1st Division Weekend Round-Up
Monday, 06 August 2012
Buchan Ladies 3 – 5 Airdrie United
Cowdenbeath 4 – 2 Glasgow City Reserves
Forfar Farmington Reserves 4 – 2 Raith Rovers
Hibernian Reserves 10 – 4 Queens Park
Kilwinning 4 – 3 Troon
Paisley Saints Ladies 1 – 3 Celtic Reserves
There were no changes to the top of the SWFL 1st Division after some very competitive and high-scoring weekend games, as the action re-started following the summer break.
League leaders Hibernian Reserves recorded a comprehensive 10-4 victory over Queens Park, while Kilwinning defeated Troon 4-3 in a thrilling Ayrshire derby to move within three points of third placed Buchan Ladies, who lost 5-3 at home to Airdrie United. Elsewhere Forfar Farmington and Cowdenbeath both recorded 4-2 victories, over Raith Rovers and Glasgow City Reserves respectively.
Second placed Celtic Reserves travelled to Renfrewshire to take on Paisley Saints Ladies and the Glasgow side secured all three points in their first league match after the mid-season break with a 3-1 win, keeping up the pressure on Hibernian Reserves at the top of the league.
The Paisley side had taken the lead after only four minutes. A cross from the right corner was met unchallenged at the back post by the head of the left midfielder who guided the ball into the net.
The Hoops thought they had brought the match level 15 minutes later when striker Kearney ran onto a through ball before driving the ball low into the goal. However, celebrations were short lived as the referee ruled the run offside.
With 23 minutes played Napier brought the Hoops level. Celtic’s first fine combination play of the match saw Sinclair penetrate the home defence to free Crighton on the left who whipped the ball to the back post where Napier tapped in with her head.
Minutes later the Hoops had a chance to double their lead. Kearney's sheer speed, strength and determination saw the striker win the ball high in Saints’ half. Driving at goal, she unselfishly squared the pass to fellow striker Sloey but the resulting shot was blocked by the recovering Saints defence.
Celtic did however take the lead 10 minutes before half time. Crighton broke down left-hand side and skipped past the right back before somehow beating the Saints’ keeper at her near post.
The Hoops had a penalty claim for hand-ball early in the second half but the referee waved play on signalling ball to hand.
Celtic were playing their more positive attacking football in this half but with 55 minutes on the clock a counter-attack from the Paisley side saw them almost bring the match back on level terms but their shot went narrowly wide.
Celtic’s first substitute Harrison had immediate impact as she twisted and turned her way into space in front of goal but instead of shooting she looked to pass and the opportunity was gone.
The Hoops eventually doubled their lead on 65 minutes. Captain Nicol played a defence-splitting ball into the path of the perfectly-timed run of Kearney who rolled the ball beyond the oncoming goalkeeper.
Celtic had more chances to extend their lead but failed to capitalise on their good play. A late attack was defended and countered by the Saints. They almost took advantage of the Hoops’ loss of possession but centre-back Rafferty was on hand to support keeper Farrell as she blocked the Saints’ efforts to ensure a 3-1 victory for Celtic Reserves.
Celtic Coach Tina Ferguson said after the match: "By our own high standards, we had a poor first half but the girls showed resilience and character to turn Paisley Saints’ 1-0 lead around to go in 2-1 at half-time. It was far better Celtic display in the second half and we are pleased to restart the season with a win".
(Match report courtesy of Celtic FC)