Glasgow Womens Hockey Club hosted Strathclyde in the first BUSC game of the season at the Garscube, with the home side securing an emphatic victory over their city rivals. They went into the match as firm favourites having hammered the same opposition 7-0 in a friendly during in the pre-season and on an miserable Glaswegian October afternoon there was only ever going to be the same outcome.
It was the best possible start for Glasgow with Rachel Scott firing home after just five minutes,a goal which both settled nerves and marked Glasgow’s first goal of the season. After the goal the home side continued to dominate possession of the ball. Scotland international Nicky Skrastin orchestrated proceedings at the heart of the relentless Glasgow attack alongside Katie Wood and Jenny Morris as they refused to allow the visitors defence any chance to settle. For all the Glasgow pressure, Strathclyde were always dangerous on the counter attack but were unable to capitalise on a series of chances as the final ball repeatedly went astray in the Glasgow ‘D’.
Yet the home side always seemed in control and furthered their lead after a fluid passing move was smashed home by Catherine Bailey to give Glasgow deserved breathing space. Strathclyde continued to create chances but were unable to penetrate the Glasgow defence and in Lucy Hems they found a goal keeper in superlative form.
Glasgow effectively killed the game off shortly before half time as the persistent efforts of the Glasgow attack were rewarded with a third goal. A well worked short corner allowing Katie Wood to slot home. Strathclyde refused to let heads drop however, and almost pulled on back deep into injury time at the end of the first half but again their strike force were found wanting.
The second half continued in the same relentless fashion with Skrastin and Moore continuing to lead Glasgow’s dynamic attack, as the home side continued to pile on the pressure. Strathclyde simply could not cope with the onslaught and started to lose both shape and discipline. A series of fouls led to Glasgow being awarded a short corner and from it they added a deserved fourth. Gwen Morton-Lloyd saw her snap shot smartly parried by the keeper, but the Fresher was quickest to react and was on hand to smash in the rebound. Moore completed the rout with a clinical finish after an incisive Glasgow attack, on a day where the only frustration will be that they failed to score more.
Strathclyde continued to seek an elusive consolation goal but it was to be an afternoon where Glasgow’s defence were to be just too solid. The game continued at a frenetic and frantic pace with both sides playing with fierce tenacity in the seasons first derby.
The win for Glasgow provides hope that they can reach high levels in the BUSC league and go on and push for the Championship. Alex Mercer, the Team Captain was proud of the performance. She said: “In the 2nd half I think we played better than in the 1st half; we held our structure better. We played together as a team which was good as it was our 1st BUSC game of the season. It is definitely an encouraging start.” The team now face a trip away to St Andrews which promises to be a far sterner test.