Glasgow City continued their winning ways with a 12-0 demolition of relegation contenders Kilwinning Ladies on Sunday afternoon. In blustery conditions in Ayrshire, City scored six goals in either half to beat Craig Hamilton’s side beleaguered side.
Four goals from Suzanne Lappin, a brace each for Leanne Ross and Lisa Robertson, and solo strikes for Danni Pagliarulo, Nic Docherty, Jo Love and Leanne Crichton sealed all three points.
City got off to the perfect start after just two minutes through Suzanne Lappin, after some hesitancy at the back from Kilwinning keeper McGregor which saw City being awarded a corner, Lappin got her head onto a Leanne Ross corner to head home from less than six yards out.
Less than a minute later and City extended their lead when Lappin bagged her second of the game, as she neatly slotted the ball into the bottom corner of the Kilwinning goal, after some neat lead up play between Ruesha Littlejohn and Nic Docherty.
On 11 minutes, City could have bagged their third of the game, as an attempted cross from Docherty assisted by the blustery conditions nearly caught out McGregor who had to scramble back onto her goal line to deny the goal bound cross.
It took Kilwinning twenty minutes to secure their first foray into the City half, but it was short-lived as they lost possession within ten yards of the half way line and were pegged back once more by Eddie Wolecki Black’s side.
With Kilwinning’s goal under siege, they could only watch on as City’s Sarah Crilly had a great chance to add to the goal tally. Jo Love fired a pin point cross into the box where Crilly was unmarked, however her first time shot sailed well over the bar from six yards out in what could be a serious contender for miss of the season from the former Accies player.
Just before the half hour mark and City were awarded a penalty. Full back Nic Docherty drove into the Kilwinning box only to be brought down in the box by the outstretched leg of a Kilwinning defender. The home side protested against the decision, with shouts of ‘dive’ coming from the dugout. But it was given all the same by the referee and City captain Leanne Ross converted the spot kick to make it 3-0 to the visitors with less than half an hour gone.
And for the second time in the game, Kilwinning conceded another goal within a minute of the last hitting the back of the net.
Lappin scored her third of the game after some neat play from Crilly who laid the ball off to Lappin who fired low past McGregor in the Kilwinning goal.
On 37 minutes City made it 5-0 as Lappin bagged her fourth of the game. A superb cross from Nic Docherty was met by he head of Lappin who nodded past McGregor once more.
With Williamson, in the City goal, a mere spectator throughout the whole game Kilwinning keeper McGregor would have hoped for some breathing space, but City had other ideas for the despairing keeper.
Just five minutes remaining until the interval, McGregor twice denied City in quick succession. First to be denied was Jo Love whose shot was tipped onto the bar by the Kilwinning number one, then in an identical shot from Ruesha Littlejohn was met with an identical save from McGregor who tipped it onto the bar and out for a corner.
From the resulting corner through, City scored their sixth of the game. Leanne Ross whipped the ball in low towards the Kilwinning front post, where defender Danni Pagliarulo popped up to flick the ball between McGregor and a defender on the post, to score her first goal in City colours much to her delight.
Eight minutes into the second half and City started how they left the first half as they extended their lead. With Pagliarulo looking to add to her tally for the day, her attempted shot was diverted into the back of the Kilwinning goal by the outstretched boot of Lisa Robertson to make it 7-0.
On 56 minutes, Jo Love was adjudged to have been fouled in the box on 56 minutes. The referee simulated a nudge on the back as the decision for the spot kick award, it was harsh on Kilwinning as Love didn’t claim for a penalty. Once again the home dugout could not believe the decision, as they were left baffled into why it was awarded in the first place.
Leanne Ross stepped up for the second time and once again dispatched the spot kick past McGregor to make it 8-0 City.
City’s ninth of the game came just four minutes later through midfielder Leanne Crichton as she finished from close range after a bit of pinball inside the Kilwinning box.
Five minutes later and City were into double figures with arguably the best goal of the game. Jo Love picked up the ball just inside the Kilwinning box before using the outside of her right foot to curl an effort past McGregor to make it 10-0.
After numerous changes by both sides, City looked to have dropped down a gear in the final 15 minutes as a beleaguered Kilwinning side tried to resist the punishing onslaught. In fact it was this period, that Kilwinning saw some of their better play and gave keeper McGregor some respite albeit temporary. It was reminiscent of a eye of the hurricane moment, the calm before the storm.
On 82 minutes, City should have made it 11-0, but rather than teeing up Suzanne Malone for an easy tap in, Ruesha Littlejohn decided to go for goal as she was surrounded by Kilwinning players but she could only hit her shot the wrong side of the far post. Much to her own despair as she fell to the ground in frustration.
But goal number 11 duly arrived for City just a minute later, a good one-two and lay off from Malone tee’d up Nic Docherty to fire low into the bottom corner.
And the final goal of the game came on 85 minutes as Malone drove through the Kilwinning defence to set up Robertson who fied past McGregor to round the scoring off at just the 12 goals.
City now look forward to Thursday night’s league cup semi final game against Forfar Farmington, while Kilwinning travel to Carluke to face Hamilton Accies.
After what could be construed a demoralising defeat for Kilwinning, manager Craig Hamilton said: “It’s been a really tough week for us, we have played potentially the top three most flairy teams in the league and today showed obviously the difference. We are new up and we knew it was going to be so tough and its been the hardest week of our life in terms of football. We are miles away from where City are, tough game. We are under no illusions, it’s been a tough day for us.”
There was no sign of star striker Julie Fleeting for Kilwinning and Hamilton confirmed that the former Arsenal front player was suffering from a shoulder injury. He added: “Julie has been carrying an injury to her shoulder, so we didn’t want to risk her obviously in a game like this. I’m not saying we write it off, but these aren’t the games that determine whether we stay up or not so it makes sense.
“Julie actually couldn’t play anyway, it [shoulder]was too sore and on top of that we lost Mhairi Gilmour who is inspirational for us as well, just with a strain she has picked up recently.”
On the penalty decisions given against Kilwinning for fouls on Nic Docherty and Jo Love, Hamilton added that the decisions were “very harsh”.
It was a comfortable win for City, but in such games do the victors actually learn anything from it? City head coach Eddie Wolecki Black said: “Well we can certainly learn how to play the conditions, because you can see the pitch obviously, you have to take that into consideration. Is it a wee bit bobbly, it means do you have to work on your touch a wee bit better. There was a wee wind there so, these things you have to take into consideration so you do learn how to play conditions. The other side you have to learn to break down a packed midfield and defence.”
In previous games, Black was less than happy with his side’s performances over the 90 minutes, but today he was happy that the team ‘kept the performance so high’. He added: “Previously we have been a bit guilty of playing for a half. Realistically we did that for the first five or six games of the season, played a half decent and the other not so. Good, today we scored six goals in each half and kept the performance so high.”
And on the two penalty decisions, that Kilwinning questioned, Black said: “I remember once questioning a referee over penalty kicks, I said to him that was a bit soft, his words back to me were ‘boiled egg’. When I asked him, he just said soft, medium or hard it’s still a boiled egg and it’s the same with penalty kicks. She [Docherty] would never dive never, if the referee’s decided that they were penalties, then he’s in a better decision than me.”
Note: Match photos will be uploaded to our Official Flickr site soon and also a few more added to the match report. So watch this space folks!