By: Hibernian Media on 17 May, 2018 09:55
Hibernian defeated Hamilton Academical 5-1 at Easter Road Stadium to move to the top of the SBS SWPL table on Wednesday evening.
An own goal by Jamie-Lee Napier gave Hamilton a shock lead, but goals from Rachel McLauchlan and Amy Gallacher gave Hibs a 2-1 lead at the break.
Second half goals from Abi Harrison, Gallacher and Kirsten Reilly – her first in green and white – wrapped up the victory for Grant Scott’s side.
Following on from the 1-1 draw with Glasgow City on Sunday afternoon it was imperative for the team to get off to a good start, which they did as they set about pressing Hamilton, forcing the visitors to defend stoutly.
Grant in the Hamilton goal had to make a save from Harrison’s effort early on, before she watched a Lisa Robertson effort fly over her bar.
Despite the pressure, Hamilton took the lead in a rare foray forward. A pass left Napier isolated and she stretched her leg out to play the ball back to Jenna Fife, but inadvertently knocked the ball beyond her own goalkeeper after ten minutes.
Undeterred, Hibernian immediately set about attempting to haul themselves level, as Gallacher headed wide before firing a low effort which Grant was able to save.
The deluge of chances kept flowing as Shannon McGregor forced another save from Grant, with two corners following in quick succession.
The first, swung in by Emma Brownlie, was headed at goal by McGregor, who saw it cleared off the line and out for a corner. Brownlie again whipped it in, but Siobhan Hunter’s headed effort was held onto by Grant.
Again, Hibernian swarmed forward as McLauchlan curled a cross into the box for Reilly, with the midfielder heading just over the bar.
The pressure continued to swell with the visitors camping in their own half, attempting to stave off the attacking surges from Scott’s players.
With 30 minutes on the clock, McGregor headed wide of the upright and then fired a shot into the side-netting a minute later.
Robertson was desperately unlucky not to level the scoring as she volleyed Harrison’s cross at goal, only to see Grant touch the ball onto the underside of the bar.
Another Robertson effort came close, this time from distance, but a quickfire double knocked the stuffing out of Accies.
40 minutes were on the clock when Gallacher teed up McLauchlan to curl home into the far corner from ten yards out.
Within two minutes the lead was taken. Robertson picked out the run of Harrison down the left-wing, and the attacker cross for Gallacher to power a header home for her first of the evening.
The amount of clear-cut chances being created died down in the second half, however, a dominant display was still showcased by Hibernian as the side confidently passed the ball around, stretching the opposition defence and holding a significant amount of possession.
The pressure told in the 56th minute when Brownlie crossed in for Napier and the defender saw her header prodded opportunistically beyond Grant by Harrison.
Before the fourth goal was scored, both Hunter and Robertson went close with efforts.
75 minutes were on the clock when it was 4-1. Robertson crossed in for Harrison who flicked a header at goal which hit the bar, and with Grant stricken on the ground, Gallacher smashed home from inside the six-yard box.
The final goal of the evening was scored by Reilly on her first start for Hibernian. The midfielder was alert to Grant pushing Harrison’s cross back to the penalty spot and she confidently swept the ball home with six minutes remaining.
There was time for one more chance. Lizzie Arnot picked out Robertson with a cross, however, the birthday girl was unable to guide a header into the back of the net.
Next up for Hibernian is a trip to the Falkirk Stadium on Sunday 20 May for the SWPL Cup Final against Celtic, which kicks off at 4:10pm. Entry is £5 for adults and £2 for concessions.
Hibernian: Fife, Brownlie (Michie, 69), Notley, Hunter, Napier, Robertson, Reilly, McGregor (Cornet, 73), McLauchlan (Arnot, 60), Gallacher, Harrison. Substitutes not used: Reid, Smith, Tweedie.
Image: Craig Doyle.