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Sinclair double helps Celts progress to Scottish Cup final

Celtic FC 2

Sinclair 16', 20'

Central Girls FA 0

  • Sunday, 24 September 2017
  • Ainslie Park
  • 17's Girls
  • SWF Scottish Youth Cup - Semi Final
Gregor Kerr

Gregor Kerr | YFS South East Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

Celtic booked their slot into the semi-final of the Scottish Women’s Youth Cup with a win against Central Girls at Ainslie Park. Two quickfire first-half goals from Lucy Sinclair, the standout being a thirty-yard strike, put the Celts on their way to victory. In a frustrating game for the losing side, they saw three attempts all rebound off the woodwork.

In what was predicted to be an even game, Central had the upper hand in the early stages of the match. A few minutes in Naomi Welch was set up after a lengthy run from Morgan Cross, but the resulting shot was too tame to cause any worry for Celtic.

Kimberley McAlpine also had an effort for Central early on, striking a free-kick with pure power from distance but seeing the effort rifle over the goalkeeper’s head for a goal kick.

The goal appeared to only be destined for one side when Central came even closer, cracking an effort off the bar in the 15th minute. McAlpine, who appeared to be her team’s main attacking source, forced her way through the centre of the pitch with a powerful bursting run, before gaining a yard and smacking an effort which rebounded off the woodwork, with Celtic clearing the rebound.

Just when it appeared that The Hoops were about to have their defence breached, they broke up the other end and opened the scoring against the run of play. Lucy Sinclair picked up the ball from well outside the penalty area, seized up her options, and set her sights for goal. From 30 yards out she picked the far corner with perfection, few would have expected her to take the opportunity and she pulled it off beautifully.

Minutes later, Celtic displayed their ruthlessness and scored a second goal to extend the gap between the two teams even further. Emma Craig, was the architect as she gained a yard on the right wing, and swung a teasing ball into the penalty area where Lucy Sinclair was waiting eagerly to double her tally. She used the momentum on the ball well and helped guide her effort into the far corner, well beyond the goalkeeper’s reach.

The two goals came as a sucker punch to Central who would have been satisfied with their showing up until Sinclair’s double, and they  struggled to create chances for the remainder of the half, despite controlling much of the possession.

  • Half Time:
  • Celtic FC
  • 2-0
  • Central Girls FA

Central looked to have an attacking impetus in the second-half as they attempted to get a foothold back in the semi-final. However, Lucy Sinclair threatened to complete her hat-trick, with her volley ten minutes after the restart flying wide, after the ball broke to her on the edge of the penalty area.

Ellie Kane threatened to pull a goal back for Central when an inswinging corner fell into her path, flashing a powerful volley narrowly wide of the post on 53 minutes.

Their luck seemed to have ran out when they struck the woodwork for the second time in the tie. A defensive mix-up from The Hoops allowed Welch to sneak in and get a shot away inside the box, the ball seemed to take an age to trickle across the goamouth, clipping the post and landing safely into the goalkeepers hands.

Central probably weren’t sure whether to laugh or cry when they saw an effort rebound against the post once again, this time it was Kirstie McIntosh -  who was pulling the strings in midfield – who saw her ambitious effort acrobatically tipped onto the bar by Kendall Welsh in goals in the 60th minute.

Celtic were forced to defend for much of the second-half as their opponents pushed time and time again, attempting to half the deficit. In their credit, Central looked unlikely to open their account with The Hoops proving a difficult team to carve open.

The trailing side saw their last attempt to get something from the match pass them by with five minutes remaining, with a set-piece being nodded into Orla King’s path, who volleyed her shot well over the bar.

Celtic held out and sealed their spot in the final at Oriam in November, against local rivals Glasgow City.

  • Full Time:
  • Celtic FC
  • 2-0
  • Central Girls FA

Lineups

Celtic FC
Central Girls FA
1. Kendall Welsh
2. Chloe Warrington
3. Dionne Polland
4. Paige McAllister
5. Kenzie Brown
6. Georgia Crooks
8. Jade Menzies
9. Mhari Crooks
10. Lucy Sinclair
11. Ealanor Howard
14. Kacey Black
16. Claire McFarlane
17. Aisha Maughan
63. Kathleen McGovern
64. Cara Henderson
65. Emma Craig
1. Saraha Alendrina King
15. Naomi Welch
16. Sophie Mauriello
22. Kimberely Anne McAlpine
23. Ellie Kane
24. Megan Gallagher
25. Zoe Mary Young
26. Katie McKenna
27. Kirstie McIntosh
28. Jade Lockie
29. Morgan Pressley Cross
31. Claire Whittaker
33. Orla King
35. Shaney McCabe
36. Chelsea Mcearchran
37. Kirsty McLeod
48. Chloe Macdonald
Star Player
Celtic FC
Central Girls FA
Lucy Sinclair was crucial in her side's victory, scoring both of the goals in the match and coming close to a hat-trick
Kirstie McIntosh pulled the strings in midfield and looked the most likely to create an opportunity for her side, also striking the bar from distance.
Magic Moment
Celtic FC
Central Girls FA
Sinclair's first goal was a sumblime strike when there didn't appear to be any options available.
Kimberley McAlpine's effort which struck the bar in the first half was a brilliant strike which came from a strong solo run, and it would have been a memorable goal.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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