Hamilton 0-5 Celtic FC Women – The Celtic Star’s Match Report…
Celtic FC Women keep the pressure on theRangers at the top of the table as we secured our third victory since returning from the international break. Five goals against Hamilton Academical had us leaving South Lanarkshire happy as could be.
Earlier in the day theRangers secured the points with a 2-0 away win against Champions Glasgow City. The game was goalless heading to the half-time whistle when guess what happened? Yes it was a Penalty to theRangers. That gave them the lead and there was no further scoring until deep into injury time with City pressing for an equaliser before being caught on the counter.
Not a sight we want to see 😖 pic.twitter.com/TCU4alGRem
— Cynic Women (@CynicWomen) November 19, 2023
There was no sign of Kit Loferski in the Celtic line-up and the talented American striker was the spotted wearing a moon boot. That’s a real concern for Fran Alonso and as we have argued previously, the squad needs strengthening in the January window with another striker a must. Last January, Alonso brought in the goal machine Tash Flint from Leicester City on loan and she did so well at Celtic that she got a move to her childhood favourites Liverpool.
Celtic’s offer was generous but just can’t compete with the salaries offered in the top league in England where the average player annual salary is now £200,000.
Celtic found the first chance of the game as Murphy Agnew found herself one-on-one with Emma Thomson, Hamilton Accies 16-year-old goalkeeper. She tried to lob the ball over the keeper, but it hit the woodwork.
The Hoops came close again as Shen Mengyu’s cross was heading towards the net. Morgan Graham cleared the ball off the line to keep the score level. With 20 minutes gone, Celtic finally drew blood as a cross from the left found Caitlin Hayes at the back post, who headed into the top corner to score her fourth goal of the season.
The Ghirls would strike again as Natalie Ross made a fantastic run into the box, before laying it off to Amy Gallacher who tapped it in from close range.
Celtic looked to add to their tally as the second half got underway. A few minutes into the half, the referee pointed to the spot as the ball had struck the hand of Megan Quinn. Chloe Craig stepped up and converted the penalty, sending the keeper the wrong way.
Fran Alonso made changes to his side around the hour mark as Paula Partido and Shen Menglu made way for Nour Addi and Celya Barclais. Within six minutes, a Murphy Agnew cross found Addi at the back post. She slotted it home first time to put her side 4-0 up.
A few minutes later, Barclais got in on the action as she took a shot towards goal while Hamilton were under immense pressure. The shot found the back of the net, and the goal moved Celtic ahead of theRangers in terms of goal difference, at least. Crucially though we remain a point behind with Glasgow City’ defeat looking like turning a three horse race in one with just two title contenders.
We almost grabbed a sixth as Thomson couldn’t hold the ball. Tiree Burchill pounced on the loose ball and fired home. The referee ruled the goal offside to deny Burchill of her 5th goal of the season.
A woman with a familiar surname is next on the talking points, as Olivia McStay, daughter of Jock McStay and second cousin to Paul McStay, made her senior competitive debut for Celtic. Keep her on your radar as I’m certain we’ll see more of her in the near future.
An easy task for Celtic today as our five-goal performance keeps the point gap between ourselves and theRangers at one. An of course the result gave The Celtic Star a correct score prediction as per our match preview on Saturday morning!
Next up, Celtic return to the Excelsior as they host Aberdeen in the SWPL. You can find ticket details here, so if you can attend the game, get down to support the Ghirls! The match will be broadcast on BBC Scotland for those who can’t make it.
Let’s keep the pressure on theRangers and put ourselves in the best position possible to win our first league title. If anyone can do it, this fantastic group of players can. Hopefully Kit injury isn’t too serious but Fran Alonso needs to be having words with Michael Nicholson if he is going to deliver a first ever SWPL1 title for the club come May. The January transfer window could determine whether that’s going to happen or not.
And we have the Sky Sports Cup semi-final against theRangers in January too. Celtic operate with the third largest budget in the league, surely that needs to change?