By Craig Edwards
Glasgow City moved five points clear at the top of Scottish Women’s Premier League with a 4-0 victory over Spartans at a wet and windy Ainslie Park.
A Lauren Davidson double, along with an own goal and a Megan Foley strike secured the first three points of 2023.
Leanne Ross made just the one change from the side that progressed to the Fifth Round of the Scottish Cup on Sunday with Lee Gibson replacing Erin Clachers in goal.
It was a typical Scottish January evening with the rain and wind playing their part in proceedings. City had an early chance with Kinga Kozak’s low driven effort blocked by Nicola Jamieson.
Rachel Harrison was the first goalkeeper called into action midway through the first half when Hayley Lauder’s free kick from the right touchline was whipped in and met by the head of Meikayla Moore but the Spartans keeper palmed the ball away. Harrison was required again a couple of minutes later from a direct Lauder free kick.
Just before the half hour mark, the deadlock was broken. Erin Greening’s cross into the six yard box was just too far in front of Kozak but Davidson was steaming into the box to smash the ball low past Harrison.
Spartans had their first effort on goal courtesy of Rebecca Galbraith but the ball went over the crossbar. City’s opening goal sparked the home side into life and some good defending from Moore and Jenna Clark denied Spartans any shots on goal.
City needed some daylight and they got it less than 20 seconds into the second half. Davidson turned the provider this time as her cross into the penalty area was put it their own net by a Spartans defender.
The start of the second half got even better for City as the referee pointed to the penalty spot on the 49th minute after Emily Whelan rounded Harrison and played the ball back to Davidson who was brought down. Davidson picked herself up and sent Harrison the wrong way for her second of the evening.
The visiting side continued to threaten with Clark heading a corner over the bar before Abbi Grant stung the hands of Harrison.
Davidson went close to her hat-trick on a couple of occasions but couldn’t find a way through however she did get another assist. Substitute Lisa Forrest, fresh off scoring the winner in the U18s Scottish Cup Final on Sunday played an excellent ball out to the right wing to Davidson. City’s number 14 cut back and played the ball into the penalty area where the onrushing Foley was there to smash the ball at Harrison and the Spartans keeper couldn’t keep it out.
Gibson was forced into a save to deny Ria McCafferty’s free kick before making another save from McCafferty’s long distance effort as City kept another clean sheet and secured a second successive 4-0 victory.
Glasgow City are next in action on Sunday when we travel north to Gussie Park to face Dundee United.
Spartans: Harrison, Clelland (Robinson, 46), Jamieson, Frew, Douglas, McCafferty, Galbraith (Birse, 64), Jordan, Smart (Reynolds, 58), Bates (McQuillan, 58), Ross (D.McMahon, 64). Subs not used: Yates, Mason, S.McMahon, Marshall.
Glasgow City: Gibson, Muir (Foley, 58), Lauder (Gibb, 74), Prades Insa, Whelan (Forrest, 67), Clark, Davidson, Grant (Warrington, 74), Kozak (Fulton, 58), Moore, Greening. Subs not used: Clachers, Reid, Allie, Ward.
Glasgow City: Davidson 27’ 50’ Own Goal 46’ Foley 80’
Glasgow City: Moore
Referee: Brent Falconer
Stadium: Ainslie Park