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Celtic Ladies cruise to victory against Hamilton Academical

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[media-credit name=”© Phil McCloy | Scotzine.com” align=”alignleft” width=”215″][/media-credit]The game started slowly with the first attempt not coming till the 15th minute of the game. Hayley Cunningham had her shot go just wide from just eight yards out after her and Megan Sneddon had some nice one two work on the edge of the box to the give the lively midfielder space to shoot.

Celtic passed up another great chance to go ahead on 26 minutes when Heather Richard narrowly missed after her sliding shot from five yards out was deflected of a Hamilton defender and out for a corner.

With Celtic really turning on the pressure and the weather turning up the heat, Hamilton started to make some bad decisions with a strong back pass nearly going into the net if not for the quick reflexes of Megan Cunningham in the Hamilton goal who managed to push the ball away for a corner. The resulting corner kick from Hayley Cunningham was a nice curling effort which swung in and onto the head of a diving Suzanne Grant whose header was unlucky not to go in as Cunningham made a diving save.

More bad decisions were to come from Hamilton as they gave away a silly penalty when captain Lynsey Hogg pulled down Emily Thompson in the box. Hogg was lucky to get away with a warning and her team’s fortunes continued when Chloe Craig hit her penalty well over the bar and into the field behind the goals.

However Hamilton’s fortunes didn’t last long when a few minutes later on the verge of half time Celtic finally got the goal that their pressure deserved. Emily Thompson found clear space in the box to slot the ball passed an onrushing Cunningham into the bottom right corner from eight yards after she had taken the ball down nicely from an over the top ball.

[media-credit name=”© Phil McCloy | Scotzine.com” align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]The second half belonged to Suzanne Grant who terrorised a weary Hamilton defence. Her first attempt in the second half came on 51 minutes when her shot from just inside the box was expertly tipped over the bar and out for a corner. Cunningham took the corner where her high ball nicely landed in front of Scotland call up Rhonda Jones whose shot fizzed just went over the bar with the keeper beaten.

Suzanne Grant again came close on 57 minutes when a Cunningham corner fell nicely onto the head of Grant who was unlucky to head just past the left hand post; however it did look like the keeper had it covered.

The game was never a bad-tempered a fair however one of the key battles in the game was between Rhonda Jones of Celtic and Cheryl McCulloch of Hamilton. The battle nearly turned into a fight when the two clashed on the edge of the area on 62 minutes leading to a scuffle between the players which needed to be broken up. Both players were lucky to receive just yellow cards and a warning from the referee, David Burns.

Celtic finally got their second of the game on 64 minutes through Hayley Cunningham. A lovely cross from the right by Suzanne Grant found an unmarked Cunningham at the far post who headed the ball down into the corner past a diving keeper.

With the second goal it looked like Hamilton had given up. Suzanne Grant got her first on 69 minutes when she took advantage of a defensive error and ran into the box before coolly slotting the ball into the bottom right hand corner.

Suzanne Grant was unlucky not to score a similar goal a couple of minutes later only to be hauled down on the edge of the box by Jennifer King who was lucky not to see red instead getting a yellow.

Cunningham made a great double save on 84 minutes, however Suzanne Grant got her second and Celtic’s fourth goal of the afternoon on 90 minutes. Hamilton’s tired defenders couldn’t keep up with Grant who outran the defence latching on to an over the top ball despatching it low into the bottom corner past the keepers clasping hands.

For more match photos from Phil McCloy check out Scotzine’s official Flickr page.

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