McCulloch questions officials as Celtic overcome Spartans

Spartans have lost all three of their opening games. Credit: Spartans Women
Spartans have lost all three of their opening games. Credit: Spartans Women

The Edinburgh side couldn’t hold off the Glaswegians who had scored 16 goals in just two games before Wednesday’s match. However, Spartans held their own defensively for large periods and were highly unlucky to concede the amount they did. After the game, McCulloch insisted that the scoreline didn’t reflect the nature of the tie.

“I don’t think the match official got a couple of the goals right to be honest,” she told the Edinburgh Evening News. “I thought one was offside and the fourth one didn’t cross the line, the official was in the completely wrong position to make that call but these things happen in football. When I go home, watch the video and reflect, I might think differently however, my gut says that it wasn’t a 5-0 game. We limited Celtic’s chances, set pieces we had a strong gameplan, however, they scored from two as they are very difficult to defend against.”

Spartans found themselves 1-0 early on as Menglu Shen opened the scoring six minutes in. Alicia Yates initially made a brilliant double save but the hosts were unable to clear the ball which allowed the midfielder to slide the ball into the net from close range. Amy Gallacher almost doubled Celtic’s lead on the half hour mark as she was played through over the top but her chip just bounced wide of the goal. Moments later, the visitors got their second. Yates again made a great save from a corner to push the first effort onto the bar but Chloe Craig was in the right place at the right time to tap home the rebound.

Celtic made it 3-0 in four minutes into the second half thanks to a brilliant run from Gallacher who smashed the ball into the bottom corner. Yates pulled off another great save shortly after as she came out well to save Loferski’s effort one-on-one. From here, Spartans gained some chances in attack through Lauren Berman but the visitors were quick to close down the Edinburgh side each time they got forward. Caley Gibb had a chance to reduce the deficit for Spartans as her effort looped over the goal after the ball found her unmarked in the box. Robyn McCafferty made a stunning block late on to stop Celtic from getting a fourth but unfortunately for the defender Cailtin Hayes would knock the ball into the net from the resulting corner. A minute later, Clare Goldie made it 5-0 with a brilliant effort from distance that nestled into the bottom corner to round off the result.

Spartans are still searching for the first point this season after three defeats to start the campaign off. However Lousie Mason insists her side can still make the top six come the end of the campaign. “It is a long season,” Mason added. “We have had a tough start, two of the top three teams at the beginning. Going forward, the games come thick and fast so we don’t have time to dwell on them. There is still plenty of time to recover from the first three games, pick up points and get ourselves in the top six.”