A dominant performance from league leaders Glasgow City secured a 5-0 win over a stubborn Hamilton Accies side to maintain their 100% record. A hat trick from Sue Lappin and a goal apiece from Sarah Crilly and Ruesha Littlejohn secured all three points for the reigning SWPL champions.
Before the game kicked off City were missing their regular keeper and their substitute keeper due to prior commitments, so that left City to call on the services of defender Danica Dalziel to don the goalie gloves. It was also the first time that Sarah Crilly faced her former side, since she made the move to Glasgow City.
The opening half an hour saw Glasgow City dominate possession and peg Accies back into their own half, but Eddie Wolecki Black’s side could not find a way through the stubborn defence of Accies and keeper Megan Cunningham, despite a hatful of chances.
First Suzanne Malone fired an angled shot straight at Cunningham, who saved comfortably after two minutes. A minute later and Ruesha Littlejohn tried an ambitious long range lob, but she skewed her attempt and it went harmlessly wide.
On five minutes, a long searching ball for Eilish McSorley caught the Accies back line out as Littlejohn beat the offside trap, but Cunningham was quickly off her line to gather the ball.
A well worked free kick on ten minutes saw Leanne Ross tee-up defender Eilish McSorley in the six yard box but she could only direct her flick on into the welcome arms of Cunningham.
The impressive Nic Docherty made a driving run down the flank before firing in a cross into the Accies box on 16 minutes for Suzanne Malone, but the City striker could only watch as her looping header was saved on the line by Cunningham who was scrambling back to pull off a superb save.
But just before the half hour mark, City’s pressure finally paid off and it was former Accies starlet Sarah Crilly who popped up to break the deadlock as she gathered the ball 20 yards out, before lobbing Cunningham with a superb strike. The Accies keeper managed to get a glove onto the ball, but could only turn it onto the post and in. Crilly who plied her trade for Accies until this season took her team mates plaudits but refused to celebrate in respect to her former side.
On 33 minutes, Nic Docherty was adjudged to have been fouled by Accies’ debutant Gillian Sloey and referee Hayley Irvine handed Sloey her first book as an Accies player. It was a harsh decision by the referee as it was more of a coming together than a reckless or cynical foul.
Into the second off and once again City dominated play. Just four minutes in and City were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position after Sue Lapping was brought down on the edge of the box. From the resulting free kick, Leanne Ross struck the upright but could only watch as it went out for a goal kick.
Just before the hour mark and Accies nearly gifted City their second of the game after an attempted header back to Cunningham from ten yards out, but Suzanne Malone latched onto the ball but could only direct her flicked attempt onto the crossbar and over for a goal kick.
Minutes later and Malone was denied again by the woodwork as a thunderous strike from the edge of the box hit the crossbar.
Malone was again denied on 71 minutes, this time by Cunningham in the Accies goal. After picking up the ball at the back post, Malone took too many touches to try and steady herself before shooting, gifting the Accies defence enough time to get back and close her down. Despite this she got her shot away only to see Cunningham bearing down on her to block her attempt.
While Malone was being denied a deserved goal for all the work she put in to today’s game, City finally bagged their second of the game just two minutes later and unsurprisingly it came from the free-scoring Sue Lappin. A driving run through the Accies defence from the midfielder, saw the ball take a wicked bounce only to fall kindly to Lappin before she fired a shot past Cunningham to break Accies’ resistance.
That goal opened up the floodgates as in the space of six minutes City scored a further three goals. On 75 minutes Ruesha Littlejohn latched onto a cross ball before firing low past Cunningham, just four minutes later and Sue Lappin bagged her second of the game as she latched onto the ball at the back post and heading home from three yards out. And Lappin bagged another hat trick again with a header to make it 5-0 to City on 81 minutes.
City comfortably saw out the remaining minutes of the game, while Accies continued to fight to the final whistle.
After the match, Hamilton Accies coach Kevin Murphy praised his charges for their commitment despite the result. He commented: “I can’t fault our girls for effort, they worked so hard today in tough conditions today with the heat and always tough when you play Glasgow City. They keep the ball, they retain the ball very well and I felt for 75 minutes we done that really well and I think when the second goal goes in the legs got a wee bit heavier and the floodgates opened up for that ten minutes.
“I feel sorry for the girls, I felt 5-0 was an unfair reflection although City had the dominance in the game I felt our hard work deserved a little bit more.
“Sometimes its a worry when you’re a coach, when you have had a few disappointing results of late, so its a worry sometimes for me if you have lost the dressing room, is the dressing room with you. But anyone watching the game today knows where we are going and what direction we are going in. We are all pulling together in one direction. We also had two debuts from Gillian Sloey and Corrie Cairns today and I thought they slotted into the team really really well on the right hand side. But there is plenty to build on for the next game against Hutchie Vale.”
City head coach Eddie Wolecki Black was delighted with his side’s performance today against what he described as a ‘well organised and disciplined’ Accies side. He said: “Obviously I’m very happy to get the three points and it guarantees us top spot after the break. So it’s a real bonus, I asked the players to play a high tempo game and keep us up at that level. So delighted with it.
“We were obviously frustrated, it was kind of showing on the pitch that the players were finding it frustrating and maybe that is what comes when you go in at half time two or three up, so its a good thing then when we know we have to come out and fight in the second half. A lot of credit has to go to Hamilton who were well organised and disciplined. Kevin always has his team like that he always makes it difficult and there wasn’t any exception today.”
On Sue Lappin’s performance today, Black added: “Probably the more pleasing thing is that Sue will get a lot of credit for the goals she is scoring. But I think that anybody who witnesses her workrate about the park, it’s something we have been really working on this season, I think its fantastic when you see how she is pressing and charging after the ball and really putting in a whole 90 minute shift. It was something she was not capable of doing when she first arrived back at the club, a lot of credit to her for that, but the goals are a bonus.”
Glasgow City XI: Danica Dalziel, Lisa Robertson, Eilish McSorley, Jo Love, Leanne Crichton, Ruesha Littlejohn, Suzanne Lappin, Nic Docherty, Suzanne Malone, Leanne Ross (c), Sarah Crilly.
Subs: Danni Pagliarulo, Caitlin O’Hara, Cheryl Gallagher, Ciara Barnes.
Hamilton Accies WFC: Megan Cunningham, Amy Bulloch, Ainsley Douglas, Gillian Inglis, Cara McBreaty, Cheryl McCulloch, Karen McInally, Chloe Quinn, Carolina Richardson, Gillian Sloey, Corrie Cairns.
Subs: Kimberley Black, Terri Donnelly, Elaine Fleming, Jennifer King, Ashley McDonald, Deborah McLeod, Susan Laing.
Referee: Hayley Irvine