Forfar Farmington exited the Scottish Women’s Premier League Cup at the first round following a 1-0 defeat at Celtic despite an impressive showing.
The side fought for each and every ball for the full 90 minutes, even when Gemma Collier was sent off for two bookable offences.
Farmington fielded two of their close season signings with Laura Parsley and Alison Debio starting with Beth Shillitto, Erin Cattanach and Caitlin Mitchell making only their second start for the senior team.
Celtic attempted to take an early lead with Heather Richards firing over from the edge of the box while a header flew over the bar in the first ten minutes.
Natalie Ross broke the deadlock for the hosts in the 18th minute; despite some resolute defending from Forfar, the ball was knocked down for her and she fired low past McNicoll from 20 yards.
Forfar were strong in frustrating Celtic to resorting to long balls and refusing to let their heads go down following the goal; a trait that had been a nuisance last season.
Nicola Davidson came close for Farmington with an effort that went over from the edge of the box before Sarah Ewens sent a weak effort past the post at the other end.
The second half was largely a quiet affair, with both defences on top for the most part.
Gemma Collier was booked with twenty minutes left for a foul in the middle of the park and in the 84th minute Farmington were dealt a blow when she was deemed to have fouled Ruesha Littlejohn on the edge of the box and was shown a second yellow.
Despite this, Farmington didn’t give up and kept attacking until the end, showing encouraging signs ahead of the new league season in three weeks.
Coach Kev Candy was pleased with how the team performed, adding: “We’re really happy with the players, we set out with a specific game plan to try and contain Celtic as best we could.”
“I felt the players executed that to the letter, the backline and keeper were phenomenal today. The plaudits go throughout the team however, everyone was magnificent today.”
Celtic: Megan Cunningham, Kelsey Hodges (Mairead Fulton 70), Ellis Dalgleish (Jamie-Lee Napier 70), Natalie Ross, Sarah Crilly, Sarah Ewens, Courtney Whyte, Kelly Clark, Georgie Rafferty (Nicole Cameron 79), Ruesha Littlejohn, Heather Richards
Subs not used: Keira Gibson (gk)
Forfar Farmington: Fiona McNicoll, Gemma Collier, Erin Cattanach, Laura Parsley, Beth Shillitto, Robyn Smith, Nicola Davidson, Alana Bruce (Kayleigh Noble 68), Megan McCarthy, Caitlin Mitchell, Alison Debio (Leah White 79)
Subs not used: Kirsty Deans, Julia Scott, Hannah Dryden (gk)