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Three second-half goals from Jane Ross (2) and Reusha Littlejohn clinched the Scottish Women's Premier League Cup for Glasgow City at the Forthbank Stadium.
The win is a momentous one for the current Premier League champions who have a number of honours to their name, but before this match that list did not include the League Cup.
The tie started in a feisty manner with some quick exchanges and strong challenges, as both sides asserted their desire to win the competition but it was City who won the midfield battle early on and dictated the tempo for much of the 90 minutes, in particular Katharina Lindner and Jane Ross on the wings caused Spartans no end of problems with their pace and trickery.
Had it not been for some stout defending, an inspirational performance from international keeper Joanna Hutcheson and the divine intervention of the post and bar, City could have finished the game in the first half.
They dominated in terms of possession and chances created but some poor finishing kept Spartans hopes alive, until half time at least.
Lindner created the first chance as she closed down with purpose and stole in on a loose ball. Her shot was straight down the throat of the keeper who handled well. Angie Livingstone then also showed some good handling as she picked out a few menacing crosses that were thrown into the City box.
Glasgow City were comfortable on the ball from back to front and built their play effectively from their back four. For a period Spartans pressed high but City's superior ability to keep possession meant they could exploit the space in behind the Spartans full backs. A mixture of poorly timed runs and an enthusiastic lines-man halted much of City's advanced play though.
Megan Sneddon came closest on 25 minutes when her half volley came crashing off the bar. The Scotland star picked up a short clearance, controlled well and hit a thunderous dipping shot that cleared Hutcheson but somehow stayed out.
Then Jane Ross, who had switched to the right, found herself through on goal but the keeper again came to the rescue and the rebounded header was cleared off the line by the retreating Shelley Kerr.
Lindner's deft movement of the ball saw her sail past three Spartans defenders but her shot trundled wide.
Spartans came into the game for a period as they tried to take advantage up the right side where space was left when the city wingers pushed forward. Diana Barry displayed some skill of her own as she danced into the City box, but was snuffed out by two covering defenders. She then clocked Spartans first attempt on target with a header from a Kerr free kick, but Livingstone got down well.
Barry's frustration grew as the referee waived away her protestations for a penalty kick as she hit the turf under a challenge in the area. Spartans forwards McWhinnie and Barry ran tirelessly but City piled on the pressure at the other end with Hutcheson called into action a number of times, most noticeably for a fearsome strike that she managed to tip over the bar.
Sue Lappin then thought she had opened the scoring with her first time effort from a Littlejohn cut back. Her shot beat Hutcheson but struck the post and Spartans cleared.
Going in 0-0 at half-time was probably harsh on City but take nothing away from the work rate of Spartans who fought tooth and nail to keep the favourites at bay and showed good ability in parts. But within a minute of the restart City grabbed the crucial goal through Jane Ross, who found enough space on the edge of the area to rifle home a low shot.
The goal was needed to settle the nerves of City who played the rest of the second period with an edge that was lacking at times in the first. From there every venture forward threatened to end with a goal, and ten minutes later another came. Lindner showed more of her world class ability down the wing and slid a perfect ball across the box for Littlejohn to finish emphatically.
Jane Ross grabbed her brace with an easy finish from yards out to finish the scoring.
After the game, goal hero Ross told Football Central she was delighted with her sides' victory and with her two goals: "One down, two to go. We're going for the treble so that's the first one. We knew Spartans were going to be a tough opponent and the first half showed with 0-0. But I think overall we dominated and showed our strength."
Glasgow City Manager Peter Caulfield was delighted with his side. "The performance was excellent," he said, "and really the result came from the performance. We were very composed, very disciplined and played the game fantastically well; it's a great credit to all the players."
(Report courtesy of Scottish Women's Football)
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