGonigle
15. Paige McAllister
17. Kathleen McGovern
19. Emma Craig
20. Megan Wands
21. Hannah Fulton
22. Alise Stewart
23. Chloe Warrington
Star Player
Hibernian U23s
Celtic Academy
Hibs star player was their full-back Shannon Leisham. She drove up and down the wing for the entirety of the match and always looked dangerous in possession and as a result wins the star player accolade.
Katheleen McGovern wins the star player award for the Hoops. She led the line exceptionally well for Celtic and was ultimately the match winner, as her penalty was the only goal of the game. On another day McGovern could have had a hat-trick and is, therefore, a worthy winner of the star player award.
Magic Moment
Hibernian U23s
Celtic Academy
The whole day was a unique experience for Hibernian as they made the cup final as a youth team, defeating several high profile senior teams en route. Despite the disappointment of losing on the day, the Hibs squad should take great pride in reaching the showpiece game.
Celtic's magic moment has to be McGovern's winner. The goal sparked brilliant celebratory scenes among the Celtic players and coaching staff. That being said, receiving the silverware was also very memorable, especially for captain Nicole Cairney who lifted the cup on behalf of her team.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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