Alloa’s Recreation Ground tomorrow night will play host to a repeat of last season’s SWPL League Cup Final as defending champions Glasgow City face Spartans once more.
Last season, City beat Spartans 5-1 to lift the first piece of silverware of the season, the win also signaled the Edinburgh side’s third successive defeat in the final.
Spartans will be looking to avenge last year’s defeat, manager Debbi McCulloch told the official Spartans website: “We have to be confident going into the match on Wednesday. If we defend well and take our chances then we have every belief that we can go on and win the trophy.
“A cup final is a one off game and anything can happen. If you look at some of the cup finals that have taken place recently from around the world it shows that the underdogs seem to be doing alright. There is no doubt that we are the underdogs on Wednesday but that will suit us and if we perform like we did against Celtic in the league then we will give City a right good game.”
With Spartans consistently performing in the League Cup, City head coach Eddie Wolecki Black will keep his charges focused on the prize – retaining the League Cup trophy.
He said: “There is no doubt we are looking forward to another appearance in a national cup final. In the past as a club we have usually been a bit vulnerable at the beginning of the season and this of course is a natural situation for us as the players get back into the discipline of training and playing again.
“This season was tougher due to the long term injuries we suffered and it has taken a lot of resilience from this group of players to ensure we have remained competitive. There is no questioning that they have exceeded expectations and we now find ourselves in a position to defend our tag as Cup holders.
“Standing in our way are familiar opponents Spartans who are a regular top four side and previous finalists on no fewer than four occasions. They will be eager to go one step further this year. Spartans will as always prove to be very difficult opponents, and if there is one thing that can be said about their side it is that they are very resilient. On many occasions they have defended a one goal lead and saw out matches against so-called favourites. Therefore we know we must match the work rate and endeavour of Debbie McCulloch’s team if we are to be successful on the night.”
To reach the final City knocked four goals past Forfar Farmington, while Spartans beat city rivals Hibernian 2-1.
On winning the semi final against their city rivals, McCulloch added: “Yeah it was great winning the semi-final as the league game was seven going on twelve goals if I’m honest. But we worked really hard in training prior to the Hibs game to make sure we dealt with the threats that they have at their disposal.
“To have a chance of winning any cup competition you have to get past the best teams in the country and the semi-final against Hibs certainly comes under that category, as does the final against City.
“We are definitely stronger than last year’s final against City and I think we have a team that are understanding each other that little bit better, working together on each other’s style of play and gelling the squad together to work to the strengths of the team.
“The great thing about this cup run is seeing so many players contribute with goals or assists and great defensive displays and it shows that it really is a team job in winning a trophy.”
City may have lost two of their most influential players this season to the continent, in the guise of Jane Ross and Emma Mitchell, as well as missing captain Rachel Corsie who is currently fighting back to full fitness after surgery. But the current crop of City players are still as lethal with the likes of former Accies starlet Sarah Crilly and Glasgow City’s all-time leading scorer Sue Lappin in their ranks.
As you would expect Glasgow City are firm favourites to win the final and given their dominance in the league this season maintaining their 100% record after nine games, it will be a tough ask for Spartans to secure the first piece of silverware of the season.
With an 11 point gap separating the sides in the league, it will be a tough ask for the Edinburgh outfit but as they say it is a cup final and it is a one-off game. Using the old saying ‘Football is a funny auld game’ and anything could happen on the night.
Tweet pictures of the match with hashtag #SWPLFinal to be in with a chance to win the signed match ball from the Cup Final team of your choice.
Scottish Women’s Premier League Cup Final
Glasgow City v Spartans
Wed 29th May, Kick Off 7.30pm
Recreation Park, Alloa
Cash Gate: £5 Adults, £2 Kids