No positives in a dreadful Celtic performance at Hampden

Celtic FC Women were defeated in today’s Scottish Cup semi-final Glasgow derby as Chelsea Cornet and Kirsty Howat secured victory for theRangers with two late goals. The Ghirls didn’t turn up at Hampden in what was a desperately disappointing performance will need to recover quickly against Glasgow City in midweek.

From the first minute, theRangers were fighting for a result as they got the first shot of the game that went just wide of Kelsey Daugherty’s net. We hit back at the other end as a ball from Lucy Ashworth-Clifford almost fell perfectly in the path of Murphy Agnew, but there was too much on it.

It took both teams a while to get into the game properly as theRangers held more of the ball but didn’t do much with it. LAC was a decent attacking threat as her runs and dribbles began to create half-chances.

Celya Barclais was another player to watch in the first half as she had some good runs cutting inside, while also putting in a shift on the defensive side of things.

Agnew was again played in behind for a chance that got the Celtic fans excited, but the flag was quickly raised for offside.

And that was really all there was to speak of in the first half as it was a close battle between two of the best sides in the country. It would be hard to pick a winner going off of the first half and I think everyone was beginning to think that this tie could certainly go to extra time.

As the second half began though, we started to look more threatening in the opening minutes. Tash Flint was slipped in behind by Agnew and although it looked like the English forward may be the one to open the scoring, theRangers defence recovered just in time to deny her.

And that was the story as we headed towards the hour mark as Caitlin Hayes again tried to play in Flint, but theRangers defence was keeping us at bay.

Then theRangers recorded a really good chance with 68 minutes on the clock, but Daugherty got gloves to it, tipping it over the crossbar for a corner. Up the other end just two minutes later, Flint hit a shot on the volley, and it almost curled into the top corner, missing by a few inches.

We’d come to regret not creating many chances as theRangers would open the scoring from a set piece with seven minutes left to play. We couldn’t hit back fast enough, and they would double their advantage through Howat shortly after.

And it would end in a 2-0 defeat at Hampden, a painful result to take as it means we will not be retaining the Scottish Cup for the third season in a row. At the same time though, taking a step back, we can all realise that today wasn’t good enough. Hopefully, this can give the girls more motivation to fight for the league title rather than dampen their spirits.

Elena Sadiku reflected on the defeat, saying: “We were not good enough. We were not on. Our mindset was not how it used to be. I seriously don’t know why, I mean we should be hungry for this game, there’s a title that’s on for it so I don’t know what happened, I’m very disappointed.

“To be honest, if we look at theRangers, they didn’t create much either. They had some long-distance shots and they scored from a set piece first of all, then we tried to put Caitlin [Hayes] up and it wasn’t successful because we didn’t put the ball up. And then they get the [second]goal in. It also just shows that we’re not really on it today because if we let in a goal from set plays, something we’re usually very good at, it just shows we’re not really on.

“We need to use this as a fuel. If we want to win things, this is not how we play, and this is not our mindset. So, it’s all about, on Monday when we show up [to training], get ready to put a fight in. Because we’re in the best position right now to win the league so we just need to learn from this.”

More to come from Elena Sadiku and Kelly Clark as their full press conferences will be posted later on The Celtic Star after what was a desperately disappointing day at for Celtic in terms of the result but more worryingly in terms of the performance at Hampden.

Jessica Elliott

About Author

I'm a student journalist and Celtic supporter. I'm delighted to have been recently appointed women's football writer for The Celtic Star, where the coverage of the Celtic FC Women's team has been incredible and unrivalled over the past three seasons.

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