Magnificent Seven takes Celtic’s goals total to over 100 with only 3 conceded

SWPL1, 1 March 23, 8pm , New Douglas Park, Hamilton


Scorers: Flint (15 & 57 pen) Ross (22) Menglu (41) Mengyu (59) McAneny (63) and Chance (66)

Celtic FC Women came into tonight’s SWPL1 encounter brimming with confidence after a ‘skelping 3-0 win over theRangers at the Excelsior Stadium on Friday night, a result which gave the Hoops a four-point lead over theRangers and had Fran Alonso’s side chasing down a Glasgow City side three points ahead of the Celts at the top of the table following their 7-0 victory over Aberdeen on Sunday.

Liv Fergusson in action against Hamilton Accies

If Celtic could win against Accies this evening, it would set up a weekend encounter between the top two teams in Scotland this season, with Celtic due to welcome City to the Excelsior Stadium on Sunday. And the Hoops did not disappoint scoring a Magnificent Seven goals to reiterate their title challenging credentials at New Douglas Park.

Alonso had admitted squad rotation was likely in this one and made four changes to the team which won the Glasgow Derby, with Caitlin Hayes, Liv Chance, Amy Gallacher and Hana Kerner dropping to the bench, to be replaced in the starting eleven by Taylor Otto, Lisa Robertson, Shen and Liv Fergusson, as the Celtic head-coach evidenced the increased depth of squad he has available to pick from this season.

Celtic were the first to threaten with a Jacynta effort from distance lacking power but still causing Nicolson in the Accies goal to require two attempts to collect – and nine minutes later Nicolson was to run out of luck. As following a low Liv Fergusson cross into the area Natasha Flint pounced to grab her first goal since signing on loan at Celtic from Leicester City.

It was a welcome start, as by now Glasgow City – whose game with Motherwell kicked off 25 minutes earlier than this one – were already two goals up.

The Goal Machine picks up where she left off at Leicester City

And Celtic were doing there best to add to their tally, as two minutes after the first goal it was role reversal for Celtic with Flint this time finding Liv Fergusson but the headed effort was just off target.

By now Flint, spurred on by her first goal in the Hoops, was finding her groove and struck another effort goalward that may well have gone in but for a deflection en-route which took the sting out the effort and allowed Nicolson to make the save.

Celtic didn’t have to wait long however for goal number two to arrive and when it did the unconvincing Nicolson played her part, as a Jacynta shot from distance couldn’t be held by the Accies keeper and Natalie Ross tapped the ball home from close range and register Celtic’s 100th competitive goal of the season in the process!

Natalie Ross continues her great goalscoring run that had Fran Alonso singing her praises at last week’s Media Conference.

And with Glasgow City still two goals up at Petershill Park with their second half just underway, Celtic struck again, when Shen Menglu struck a high shot goalward, where Nicolson managed to get a touch on the effort but not enough to stop the ball going into the net, or Celtic heading into the break with a three-goal advantage.

That goal offered a further chance for Fran Alonso to rotate the squad, with the three points now all but secured as Jacynta, O’Riordan and Menglu made way for the introduction of Gallacher, Chance, Bowie at half-time.

And with news filtering through that Glasgow City had extended their lead to three against Motherwell at Petershill Park, Accies Morgan Hay brought down Amy Gallacher in the box and Celtic had a chance from 12 yards to go four in front, with Natasha Flint making no mistake from the penalty spot to grab her second goal of the night. And Fran Alonso used his final two changes to maximise squad rotation ahead of Sunday’s top of the table clash as Ross and Flint made way for McAneny and Goldie.

Two minutes later and Celtic hit goal number five with Shen Mengyu forcing the ball over the line from a yard out, with City heading into injury time in their game still 3-0 up on Motherwell and Celtic now looking as if they would now stretch their goal difference to the point a win on Sunday would see the Hoops return to the top of the SWPL1 table.

And still Celtic kept pushing for more, as a cracking cross from Bowie was headed goalward by Liv Fergussson but the Accies ‘keeper managed to smother the ball on the line, and Nicolson was again called into action as she then saved an Amy Gallacher spin and shot.

Although the Accies ‘keeper must have wondered why she bothered as from the resultant corner Maria McAneny swung the ball in and it evaded everyone including Nicolson to land in the net for a fabulous sixth goal for the Hoops and a cracking effort from McAneny.

The Hoops then had the ball in the net through Liv Fergusson, only to be denied by the offside flag, but the Magnificent Seven was only delayed, as the globetrotting Liv Chance met a set piece delivery at the edge of the six-yard box to show jet-lag means nothing to the New Zealand international who caught the ball well and smashed it home to put Celtic 7-0 up.

Celtic had a further chance to extend their scoring with four minutes left but McAneny saw her driven effort come off the post.

A wonderful and relentless performance then from Celtic as a thumping 7-0 win ensures this weekend’s clash with Glasgow City – who defeated Motherwell 3-0 – now offers the Hoops the chance to go top of the SWPL1 table with a win at the Excelsior Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

And with confidence sky high on the back of a Glasgow Derby win and tonight’s demolition of Hamilton Accies you get the feeling momentum is now very much with Fran Alonso’s side as they look to secure their first ever league title.


Niall J

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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