Celtic kick-off SWPL title challenge with gutsy away win to Aberdeen

By John McGinley

September 5, 2021

Celtic FC Women have picked up their first three points of the season on the opening day of SWPL 1, away to league newcomers Aberdeen.

Celtic won 4-2 on the day.

The Dons gained promotion from the second-tier last season and were thrown in at the deep end against Celtic this afternoon, who are one of the best teams in the division.

In fact, Fran Alonso’s outfit will be pushing for league title glory this term, just as they did during last year’s Covid-hit campaign.

It was summer signing Charlie Wellings who got Celtic off to a great start, burying an effort after a brilliant ball through from Cheyenne Shorts.

Aberdeen found an unlikely equaliser eight minutes later when Kelly Clark couldn’t help but fire a dangerous Dons cross into her own net.

Celtic’s fresh faces have arrived at the perfect time

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However, the spirit of Alonso’s team – a hallmark of last season – again shone through.

The ever-reliable Chloe Craig bundled the ball in just moments later to restore a one-goal lead.

A nervy, scrappy period then ensued where Celtic created a number of chances but failed to increase the advantage.

Wellings came closest, smacking an effort off the post in the 78th minute.

Then, the former Bristol City and Birmingham star finally got her second of the afternoon to make the match more comfortable. She combined with Clarissa Larissey to smash an effort past the opposition goalkeeper.

However, Aberdeen weren’t finished, with Eilidh Shore looping a header over Rachael Johnstone to make it a potentially difficult final five minutes for the Hoops.

Celtic pushed again though and made it a 4-2 result with a stoppage-time Craig penalty.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

All in all, it will be seen as a good day’s work from the women’s team.

A better, more clinical, performance will likely be needed next week.

It is champions Glasgow City who visit the Penny Cars stadium for an immediate six-pointer that could tell us a lot about this season’s title race.

In other news, Celtic defender Carl Starfelt wins Sweden cap after 7-game absence.