A record crowd is expected at Celtic Park this evening as Celtic Women hosts Glasgow City in a potentially decisive league encounter. Five points adrift of City with three games left to play, Celtic must win to keep their title hopes alive.
The Ghirls recovered from last Thursday’s derby disappointment with a dramatic 2-1 win at the weekend against Partick Thistle. With time running out on the game, and Celtic’s season, Caitlin Hayes popped up to head home a last-gasp winner and keep Celtic in the hunt.
Hayes has been terrific form this season and Sunday’s late winner was not the first time the English defender has rose to the occasion when it has mattered most. Two goals back in February helped secure a convincing 3-0 win against Rangers, while another last kick-of-the-ball goal in March’s Glasgow Derby ensured a share of the spoils.
Hayes was also on the scoresheet in last month’s league win at Petershill Park against tonight’s opponents and, with a large Celtic support out in force tonight, will be looking to add to her season’s tally.
After a couple of narrow defeats earlier in the season against City, Celtic has rebounded to win the last two encounters between sides. One in the league followed by a cup victory last month.
The aforementioned win in February at Petershill Park was City’s first defeat of the season and pulled the Hoops back into the title race. Having faltered last Thursday, only another victory tonight would realistically keep Celtic in the hunt for the title.
Speaking to CelticTV, manager Fran Alonso told of his excitement of playing the fixture at Celtic Park, believing that the Ghirls can benefit from the wider, slicker playing surface.
“On big pitches it’s rare that we have bad games, the girls like to play in these sorts of circumstances where there is more space. We have so many talented players in the team, and we have a lot of pace, which again is more difficult to exploit on smaller pitches. I’m delighted in a number of ways that the game is at Celtic Park in front of our fans. It couldn’t get any better. We know it will be a tough game against the team at the top of the league and a must-win game. But I’m confident we can perform well and hopefully get the three points.”
16-goal Amy Gallacher also told CelticTV that the squad is looking forward to playing at Celtic Park and hopes that the crowd can spur the team on to a famous victory.
“We are really looking forward to playing at Celtic Park. The whole squad is buzzing. Hopefully it will be in front of a lot of fans. It’s obviously one of the season’s biggest games and a massive game we need to win.”
The Ghirls have shown their mettle more than once already this season and with time against them will need to call upon all their reserves one more time to get a positive result tonight.
ACSOM are proud patrons of the women’s team, and wish them all the best tonight as they continue their pursuit of a history making season.