May 12 2009 By Craig Chalmers
CELTIC kept the pressure on Spartans and Glasgow City in the race for the League title as they outclassed a dogged Dundee Utd.
Celtic, still believing the title is within their grasp, showed they meant business as they opened the scoring after just six minutes.
Rebecca Stokes, Celtic's player of the match, won a corner and Christie Murray put in a delightful ball which was powerfully headed in by Lauren McMillan.
Celtic utilised their wingers with great effect throughout the 90 minutes. Both Stokes and Scott terrorised the United defence and it didnt take them long to create a second goal.
The ball was slipped through for Karen McInally but she shot right at goalkeeper Clark. However the ball rebounded kindly for McInally and she crossed for Scott to volley in her first of the game.
Celtic were comfortably controlling the game, attacking with ferocious pace and United could simply not compete with the movements of the forwards.
Celtic added a third goal on 18 minutes as Jennifer Beattie threaded a pass through for Scott who calmly slotted the ball under the keeper.
United looked like they had found a way back into the game as Boag powered home a penalty on 21 minutes after a clumsy tackle by Robertson but Celtic restored their three goal advantage shortly after.
Stokes again broke down the wing and slid a ball across for the on running Murray to finish, much to the disappointment of Clark who could only parry the ball into the top corner.
The points were wrapped up on 25 minutes when Stokes once more collected the ball and delivered a cracking cross for Beattie to loop a header over the helpless keeper.
On the half hour mark Celtic made it 6-1 when a simple long ball wasnt dealt with by the United defence. The lack of communication was obvious as the defender knocked the ball past the out-rushing keeper and a grateful Murray tapped in her second of the day.
After the break, the rain started to batter down and the weather took his toll on the game as it gradually petered out to a finish. Each team scored a goal apiece before the final whistle, which keeps Celtic in contention for the title.
United scored after 67 minutes when Boag put Callacher through, who rifled the ball into the top corner and 10 minutes later Murray lobbed a ball into the path of Joanne Love who converted at the second attempt after the initial shot was well saved.
Celtic Coach Robert Docherty praised his sides first half performance, especially the role of both his wingers.
"In the first half I couldnt have asked for anymore," he said. "We created plenty of opportunities and passed the ball around excellently. Second half Dundee United played better and we stepped off too much.
Celtic travel to Hamilton next and a win there will keep their title hopes alive.
Celtic: Cook, McMillan, Beattie, Pengalse, Stokes, Ferguson, McInally, Scott, Murray, Crighton, Robertson. Subs: Johnstone, Malone, Seagrave, James, Hammill.
Dundee United: Clark, Kelly, Calder, Fraser, Williamson, Hughes, Young, Callacher, Blyth, Boag, Denney. Subs: Godfery, McCulley, Milne, Harking, Harkin, McKinlay
• Pictures by Mark Mackay