Glasgow City continued their march to the Scottish Building Society SWPL1 title with a comfortable 8-1 win over bottom of the table Stirling University.
City made three changes following their 4-1 midweek Champion’s League victory over Russian side FC Chertanovo with Erin Clachers, Carly Girasoli and Megan Foley coming in for Lee Alexander, Nicola Docherty and Leanne Crichton whilst visiting head coach Craig Beveridge made four alterations to the side that had lost 4-1 to Rangers at Ochilview with Rebbeca Sjogerud, Gemma Mason, Kim Guthrie and Devlyn Jeter all coming into the starting eleven.
The game quickly fell into a predictable pattern with it only taking six minutes for the league leaders to go ahead. A long ball over the top from Leanne Ross found Clare Shine on the right hand side who saw her lobbed effort nodded home by Kirsty Howat for the striker’s 50th goal in Glasgow City colours.
The City pressure continued and on the 13th minute Jo Love saw a long range effort bounce off the top of the visitors bar before Howat would see a long range effort of her own squeeze past the bottom of the far post. A second was soon to come though as from a corner stramash Howat would nudge it home to put City 2-0 up after 21 minutes.
Howat was now on the hat trick hunt and would see two close range efforts denied in quick succession before Sjogerud would make a fine block to deny her again as play continued to drive towards the keeper’s goal.
Corner’s would continue to cause the visitors problems and whilst Howat pursued her goal, City soon got theirs, when defender Carly Girasoli was left unmarked to steer her header into the top right hand corner on the 27th minute.
Howat continued looking for her third and a couple of minutes later a long range effort that seemed destined to nestle in the net crashed off the inside of the post and bounced to safety. Finally on the 43rd minute her treble moment came as, after good work from Rachel McLauchlan on the right, she side volleyed the ball into the roof of the net to put the visitors in complete control going into the interval.
City rang the changes at half time with the victory now secure but it would be one of the games starters who would grab the fifth as summer acquisition McLauchlan would pick up a loose ball on the edge of the area before taking a touch and driving the ball past a diving Sjogerud and three minutes later it would be six as Carly Girasoli poked home via the crossbar.
Howat would add a seventh after picking up a through ball from McLauchlan, who had been moved up the wing in the second period, adding to her earlier strike to make it eight for the hosts. Uni did get a consolation in the 88th minute through Claire Petersen but it was another tough afternoon for Craig Beveridge and his side.
City’s attention now turns to Monday’s Last 16 UEFA Women’s Champions League draw whilst for Stirling University the search for survival points continues.
Glasgow City Head Coach, Scott Booth: “There was a strange atmosphere today, very quiet and a bit eerie but the players, who were maybe a bit tired from Thursday, went on and got the job done. I think we more than deserved the goals that we scored.”
“I think it’s important to maintain a level of experienced players in your team as they help to keep standards very, very high.”
Stirling University Head Coach, Craig Beveridge: “I think it’s always going to be difficult to motivate yourself for games like that. We will look at the goals that were preventable and just need to dust ourselves down. To put a positive spin on it we scored a goal and not many teams do that.”
On upcoming fixtures against Spartans and Forfar Farmington (the latter of which is live on BBC Alba): These game are going to be massive, we need to win both of them to give ourselves a good chance of staying up and making sure we speak to the players so that they don’t dwell on today.”
“We’re hoping for a big turnout against Forfar we’re going to get a bus on for students and get a few local sides involved as well so hopefully we’ll do well.”
Glasgow City: Clachers, McLauchlan, Lauder (“46), Love (’46), Howat, Shine (“46), Clark (“46), Ross, Kerr, Girasoli, Foley. Subs: Docherty, Sinclair (“46), Reid (“46), Crichton, Paton (“46), McSorley, Alexander (GK).
Stirling University: Sjogerud, Connor, Mason (“73), Kerr (“46), Lyons, Simpson, Guthrie, Falconer, Rule 9”46), Petersen, Jeter. Subs: Bonner (“46), Murphy (“73), Coutinho (“46), Fulton, Matlack, Jobanek, Whitaker (GK).