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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Alison McConnell

Celtic continue strong start to SWPL season with Glasgow City victory

Celtic went two points clear at the top of the SWPL after a 2-1 win over reigning champions Glasgow City at the Excelsior.

Chloe Craig had given Fran Alonso’s side a second-half lead from the penalty spot after Kenzie Weir had been shown a straight red for a clumsy challenge on Kit Loferski.

City responded with Kelly Clark forced into an own-goal before a Colette Cavanagh effort two minutes from time gave Celtic all three points. It gives them a two-point cushion over Rangers and a five point lead over City with Alonso’s side the only team to boast a 100% start to the season. 

This was the first time the teams had met since City nicked the title from under the noses of Alonso’s side last term with the significance of the result and its psychological implications not lost on Celtic . 

They will face one another next month too after they were drawn together in yesterday’s Sky Sports Cup draw but last night’s affair was all about getting the edge in terms of the SWPL.

Celtic enjoyed the bulk of the opening stages without offering any real menace in City’s box.

The reigning SWPL champions have conceded just twice on league duty this term and although Celtic looked to get an immediate foothold in the game, there wasn’t too much for Lee Gibson to concern herself with.

City emerged into the game the longer it went on with the visitors almost finding the breakthrough before the break.

Caitlin Hayes, so prominent in this fixture for Celtic, hauled back Brenna Lovera after the striker had collected the ball and turned her.

From the resultant free-kick Kenzie Weir looked set to open the scoring only for Colette Cavanagh to hook the ball clear.

City picked up where they left off after the interval with Celtic goalkeeper Kelsey Daugherty forced to tip over Weir’s header that looked certain to end up in the top corner.

Amy Gallacher, with nine goals already this season, tried to offer Celtic an attacking edge as she tried one raking effort from distance that was never likely to trouble Gibson.

It was Daugherty who was the busier of the two keepers as she was forced to push away a Lauren Davidson free-kick as City slowly started to take control of the game.

Daugherty blocked from Davidson with Hayes forced to scramble a clearance before a moment of madness at the other end gave Celtic their goal.

Weir was shown a straight red after a clumsy challenge on Kit Loferski as she burst into the box. From the spot, Craig rifled a low effort into Lee Gibson’s bottom right-hand corner.

City’s response was swift as Celtic were left to curse their luck. Davidson’s effort looked to be heading wide but with Daugherty grounded, her effort nicked off the knee of Celtic captain Clark and ended up in the back of the net.

It made for a pulsating finale to the game before Celtic found their winner as she calmly dispatched a low effort after Meikayla Moore’s clearance had fallen to her.

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