Motherwell 1 (Rice 17)
Celtic 2 (McLaughlin 14, McGovern 59)
Celtic head into the summer break with another three points
Image: Celtic FC
Celtic signed off the first half of the season with a 2-1 victory over Motherwell heading into the break having won their last five and level-pegging on points with Hibernian in second spot.
A first-half effort from Kirsty McLaughlin in the 14th minute was cancelled out by Motherwell’s Katie Rice just a few minutes later, but McLaughlin then turned provider around the hour mark to see Kathleen McGovern secure maximum points.
And with the break of over two months now here, manager Eddie Wolecki Black was delighted to see the Hoops gather another three points.
The visitors, keen to maintain their threat at the top of the league, showed their intent immediately by carving out some early opportunities with Natalie Ross working well with Sarah Ewens to force Motherwell on to the back foot and concede a corner. McLaughlin’s delivery met Cheryl McCulloch but her effort proved just too high.
The Hoops didn’t take long to find their way to goal, though, with McLaughlin converting after Emma Black sent a long ball forward for McLaughlin to collect. The midfielder duly drove through and slotted the ball home from an acute angle.
The Celts, though, didn’t have time to settle and work on adding to the score as a frantic few moments ensued and, with the Hoops pegged back, Motherwell broke down the left to draw Megan Cunningham off her line. A low drive across the box was knocked in by Rice from close range.
Celtic came close to restoring their lead a couple of minutes later, though, when McCulloch was brought down inside the area. However, Chloe Craig’s low strike from the spot was saved by Morgan Hunter.
With the game in deadlock going into the second half, it took Celtic a quarter-of-an-hour to retake the lead. Kelly Clark picked out Keeva Keenan on the left, who linked with Sarah Ewens to find McLaughlin in the middle. McLaughlin then put through a great ball to McGovern, with the striker picking it up to drive into the box and slip her effort past Hunter and see it roll into the back of the net.
Celtic created a few more chances in the tensely battled match, with Craig sending a shot over Hunter that came off the crossbar, the most notable, but it finished 2-1 to the Hoops, who enter the summer break just behind Hibs on goal difference.
Celtic: Cunningham, Black, Keenan, McCulloch, C Craig, Clark, Ross, Giard (Donaldson 65), McLaughlin (Smart 79), Ewens (E Craig 65), McGovern
Unused: Hare, Crosbie, Hay, Hodges