Match Report: Kelly Clark 200, Celtic FC Women 6 Partick Thistle 0

The Celtic Star’s Unrivalled Match Report. Celtic FC Women 6 Partick Thistle 0…

Celtic FC Women entertained a Partick Thistle team new to SPFL1 this season following last season’s late promotion, after Forfar Farmington were unable to supply a side for top flight action. And having impressed already with victory over Motherwell and having given Glasgow City a fright by taking the lead in Midweek and holding the 14-in-a-row Champions at the half time mark, despite eventually losing out, the challenge facing Celtic today was clear for all to see.

Celtic however showed their superior fitness, class and composure in front of goal as once again Charlie Wellings, ably assisted by a wonderful midfield performance from Olivia Chance, inspired Celtic to a superb team performance and a comfortable win at the Penny Cars stadium as they handed six of the best to Partick this afternoon.

Celtic started with a strong attacking line-up in a 3-4-3 formation with Kathleen McGovern, Clarissa Larisey and Charlie Wellings all starting for the Hoops who were without the creativity of Sarah Harkes in midfield as Fran Alonso manages the playmaker’s game time following last season’s injury. The inspirational Celtic captain Kelly Clark also reached a personal landmark of 200 appearances for the club this afternoon, well done Kelly from all at The Celtic Star.

Celtic utilised the attacking options early on and could have taken the lead as early as the second minute when Charlie Wellings was sent clear but could only blaze the ball over the bar. And three minutes later McGovern supplied a similar finish after a smart tun in the box, and moments later couldn’t connect sufficiently well from a Charlie Wellings cut back as the ball got stuck under the striker’s feet and another clear chance went a begging.

But it was a fine start from a Celtic side who looked well on top of their game as an attacking sense in the opening ten minutes. Yet the first team to put the ball in the net was Thistle, however Celtic were able to breathe easy as an offside flag saved the day and it looked the right decision.

And Thistle were to rue that missed opportunity as in 13 minutes Celtic took the lead as a wonderful through ball from Olivia Chance found Charlie Wellings making strides between both Thistle central defenders and calmly waited for the ‘keeper to commit before sliding the ball low into the net. It was a simple goal beautifully supplied and finished with exceptional composure by the ever-reliable Wellings.

Partick then had a gilt-edge chance to equalise as Docherty headed wide from a wonderful left-wing delivery after 22 minutes as Celtic were once again looking a little shaky defending the wide areas behind their midfield four.

And again, Thistle paid the price for their profligacy when after a robust challenge on Larisey led to a direct free kick at the edge of the box that Kathleen McGovern curled with a side foot finish around the wall and into the bottom corner to put Celtic two goals to the good, it was a wonderful finish and one McGovern more than deserved for her efforts up to that point.

Celtic had time to a add a third goal before half time as Charlie Wellings netted her seventh goal of the season and it was a near carbon copy of the opening goal, as once again Wellings darted between defenders and Olivia Chance, this time delivered a perfect left footed reverse pass to break the lines, found Wellings who again was perfectly composed when executing the finish.

Celtic then went in three goals to the good at the break and as much as the score may have been harsh if you were a Thistle fan, Celtic’s ruthlessness in front of goal meant they fully deserved the margin of their lead with both Olivia Chance and Charlie Wellings stand out performers for the Hoops in the opening 45 minutes. And there was more to come.

The second half started with an evident drop off in tempo from Celtic, perhaps looking to conserve energy in a game they left was already won, and as such the first fifteen minutes in particular offered little goalmouth action.

But Celtic more than made up for it in the 61st minute as Charlie Wellings hung in the air to direct a downward header from an inch perfect Rachel Donaldson cross to put Celtic 4-0 up and complete the hat-trick, before immediately finding herself subbed for Jacynta. Job done and then some though for hat-trick hero Wellings. What a signing the former England Under 20 international is proving to be.

Soon after Rachel Donaldson nearly made it 5-0 with a 20-yard screamer that came back off the bar before substitute Maria Olafsdottir Gros did just that with a fine right footed finish from the edge of the box.

Larisey then almost made it six moments later but couldn’t quite reach a driven ball across the six-yard box. Seconds later however the impressive Olafsdottir Gros turned supplier, and with the aid of a Chloe Craig knock down Mengyu Shen scored her first goal for Celtic with a tidy finish from ten yards.

Celtic then win comfortably this afternoon with Charlie Wellings stealing the show with a wonderful hat-trick and of course it would be unfair to deny Wellings a player of the match award considering a hat-trick today made it eight goals for the season. But a special mention has to go to Olivia Chance in Celtic’s midfield. This is the player with the vision to pick out the clever runs of Wellings and it could be the sort of blossoming partnership that will reap season long rewards in the months ahead.

It is likely the goals scored against perceived weaker sides in this division could well be the difference as to the destination of this title. With Celtic scoring six and Charlie Wellings looking like scoring in every game, league rivals will be well aware of the genuine threat Celtic offer as title challenger this season. The tag of the underdog is long gone.

Celtic: Johnstone, Craig, Clark, Hayes, Bowie (Olafsdottir Gros), Shen, Chance (Toland), Donaldson (Shorts), McGovern (Warrington), Wellings (Jacynta), Larisey. Subs: Logan, Bartle

Niall J

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About Author

As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

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