Spartans boss Debbi McCulloch praises her team

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Spartans manager Debbi McCulloch was proud of her depleted squad despite seeing them crash 8-0 to holders Glasgow City in the Scottish Cup.

The Ainslie Park boss couldn’t have asked for any more from her threadbare and hastily-thrown-together team against a side that has swept all before them this term.

“We didn’t want to forfeit the tie because that could have had ramifications for next season’s competition had we been banned,” said McCulloch.

“We always knew it was going to be difficult because we had three players on holiday, two were cup-tied, two were injured and a couple left us through the week. Two former players – Stacy McLean and Louise Magilton – came in to ensure we could field a side and we had three players playing their first 90 minutes in over a year.

“Given all of this we won’t be beating ourselves up about the result because the girls gave me 110 per cent and I cannot ask for any more than that.

“They stuck together and battled hard for one another and this experience will make us stronger as a team.”

By contrast, city rivals Hibernian swept aside First Division Glasgow Girls 10-0 with a number of the club’s fringe players taking the opportunity to impress. The Hibees were able to make seven changes to their starting XI and eased into the last four thanks to goals from Sarah Laverty (3), Katey Turner (2), Susan Fairlie (2), Rachel Walkingshaw, Lizzie Arnot and Joelle Murray.

“It was a very comfortable afternoon,” admitted manager Willie Kirk afterwards. “We got on top of them very quickly and scored four in the opening 15 minutes to kill the tie.

“I thought they handled us well for a good spell before we stepped up again and finished strongly. In fact their goalkeeper was outstanding. In the main, I’ve got to be happy and it was very pleasing to see the goals spread around the side once again. After last weekend’s disappointment we made a series of changes and those that came in have certainly given me food for thought by grasping the opportunity.”

The semi-final draw saw Hibs paired with Rangers, while Glasgow City and Celtic will contest the other tie.