Four goals from Kirsty Howat helped Scottish Building Society SWPL 1 leaders Glasgow City on their way to a huge 8-0 win over newly promoted Motherwell at Petershill Park. Howat scored all of her goals in the first half with second-half strikes from Jordan McLintock, Jenna Clark, Lara Ivanusa and Clare Shine adding some gloss to the scoreline.
City were made to work for the three points away to Celtic in midweek but they were well in control from the start against the Women of Steel and had the ball in the net inside two minutes. Jo Love saw her free-kick come crashing off the bar with Kirsty Howat putting the rebound into the net, but the offside flag cut her celebrations short.
The striker only had four minutes to wait for the opener however, heading a Love corner into the net from close range. It was 2-0 after eight minutes when Howat dispossessed Natasha Roberts high up the pitch before racing in on goal and slotting the ball past Morgan Hunter.
Well’ keeper Hunter was on form despite the scoreline and made a fingertip save to deny Hayley Lauder’s volley from distance before denying Howat her third with another smart save.
City, playing in their new teal kit, had goal number three on 24 minutes when Love’s corner was bundled over the line after a scramble in the box. There was confusion amongst the crowd and the stadium announcer about who got the final touch, but at half time it was confirmed that it was Howat who had forced the ball home for her hat-trick.
Clare Shine was denied by Hunter but the Irish forward would set up Howat to make it four just before half time as City showed their class.
Manager Scott Booth was able to make changes at half time to rest some of his side’s key players with goalscorer Howat and midfielder Hayley Lauder replaced by Jordan McLintock and Joanne Paton.
The two substitutes made an immediate impact on the game with Paton going close to scoring before McLintock made it five. She picked the ball up on the right edge of the box and with no defenders closing her down; she picked her spot and curled a left footed shot into the top corner.
Shine was denied by the impressive Hunter once more after she was picked out by Megan Foley before the attacker then lobbed a shot wide just past the hour mark.
A tough afternoon for Motherwell got even worse when Kerry Montgomery was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Nicola Docherty and from the resultant free-kick; City grabbed their sixth goal of the afternoon. Love’s free-kick came back off the inside of the post but Jenna Clark was on hand to volley the ball back into the net.
Left-back Docherty scored two stunners against Rangers in last Sunday’s SWPL Cup semi-final at Broadwood and went close to another, but her vicious effort flew just wide of the target before Paton was denied by a fine stop from Hunter.
Slovenian international Lara Ivanusa came off the bench and she took just six minutes to get on the scoresheet, tapping home from close range after a mazy run from Paton.
Clark headed wide from a good position but when the ball came straight back at Motherwell, Shine rounded off the scoring with a clever flick from Docherty’s cross.
City weren’t showing the visitors any mercy and had further chances to add to their lead, Paton hitting the post and Foley seeing her volley acrobatically saved by Hunter.
Motherwell did have a shot on goal with the last kick of the ball but Beth MacLeod’s shot on the angle was easily held by Lee Alexander with the referee’s whistle bringing a miserable afternoon for Motherwell to an end.
The hosts’ win sees them maintain their 100% record and five-point lead at the top while Motherwell remain sixth, one point ahead of Forfar Farmington. Next week, Motherwell travel to take on bottom side Stirling University while City welcome Rangers to Petershill.
Glasgow City: Alexander; Ross, Clark, Girasoli, Docherty; Foley, Crichton (Cunningham, 69), Love (Ivanusa, 69); Lauder (McLintock, 46), Howat (Paton, 46), Shine
Motherwell: Hunter; Knox, Rolph, Rafferty, Roberts; Crilly, Montgomery, McEachran, Rice, Adams; Gardner (MacLeod, 76)