Celtic Women stage perfect Glasgow derby warm-up with slick Hearts win

By Dave Flanigan

November 20, 2022

Celtic Women prepared for next weekend’s Glasgow derby in perfect fashion by comfortably beating Hearts 3-0 at the Excelsior Stadium today.

It was much-needed relief for Fran Alonso’s side who had lost their last two matches, seeing their Sky Sports Cup defence come to an end on penalties at the hands of Spartans, before losing to Glasgow City in their last league game.

Celtic were still without Jacynta after her sending-off against Spartans, with Kelly Clark returning to the starting eleven having scored her first goal for Scotland during the international break.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The Hoops were dominant early on in Airdrie, and made their dominance count when Amy Gallagher ran onto a deft pass from Player of the Match Natalie Ross and chipped Charlotte Parker-Smith in the Hearts goal for 1-0.

The goal-scorer had threatened before the opener and had a couple of other opportunities before Celtic found their second just before half-time, when Liv Fergusson met Lisa Robertson’s cross to nod a header beyond Parker-Smith in the Hearts goal.

It was little more than the Hoops deserved even though the Jambos went into the match just six points behind them in fourth in the SWPL table, but were firmly second-best in a match that Celtic manager Alonso had declared a “must-win”.

Celtic continued to routinely threaten the Hearts goal in the second half, but it wasn’t until the dying embers of the match that they made the points safe.

With six minutes to go, the returning Maria McAneny’s ball into the box was controlled by Gallagher, who swivelled and finished past Parker-Smith for 3-0, and three points.

Alonso and his players will now eagerly await the result of Glasgow City-Rangers, as the two teams above them face off, with a Rangers win leaving Celtic second courtesy of the Hoops superior goal difference, as all three teams temporarily sit on 27 points.

Celtic Women’s next game is the Glasgow derby against Rangers at Broadwood Stadium next Saturday, 5:15pm kickoff.

In other news: Sydney friendly defeats should be of little concern to Postecoglou’s relentless Celtic