Sunday, 10th September saw Glasgow Girls take on Giffnock SC Black in the U16 SWF West League Cup Final.
The turnout and atmosphere were electric as the two teams faced off at Renfrew FC Park. Giffnock got the game started but it was Glasgow who started the game strongly with a big chance coming in just the 2nd minute. As Glasgow captain, Caitlin Farrell, clipped a nice ball in behind the Giffnock defence to unleash Skye Stout who powered a shot toward goal and forced an excellent save from the Giffnock keeper.
This early pressure was maintained by Glasgow as they continued to fashion chances in the opening stages, but the Giffnock defended resolutely until the 15-minute mark. It was then that Glasgow cleared a ball long following a Giffnock attack, the ball evaded the Giffnock back line and was pounced on by a Glasgow attacker who lashed a venomous volley toward goal. The strike was parried spectacularly onto the crossbar by Giffnock’s shot stopper but fell to Oluwadara Ositelu who was able to prod the rebound home for the first goal of the match.
Giffnock responded well to the goal and began probing for an equaliser in earnest. A throw-in was taken from the left, deep in Glasgow’s half, and was gathered by Giffnock captain Sarah Stewart who did not want to waste time. She fired a volley which had Glasgow’s goalkeeper scrambling but just squeaked past the post.
However, following the opener Glasgow smelled blood and were able to double their advantage after Giffnock’s strong response. Brooke Wilson latched onto another ball that found its way behind the Giffnock defence and was able to get around the goalkeeper and tap the ball home.
The trailing side again responded well sensing that, at around the half-hour mark, this was a crucial point in the game where they had to come up with some answers. Kaitlyn Irvine picked up the ball on the edge of the Glasgow penalty area and showed some trickery to flick the ball over the opposing defender’s head and struck the ball goalward but again the ball flew wide of the target.
Almost directly from this Giffnock attack, Glasgow executed a sublime counterattack. Mandy Adams picked up the ball deep in her half and showed excellent close control as she dribbled the ball into midfield. Then she was able to get her head up and fire a ball into Ositelu on the halfway line who took an excellent touch to evade her defender and get the ball into her stride. Once she was through on goal, she made no mistake and calmly slotted the ball home for her second goal of the afternoon.
And it wasn’t long until she had her hat trick just before half-time. Glasgow fired a freekick toward the box from the halfway line and the clever movement of Ositelu afforded her acres of space in behind the Giffnock defence. She was then able to nod a header over the onrushing goalkeeper and make it 4-0 to Glasgow as the game reached half-time. Giffnock were adamant the striker was offside, but no flag was shown from the linesman and left their side with a mountain to climb in the second half.
The second half started as the first ended, with Glasgow on the front foot. They managed to grab their fifth goal of the game almost immediately after the restart. They achieved this with a nice piece of play down the right wing, resulting in a cutback which was converted cooly by Brooke Wilson to grab her second of the game.
At 5-0, Giffnock would have been forgiven if they had let their standards drop but they showed great pride and determination as they continued to probe for an opening to score. This determination paid off as a high ball was misjudged by Glasgow’s fullback and allowed Kaitlyn Irvine the chance to chase a ball in behind. However, she just was not quick enough to get there before Glasgow keeper Jess Lothian and the chance went begging.
Despite Giffnock’s best efforts Glasgow continued to be ruthless in front of goal and made it 6-0 around 10 minutes into the second half. A wicked cross flashed across the Giffnock goal from the left side and Wilson again showed her striker’s instinct to be in the right position and complete her hat-trick.
Throughout the afternoon Giffnock struggled to progress play deep into the Glasgow half but with 55 minutes gone, a lovely interchange in midfield allowed them to switch play out onto the left wing and begin to attack the Glasgow backline. The ball was then cut back to their captain on the edge of the area who lined up to shoot but the goalkeeper was equal to her strike and left Giffnock wondering what they had to do to grab a goal.
As the game continued Giffnock began committing more and more bodies forward in search of that elusive goal. However, in the end, this came back to bite them as Glasgow’s number 10, Stout, was able to pick up a second ball on the edge of her penalty area following a corner. Realising she had time and space with Giffnock so stretched, she took the ball on her back foot and turned to drive forward. As she got her head up, she spotted Ositelu peeling off her defender and slipped a lovely pass through a gap in the defence to unleash her striker through on goal. Already on a hattrick and full of confidence, Ositelu comfortably rolled the ball under the diving goalkeeper to secure her fourth goal of the game with 15 minutes remaining.
The closing stages of the game were somewhat of a formality, but tempers flared as Stout, who had been booked for a challenge early in the match, saw red from the referee as she spoke out of turn following a decision. An unhappy ending to what had been a very impressive performance from the youngster who will learn an important lesson from the experience.
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