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A last minute goal gave Everton a 3-2 victory over Scottish Champions Glasgow City in their pre-season friendly at Petershill Park.
With two players recently departed for professional sides south of the border, five Scottish internationals sidelined with injury and two recent signings also out with injury problems, it was a much changed City side who took to the field in front of their home crowd. Megan Mason, Alyshia Walker and Abbi Grant all made their starting debuts with another six players making their first appearance for City coming off the bench, giving a total of eight players under the age of 17 years old playing for the SWPL Champions.
Glasgow City struck first blood in what at times was a scrappy first half. Everton failed to deal with a City corner and Denise O'Sullivan struck a low powerful drive into the bottom corner to give her side the lead. Everton and English youth international Nikita Parris hit the equaliser shortly before half time as she found the back of the net in a crowded penalty box.
A mistake by City keeper Lee Alexander just after half time gifted the visitors a goal through Simone Magill, before match sponsor ng homes Player of the Match, Leanne Ross, equalised direct from a City corner.
With both sides pushing for the winner, City went close through O'Sullivan and Eilish McSorley, but in the 90th minute it was the Blues who struck the decisive goal as Parris scrambled the ball over the line after an Everton corner.
Commenting on the match, City Assistant Coach, Donald Jennow said, "The first 20 minutes I thought we really struggled to get going and were not up to the pace of the game. We settled after that and I felt we probably had the better of the remainder of the first half. After the break, we improved and were more up to the tempo of the game and enjoyed what was a competitive match against a good Everton side.
"The goals we conceded from our point of view were very poor. Individual errors and set pieces are never good ways to concede goals.
"Ultimately though it is pre-season and our main objective was to get minutes under our belts and fitness up for the domestic campaign and we achieved that. What was also pleasing was the number of debutants we managed to field today, which shows that our youth performance academy is working very well."
Glasgow City will complete their pre-season schedule when they take on the re-launched English side, Manchester City, at Petershill Park next Sunday at 2pm. The ambitious English outfit should provide a stern test having recently recruited England Internationals Jill Scott, Toni Duggan, Steph Houghton and goalkeeper, Karen Bardsley, ahead of their inaugural season in the FA Women's Super League.
Tickets are available for that match from the Glasgow City website www.glasgowcityladiesfc.co.uk or spectators can pay on the day at the turnstile. Prices - Adults £5, Kids £3.
Photo - Glasgow City debutant Alyshia Walker takes on Everton's Fern Whelan (Andy Buist).
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