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Five-star Celts close 2020 on a high

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By Colette Carr

Celtic capped off 2020 with a five-star performance away to Motherwell in a memorable afternoon for a few young Celts as the experienced lead the way.

16-year-old keeper Rachael Johnstone made her competitive first team debut between the sticks registering her clean-sheet, while Kate Nicolson recorded her first full 90 minutes with the senior side and Rebecca McAllister clocked up her first minutes of the season.

A first half stunner from Lisa Robertson paved the way for a Sarah Ewens double and efforts from Rachel Donaldson and Chloe Craig to seal the convincing rout over the Lanarkshire side sending the Hoops into the winter break on a high.

Celtic’s intent to make up for last weekend’s disappointing draw was clear from the off with the Hoops carving out numerous chances, but the breakthrough wasn’t to come until just three minutes before the break.

A clever flick back from Natalie Ross allowed Robertson to steam in and unleash a classy volley across goal and into the side netting to give the Celts a deserved lead heading into the interval. 

Eight minutes into the second period Ewens doubled the visitors’ advantage with her first of the afternoon. Craig picked the ball up in her own area to head on a darting run though the middle to pick out Robertson, who turned provider to perfectly place the through ball for Ewens to coolly lift it over Ramsay first time for her fourth of the season so far. 

And five later, Donaldson put Celtic firmly into cruise control. Ross was the creator again as she continued to give Motherwell a torrid time, relentlessly pressing to catch the ball at byline inside the six-yard box to scoop it back for Donaldson to head in. With around twenty left to play, Craig got herself on the scoresheet for the second time in as many games as Anita did well to keep the ball in play and turn to find Keenan, who calmly rolled the ball to Craig’s feet deep in the box for the centre half to knock it into the far corner.

And with ten left Ewens grabbed her first brace of the season as she tucked it into the near corner first time as McAllister picked up her first assist for the first team. Three minutes later McAllister looked to nick her first goal with an excellent piece of trickery to turn and shoot, but it was to be a five-star performance to see the Celts bounce back from the disappointing draw and head into the second round of fixtures two points off top spot.

Celtic: Johnstone, Bartle, Craig, Clark, Warrington (Keenan), Ross (McAllister), Robertson, Nicolson, Ewens, Donaldson (Bowie), McGovern (Anita)

Unused: Logan, Hayes, McCulloch


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