Glasgow City won the 18s Scottish Youth Cup after a highly competitive final with Celtic at Petershill Park, where a number of SWPL prospects featured.
Coaches and stars from both first teams were in the stands as well as Scotland U-17 coach Pauline McDonald to watch some of the brightest talents in the girls’ game in Scotland.
A last-minute winner from forward Lisa Forrest secured the cup for City, after heroics from both goalkeepers had looked set to send the final into extra time.
NAP League leaders City had gone into the final as favourites, but it was Celtic who looked the more likely in the first half, having started the game at a ferocious pace. Wing-backs Rebecca Brady and Leigha Dobbins were showing great pace on the overlap to link up with a lively front line, with Lucy Barclay showing great feet and strength to keep possession behind Tiree Burchill and an inventive Keira Chuter, who cleared the bar after only eight minutes.
At the half-hour mark City keeper Eva Easdon smothered the ball well at Chuter’s feet in a one-on-one situation, and City’s central defenders were sharing a good understanding to keep chances down against a fit and quick Celtic.
Tiree Burchill looked set to give Celtic a half-time lead ahead of the break as the SWPL regular broke forward, but her effort cleared the bar to keep the score level at half time.
There would be good chances at both ends in the second half. Easdon pulled off a number of saves including from point blank as Olivia Foulds connected brilliantly from a corner and again to prevent Louise Porter at another corner.
The City midfield grew into the game as the half wore on, with player of the match Sophia Martin digging deep to forge opportunities for Forrest, who hit the bar and was denied by Celtic keeper Abbie Fearns.
Burchill had her head in her hands after blasting over the bar again in the 80th minute, and it looked like the final would go to extra time. But it would be City substitute Rachel Murchie who would become provider in the 94th minute, collecting a deep cross to square it to Forrest who fired home.
Forrest praised the heroics of her keeper Easdon for keeping them in the game on Glasgow City’s Recast channel: “The ball came up this end, it was scrambling about in the box and I just thought ‘I’ll hit it as hard as I can’, and when it went in I couldn’t believe it… a last minute winner. We’re the first age group at this level to win the cup for Glasgow City so we’re just buzzing.”