By Stephen Bark
Lee Alexander was the hero as Glasgow City saw off Peamount United 6-5 on penalties in the UEFA Women’s Champions League First Qualifying round.
The City keeper was at it again as she saved two in the shootout after a goalless 120 minutes at Broadwood Stadium.
Clear cut chances were few and far between in the first half as both sides cancelled each other out.
In seven minutes, Rachel McLauchlan found space on the right to cross the ball into the box and despite her best efforts, Aoife Colvill couldn’t quite get enough on it as she glanced a header wide.
Peamount’s best chance of the half came early after good work from Rebecca Watkins on the edge of the box. She found Aine O’Gorman on the right who crossed for Eleanor Ryan-Doyle at the far post, but Alexander was alert to save the header.
City had their best opportunity of the half on 15 minutes with a freekick on the right. Leanne Ross left it for Lauren Wade whose ball in just evaded Kirsty Howat in the six-yard box before creeping millimetres wide of Niamh Reid-Burke’s goal.
Efforts came from Zaneta Wyne, Howat and Wade but none could trouble Reid-Burke as City tried to breakdown a resolute Peamount defence in the opening 45 minutes.
City started the second half with greater intensity and almost found the breakthrough straight away. A long ball through for Colvill in space on left allowed her to cross for Howat in the six-yard box only for her to be denied by the hand of Reid-Burke.
From the subsequent corner, Peamount couldn’t clear their lines but Leanne Crichton’s effort sailed wide.
However, the second half soon settled into the same pattern as the first with City controlling possession but Peamount resolute at the back.
Chances did fall for Jo Love and sub Maddie Fulton from outside the box while Lucy McCarton forced Alexander into a save at the other end.
The best chance of the half came on 82 minutes. Terrific work from Sam Kerr on the edge of the box allowed Colvill to set up Fulton but her effort was tipped wide by Reid-Burke.
With the 90 minutes up, City found last chance before extra time as the ball broke to Howat on the edge of the box but her strike was plucked out the top corner by Reid-Burke.
McCarton forced another save from Alexander at the star of extra time with a dink from range before Colvill, Fulton, Wyne and Howat had chances for the hosts but couldn’t find the net.
And so it was penalties and Alexander raised to challenge to save from O’Gorman and give Love the chance to win the tie. However Reid-Burke was pulled off a super save to keep Peamount in it before Alexander delivered again with sudden death save from Lauryn O’Callaghan’s effort to send City through.
Next up for City is a trip to the Penny Cars Stadium to face Motherwell as they return to SWPL action on Sunday, November 8.
You can follow the game across social media and the club website where we’ll have full coverage of the matches along with reaction and highlights after the full-time whistle.
Glasgow City: Alexander, McLauchlan, Wyne, Love, Crichton, Howat, Wojcik (Toland 46), Ross, Kerr (Foley 95), Colvill, Wade (Fulton 71). Subs not used: Clachers, Lauder, Shine, Clark, Davidson.
Peamont United: Reid-Burke, O’Callaghan, McCartan, Farrelly, McEvoy, Ryan-Doyle, O’Gorman, Walsh, Duggan, Beirne (Doyle 83), Watkins (Lynch 73). Subs not used: McAloon, Glackin, Kealy, Moloney, Masterson, Ruddy, Reddy, Barnes, Doherty.