Stirling University...........0
Celtic FC...........................3

Scottish Women’s Premier League

By Alexander McLeman

A LATE three-goal flurry helped Celtic sink a dogged Stirling University outfit in the Scottish Women’s Premier League on Wednesday evening at the Airthrey Stirling University pitches.

Amid the dim of the setting sun, Stirling players collapsed to the floor exhausted after almost subduing a vastly superior Celtic side with a tireless defensive performance that ultimately just ran out of steam in the final quarter.

The Glasgow outfit managed to secure all three SWPL points through late goals from Colette Cavanagh, Kathleen McGovern and Kelly Clark. Stirling had been defeated, but only just.

Barry Rodgers, Stirling University coach, said: “Celtic are a quality side with a couple of youth internationals along with some really experienced and quality players, our players held out but I think it was a combination of tiredness and going long stretches without the ball that ended up being the deciding factor.

“I thought throughout the game right to the final whistle, considering the scoreline, it was a really good performance from everyone.”

It wasn’t a match full of fireworks, but it was entertaining. Third placed Celtic dictated the pace of play but failed to make the most of that superiority courtesy of a stout Stirling defence.

After a first half when they had almost exclusive access to the ball – a whopping 76 per cent – Celtic were unable to convert a number of clear-cut chances, including a 27th minute penalty miss from club captain Clark.

Stirling had played deep, waited and defended. Celtic had expected some variation of Stirling’s game-plan, they just could not find a solution to crack it, until they could in final quarter.

The lady hoops produced three goals in a 16-minute flurry to crush Stirling’s resolve.

The first coming from May SWPL player of the month Cavanagh on 74 minutes, who snuck down the left touchline, cut inside with a deft touch before tapping home.

The visitors doubled their lead through McGovern 12-minutes later, who drove home a free kick from the edge of the box and captain Clark volleyed past Chole Logan to complete the 3-0 victory on the stroke of fulltime.

Rodgers added: “We are difficult to beat, organised and hard to break down, as you can see from tonight, and I think we did some good things tonight

“Credit to the players, they all worked hard and I thought they done well against a good side in Celtic.

"We are always looking to improve, we’ll analyse this game quickly because we have a game against Spartans on Sunday so it will be a quick turn around for us. We are going in the right direction. Lots to be positive about.”

STIRLING: Logan, Blair, Bonner, Godfrey, Falconer, Mason, Sutherland, Simpson, Rule, McDonald, Guthrie.