By Craig Edwards
Three first half goals helped Glasgow City secure all three points at Ainslie Park as the SWPL returned following the international break.
Ode Fulutudilu’s early strike set City on their way with Lauren Davidson and an own goal making it three at the break. A second Davidson strike midway through the second half confirmed the victory.
Eileen Gleeson made three changes to the side that beat Stirling University in the Biffa Scottish Women’s Cup Quarter Finals 16 days ago with Lee Alexander, Mairead Fulton and Tyler Dodds coming into the side.
The visiting side started brightly with Peyton Perea forcing Rachel Harrison into an early save in the Spartans goal when she rose highest from a Hayley Lauder corner.
City got their early goal they were searching for after eight minutes. Fulutudilu drove at the heart of the Spartans defence before firing the ball low into the bottom right corner from the edge of the box. Harrison got a hand to the ball but not enough to deny Fulutudilu her 11th goal of the season in all competitions.
The hosts searched for an equaliser with Katie Frew’s cross being claimed by Alexander and Simone McMahon’s free kick going over everyone’s head.
City doubled the lead on the 19th minute with a contender for goal of the month. A long ball forward from Jenna Clark was headed up into the Edinburgh sky by Robyn McCafferty but the ball fell into the path of Davidson who took a touch to control the ball before volleying it out of the reach of Harrison and into the back of the net.
Davidson was denied her second shortly after, when Harrison denied her after Fulutudilu had played the ball through while Tyler Dodds saw her follow-up effort blocked. The third goal came for City just after the half hour mark as Lauder’s corner was deflected in by a Spartans defender.
It was end to end stuff as we neared half time with Caley Gibb’s shot blocked by Claire Walsh and Alexander punching away a corner which led to a City counter attack led by Fulutudilu but Harrison denied the striker her second of the afternoon.
Priscila Chinchilla replaced Dodds at half time and almost made an instant impact as her effort was saved before Gibb forced Alexander into a save.
City looked dangerous in the second half and Chinchilla forced Harrison into another save with a strike from distance. City’s pressure paid off with Davidson grabbing her second of the afternoon. A lovely piece of play between her and Fulutudilu allowed Davidson to get into the box and her shot, with the aid of a slight deflection, found the back of the net.
The home side wanted a goal for the efforts in the Edinburgh sun and Alana Marshall was denied by the fingertips of Alexander after her strike from the edge of the box looked like finding the net.
The visitors had one last effort on goal to add to their tally but Kerry Beattie couldn’t find the net from close range after Davidson had driven the ball across goal.
City are through in the capital again next Sunday as we face Hearts at the Oriam where victory would secure a spot in next season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League qualifiers.
Spartans: Harrison, Mason (Sidey, 71), S.McMahon, D.McMahon, Frew, Marshall, Reynolds (Henderson, 86), Gibb, McQuillan (McFadyen, 86), McCafferty, Reilly (Smart, 71). Subs not used: Yates, Ryan, Douglas.
Glasgow City: Alexander, Lauder, Walsh, Fulton (Kats, 77), Fulutudilu, Clark, Davidson, Agata Filipa, Molin, Perea (Beattie, 66), Dodds (Chinchilla, 46). Subs not used: Clachers, Michie, Foley, Noble.