Fran Alonso on Celtic’s most important goal scored this season

Celtic FC Women could easily have picked up two points from their last two SWPL1 matches but instead got three, that’s one more than they deserved if truth be told. Fran Alonso’s side were worthy of a point last Thursday night against theRangers when the Honest Mistake of the season cost Caitlin Hayes yet another goal and denied Celtic what would have been a well merited share of the points.

But on Sunday Hayes’ double gave Fran Alonso’s side the three points in a 2-1 win but this time it was Partick Thistle who could complain about getting nothing from a game that their performance merited much more, including a really well worked equaliser that shocked Celtic to the core.

It looked like a lost cause in the closing seconds of the six minutes of injury time when in one last desperate attempt Chloe Craig fired a free kick from inside her own half down the pitch towards the Thistle goals. And it was Caitlin Hayes who somehow did the rest and the ball ended up in the Thistle net to wipe the smiles from the watching Glasgow City faces (they were playing Hearts later in the afternoon at the same venue, Petershill Park in the North of Glasgow).

Afterwards Fran Alonso didn’t know whether to be relived or delighted, he was probably a bot of both as he immediately understood the implications of that second Caitlin Hayes goal of the afternoon that keeps Celtic’s title charge on track.

Alonso had made six changes, attempting to maintain a level of energy levels within his squad for the challenges ahead starting on Thursday. It almost backfired and now the plan must revert to playing the strongest starting eleven in all remaining matches, then looking to the bench if and when leads are established in these remaining must win games.

“We didn’t have a good game,” Fran told Celtic TV. “It was a poor first-half and an even worse second-half,” Fran Alonso admitted after yesterday’s Great Escape against Partick Thistle which, thanks to the Celtic FC Women hero Caitlin Hayes, Celtic won to keep the title challenge on course.

“Overall, I am so proud these girls. Even in a game like this, where we weren’t at our best, we kept fighting until the final whistle with passion and heart.

“This is one of the most important goals we will score this season, if not the most important,” the Celtic FC Women manager said reflecting on yet another final seconds strike from Caitlin Hayes.

“So I’m very happy with the three points because I thought our league campaign was over.

“The quality today maybe wasn’t there, and the decision-making from most of the players wasn’t great but the passion and fight for the shirt was never in doubt. It’s ultimately all about the three points. Of course, we wanted to play well and try to have a better scoreline.

“We knew going into this game, Partick Thistle are a strong team – they are very well-organised and finished in the top six for a reason. These three points are absolutely massive. The way we secured victory, I think it is going to give us an extra motivation for Thursday at our home ground at Paradise.

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“Hopefully it can be a much better performance too,” Fran Alonso said. “I don’t think we will realise how important that goal is yet – it is absolutely massive! The squad only has one day off now, so there is no time to rest. We have just three games to go. We will have Monday off, then we will get back to it at training on Tuesday and Wednesday with two days to prepare.

“It’s going to be a massive game at Celtic Park. I think the Ghirls will be tired, but when they realise what we achieved on Sunday, I think they are going to be in great spirits for a huge game on Thursday. We all can’t wait for it!”

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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