By: Hibernian Media on 05 Nov, 2014 10:37
Hibernian Ladies produced a five-star performance to hammer city rival Spartans on the final day of the Scottish Women's Premier League season, writes Richard Payne.
There was a feeling of déjà vu for both clubs as Hibs proved too hot for the hosts to handle at a sun-soaked Ainslie Park and ran out 5-1 winners on the final day of the campaign against their city rivals.
Victory saw the girls in green finish the campaign in third place, just behind runners-up Rangers on goal difference, and having amassed more points than last term.
Kirsty Smith, who made her full Scotland debut in midweek away to Netherlands, gave the Easter Road side the lead inside five minutes when she cut inside her opponent before firing her effort beyond the helpless Rachel Harrison in Spartans' goal.
Lana Clelland and Claire Crosbie both went close for Spartans whilst at the other end Lisa Robertson fired just over before Katey Turner diverted a Smith cross onto the post.
In a game that ebbed and flowed from end to end Harrison made a terrific save to deny Smith her second of the afternoon before Clelland his the post with an audacious attempt.
In the second minute of additional time at the end of the half, Crosbie powered a header into the Hibs net only for Robertson to restore the visitors lead seconds later.
After the break Hibs extended their advantage when Robertson's long range strike caught Harrison off guard before Lizzie Arnot added a fourth when she curled a terrific effort into the top corner of the Spartans' net.
Despite the scoreline the home side kept pushing and were unlucky not to reduce the deficit when Kerry Montgomery forced Jenna Fife in to a fine save before Clelland hit the post for the second time.
In the dying moment however Hibs were awarded a spot kick which Arnot drilled into the net to complete her double and the afternoon's scoring.
Hibs Manager Chris Roberts commented: "It was very pleasing to finish on a high; we were excellent throughout and thoroughly deserved our win.
"The girls bought into our game plan and executed it perfectly - it was a fantastic team performance.
"It was one of those days where everything we have been working on throughout the season came off.
"I'm very proud of everyone's efforts this season, we've lost a lot of players and it could've gone horribly wrong, but everyone dug deep and were fantastic."
Away from the game, Roberts was delighted to see both clubs work together for the benefit of the Jamie Skinner Foundation, helping to raise £922.50 through generosity of supporters along with donations from players and management of both sides.
He said: "It was a lovely touch to see both sets of players donating to the trust and it was a nice moment having everyone pull together for something much bigger than a game of football."
Spartans: Harrison, Beveridge, Pagliarulo, Shepherd, Marshall, Reilly, Crosbie, Montgomery, Mason, Ewens, Clelland. Substitutes: Briggs, Barnes, Kerr, McMahon, Hamilton, Nicholson, McLaughlin.
Hibernian: Fife, Williamson, Kawana-Waugh, Murray, Smith, Graham, Arnot, Robertson, Cornet, Tweedie, Turner. Substitutes: McMahon, Jenkins.
Referee: Emma Hingant.