A last minute goal from Nikita Parris gave English Women’s Super League side Everton a 3-2 victory over Scottish Champions Glasgow City at Petershill Park.
With two players recently departing for professional sides south of the border, five Scottish internationalists sidelined with injury and two recent signings also out with injury problems, it was a much changed City side who took to the field in front of their home crowd. Megan Mason, Alyshia Walker and Abbi Grant all made their starting debut with another six players making their first appearance for City coming off the bench, giving a total of eight players under the age of 17 years old playing for the SWPL champions on Sunday.
Glasgow City struck first blood in what at times was a scrappy first half. Everton failed to deal with a City corner and Denise O’Sullivan struck a low powerful drive into the bottom corner to give her side the lead. Everton and English youth international Nikita Parris, hit the equaliser shortly before half time as she found the back of the net in a crowded penalty box.
Into the second half and a mistake by City keeper Lee Alexander gifted the visitors a goal through Simone McGill, before Leanne Ross, equalised direct from a City corner.
With both sides pushing for the winner, City went close through O’Sullivan and Eilish McSorley, but in the 90th minute it was the English side who struck the decisive goal as Parris scrambled the ball over the line after an Everton corner.
Commenting on the match, City Assistant Coach, Donald Jennow said: “The first 20 minutes I thought we really struggled to get going and were not up to the pace of the game. We settled after that and I felt we probably had the better of the remainder of the first half.
“After the break, we improved and were more up to the tempo of the game and enjoyed what was a competitive match against a good Everton side. The goals we conceded from our point of view were very poor. Individual errors and set pieces are never good ways to concede goals. Ultimately though it is pre-season and our main objective was to get minutes under our belts and fitness up for the domestic campaign and we achieved that. What was also pleasing was the number of debutants we managed to field today, which shows that our youth performance academy is working very well.”
Glasgow City will complete their pre-season schedule when they take on the re-launched English side, Manchester City, at Petershill Park this Sunday at 2pm. The ambitious English outfit should provide a stern test having recently recruited England Internationals, Jill Scott, Toni Duggan, Steph Houghton and goalkeeper, Karen Bardsley, ahead of their inaugural season in the FA Women’s Super League.