Photo by Colin Poultney
Scott Booth admitted Glasgow City side dropped their standards and put themselves under unnecessary pressure as his side defeated Spartans 3-1 at Broadwood.
City opened up a 3-0 lead in an impressive display before the break, with goals from Arna Sif Asgrimsdottir, Jo Love and Ode Fulutudilu.
However, a Kat Smart goal and a red card 10 minutes from time for goalkeeper Erin Clachers led to an edgy closing period for the league leaders, with defender Jenna Clark finishing the match in goals for City.
“We just dropped our standards far too much,” said Booth. “And when you do that and you don’t defend well, then you know that a team like Spartans will score against you.
“It was inevitable for me, with the way that we played in the second half, that we would put ourselves under more pressure.”
City remain three points clear at the top of Scottish Building Society SWPL 1 ahead of a top of the table clash away to Rangers on Sunday.
Despite Spartans defeat they remain fourth, though Hibernian closed the gap after beating Hearts 6-0.
Fulutudilu came closest to breaking the deadlock early on when a short corner was worked to Lauren Davidson and her cross was headed inches over at the back post by the City striker.
The hosts continued to bombard the Spartans area with crosses but goalkeeper Rachel Harrison and her defenders dealt with them well in the opening stages.
Spartans then nearly took the lead against the run of play as a Michaela McAlonie free-kick was won by Smart, and when the ball fell Tegan Reynolds’ effort was cleared off the line by Janine Van Wyk.
City centre back Asgrimsdottir took a knock early on, but recovered to emphatically head her side in front from close range. A tantalising Davidson delivery drifted over Harrison and found the centre back at the back post.
Fulutudilu nearly poked home her side’s second not long after, but her effort bounced back off the post into the grateful arms of Harrison. However, the lead was extended just after the half-hour mark.
Priscila Chinchilla cut inside Clelland and McCafferty, before sliding through to Love who calmly slotted past Harrison.
Only three minutes later it was 3-0 as Davidson’s blocked shot fell to Fulutudilu on the edge of the area. She turned onto her left foot and rifled an effort high into the top left corner.
Glasgow City had chances early in the second period, with two Chinchilla set-piece deliveries being headed over by Jenna Clark and Julia Molin. Harrison made two excellent saves in quick succession from Davidson and Chinchilla, while Fulutudilu dragged a golden opportunity wide when a rare defensive error from the Spartans back four put her clean through on goal.
Spartans were still defending well, with Robyn McCafferty making several important challenges, and they began to look more of a threat going forward as the second half wore on.
And when Glasgow City failed to deal with a McAlonie corner, Smart was on hand to scramble home to give the visitors some hope.
Clare Shine will have been disappointed not to have done better when put clean through on goal, but her effort hit the side netting as Glasgow City sought to re-establish their three-goal cushion.
The momentum in the match had well and truly shifted in Spartans’ favour by this point, and with 10 minutes remaining Becky Galbraith ran through on goal inside the City half. Goalkeeper Clachers rushed out of her area to deal with the threat but when Galbraith reached the ball first, Clachers’ clumsy challenge left the referee with no option but to show her the red card.
Glasgow City had no stoppages for substitutions left and as a result centre back Clark finished the match in goals.
The resultant free-kick was blocked by the wall and though Spartans pressed hard, they failed to really test the stand-in goalkeeper and Glasgow City managed to see the game out without further drama.
Glasgow City: Clachers, Michie, Van Wyk, Love, Crichton, Fulutudilu, Davidson, Asgrimsdottir, Colvill, Molin, Chinchilla; Alexander, Wyne, Lauder, Shine, Toland, Clark, Foley.
Spartans: Harrison, Clelland, McMahon, Douglas, McCafferty, Gibb, McAlonie, Reynolds, Galbraith, Smart, Marshall; Yates, Mason, Frew, Beveridge, Denholm, Reilly, Graham.