SWPL: Glasgow City sweep aside Spartans to remain top

Glasgow City's Hayley Lauder (right)
Hayley Lauder (right) scored early for Glasgow City

Glasgow City swept aside an injury-hit Spartans to win 5-0 and retain their place at the top of the Scottish Women's Premier League.

The hosts, missing a string of regular first-teamers, fell behind to Hayley Lauder's early strike.

They were up against it after that and Sam Kerr, Abbi Grant, Leanne Crichton and Leanne Ross added more.

Hibernian won the first of a double header with Stirling University 2-0 to stay within one point of City.

Celtic bounced back from their SWPL Cup final defeat to take the three points with a 4-0 win over Hamilton, while Rangers beat bottom club Aberdeen 4-1.

Glasgow City returned to the scene of their only defeat of the season, an extra-time loss to Hibs in the SWPL Cup semi-final.

Since then City have been relentless in their pursuit of an 11th league title, and it took them just a few minutes to take the lead.

Lauder raced onto a simple long ball and lobbed goalkeeper Rachel Harrison.

Harrison was to be in for a busy afternoon. She denied a Crichton header then a Grant shot, but was left exposed when Kerr made it 2-0 on 26 minutes.

Nic Docherty's cross sailed over everyone and bounced off the right-hand stanchion and into the path of the unmarked Kerr, who slotted into the far corner.

City kept going forward and Harrison's save on 31 minutes was top drawer; tipping over Crichton's powerful header.

Grant's nodded in on 43 minutes only to be ruled offside, but within two minutes she collected a long diagonal pass and, although Harrison blocked her initial effort, she thumped in the rebound.

Spartans deserve credit for the way they did everything to stem the tide in the second half, limiting the visitors to very little.

Eventually though City found a way through. Megan Foley cut back to Crichton to side foot in a fourth.

Harrison showed more heroics in front of watching Scotland manager Anna Signeul, pulling off a fine double save to deny Carla Boyce.

However, from the corner kick, a training ground routine gave Leanne Ross a free shot at goal and she fired low into the bottom corner.

Glasgow City head coach Scott Booth: "It was a good win because Spartans have done well this season, they've tried to match teams physically and I thought they did that today when we got a bit sloppy in possession. They do threaten because they break quite quickly.

"But all in all a lot of the things we'd worked on this week the girls put into practice, lots of things I was really happy with. They got a bit sloppy in the second half, a bit messier, but I still felt we were a real threat."

Results

Kirsty Howat of Celtic
Kirsty Howat (right) scored Celtic's opener in a 4-0 win over Hamilton

SWPL 1

Celtic 4-0 Hamilton Academical

Hibernian 2-0 Stirling University

Rangers 4-1 Aberdeen

Spartans 0-5 Glasgow City

SWPL 2

Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale 3-0 Buchan

Forfar Farmington 3-0 Glasgow Girls

Hearts 0-1 Jeanfield Swifts

Motherwell 1-0 East Fife

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