By Stephen Bark
Glasgow City banished their February blues to record a comfortable Glasgow derby win over Celtic in their first game at Broadwood Stadium.
Second half goals from Rachel McLauchlan and Kirsty Howat were enough to see the defending champions take all three points in the season opener.
City looked to take the game to the visitors right from the off and the first proper chance fell Howat’s way on 14 minutes when she was played through and looked to dink the ball over Chloe Logan from 20 yards but, with the keeper beat, her effort crashed off the crossbar. From the rebound, Sam Kerr fashioned a cross again for Howat but this time she fired wide.
Kerr was the driving force for City attacks on the right and on 21 minutes her driving run and cross found Hayley Lauder in space in the Celtic box but her first-time effort flew narrowly wide of the post.
Lauder was next to go close with an effort just over from 25 yards on 43 minutes before Kerr cut inside from the right, played a neat one-two with Lauder and curled one wide from the edge of the box.
Celtic’s only real chance of the half fell to Natalie Ross who tried one from distance just before half time, but Lee Alexander was equal to it.
City then had two golden opportunities to break the deadlock before half time. First, Howat fired wide from just inside the box before a brilliant ball through for Aoife Colvill saw her one-on-one with Logan, but she couldn’t beat the Celtic keeper.
The home side started the second half as they ended the first. Zaneta Wyne’s throw found Colvill in the box and her cutback for Howat was almost turned home by a Celtic defender but Logan reacted well to save at the near post.
Colvill’s hard work on the left then allowed Lauder to win the ball back for City and when her cutback for Howat was blocked, she tried to curl an effort in at the far post only to be denied by the crossbar.
Kerr, Howat and Lauder all had efforts before McLauchlan was finally able to break the deadlock in the 63rd minute. Howat’s initial cross from the right was blocked and the ball broke to McLauchlan who drove for the byline. It looked more like a cross but, from an impossible angle, the ball looped up and over Logan nestling neatly in the side netting.
Celtic tried to respond quickly through Kathleen McGovern, but her effort wasn’t troubling Alexander.
Moments later, sub Tyler Toland won possession back for City on the left where she slipped the ball through to Colvill in the box. Unselfishly, City’s number 19 laid it off to strike partner Howat who fired home from the edge of the area to make it 2-0.
Kerr and Toland both had chances to extend the lead further as City saw out the game but neither could find the target.
Next up for City is a home tie against Forfar Farmington on November 1. You can follow the game across social media and the club website where we’ll have full coverage of the match along with reaction and highlights after the full-time whistle.
Glasgow City: Alexander, McLauchlan, Wye, Lauder, Love, Crichton, Howat, Ross (c), Kerr, Colvill (Shine 81), Wade (Toland 61). Subs not used: Clachers, Fulton, Clark, Davidson, Wojcik.
Celtic: Logan, Keenan (Warrington 81), Ross (Nicolson 90+1), Craig, Anita (Bowie 54), Robertson, Ewans (Giard 70), Clark (c), Green, Hayes, McGovern (Castellano 77). Subs not used: McBrearty, Johnstone.