By: Hibernian Media on 09 Sep, 2018 12:00
Hibernian secured another victory in the Scottish Building Society SWPL with a hard-fought 2-0 win away to Forfar Farmington in what was a historic night for women’s football, writes Robbie Castle.
Hibernian were proud to take part in what was a shattering of the glass ceiling for the Scottish Women’s Premier League on Friday night at Station Park as the game was aired live on BBC Alba - the first ever league match to receive live coverage.
Goals from Abi Harrison and Lauren Davidson saw the Hibees take all three points back to Edinburgh and go top of the league, with a game-in-hand, however.
Hibernian XI: Fife, Brownlie, Notley, Hunter, Michie, Robertson (C), Reilly, Cornet, Gallacher, Napier, Harrison. Subs: McLauchlan (45), Tweedie (67), McGregor (59), Davidson (85), Murray (81), McKay.
Forfar Farmington XI: McNicoll, McGinley, Smith, Davidson, Bruce, Heron, Deans, Kilcoyne, Cowper, McCarthy, Brough. Subs: White, Cattanach, Milligan, Robb, Deubel, Dempster, McKay.
Goals: Abi Harrison (78), Lauren Davidson (90+1).
Main Talking Points
The game had a quiet start, with the both teams struggling to get the ball near the opponents box in the opening five minutes. Chelsea Cornet managed to get a long range shot away following a corner, but it went wide of the post.
Amy Gallacher nearly caught the end of a deep cross delivered by Emma Brownlie which would have been a strong chance, but the cross just had a little much on it.
The Hibees applied pressure to the Forfar backline, but the next chance fell to the home side. Forfar’s McGinley was played into the box, with a chipped through ball, and in turn tried to chip the ball over Jenna Fife, with the ball going just wide. The first clear chance of the game.
Hibernian’s pressure continued throughout the first half, but no clear chances were presented. On the cusp of half time, Forfar ‘keeper McNicoll pulled off a great save, following a stinging shot from 30-yards from Siobhan Hunter. The half time whistle was blown, with neither team able to make the breakthrough.
The second half saw the arrival of Rachel McLauchlan in place of Gallagher, and she nearly made an instant impact, following an incisive through ball from Harrison, as the Hibs No. 7 took the ball round the ‘keeper, but lost her footing and put the ball wide.
Two minutes later the Hibees looked certain to take the lead, with McLauchlan in action again, whipping in a deadly cross, finding Jamie-Lee Napier at the far post, who smashed the ball of the cross bar, and a chance rued.
Hibernian held the possession well as the second-half progressed, but the hosts found themselves with a couple of chances - notably a header from McCarthy following a corner, forcing Fife into a save.
On the 70th minute, another chance fell the Hibees way, as Ellis Notley delivered a dangerous ball over the top to Harrison, who dragged the shot just wide of the post. The striker had another shot six minutes later, with the shot going wide again.
It looked like it was going to be one of those games, until Harrison smashed home her 17th goal of the season, cementing her position as the top scorer in the league. A thumping through ball from Hunter, found Harrison, who’s initial shot was saved by McNicoll, but the Hibs No. 21 thumped home the rebound, to put the Hibees 1-0 up.
The home side responded well to going a goal down, playing some great football and putting Hibernian under pressure. The game was sealed for the Hibees, however, relieving any nerves after Lisa Robertson unleashed a stunning cross finding Lia Tweedie, who seen her shot saved, but Lauren Davidson was in the right place at the right time for the rebound in the 91st minute.
The curtain came down on the game, after five minutes of stoppage time, concluding this historic match.
Player of the Match
Hibernian’s No.6, Lisa Robertson.
Thoughts from the Camp
Following the 2-0 win, the player of the match, Lisa Robertson commented on the game:
“Overall, we deserved the win - it wasn’t the prettiest game. We dominated the possession, and just kept on going, persevered, and put the ball in the net. When Abi scored, it was a great relief. We had plenty of chances, and weren’t sure when the goal was finally going to come, but when we eventually found the net, it was a great relief.
“We were dominant and in control. We didn’t believe the home side posed too much of a threat. They were more disciplined and hard to break down, rather than a threat going forward, but they made it as difficult as possible for us.
“It was three points and exactly what we needed - we need to keep pushing all the way for the title.
“It was nice to be a part of the first ever televised game for the the Scottish Women’s league. I think it’s about time it was on the TV. You don’t really think too much about it, but obviously it’s great to have the support of BBC Alba.”
Hibernian Head Coach Grant Scott also offered his thoughts on the game:
“It was a very tough game. I don’t think we really got to the levels we can, but I think massive credit goes to Forfar for that. We’re just delighted we managed to win the game.
“A long away trip on a Friday night might have made it more difficult. We were searching on the dugout on what was going wrong. It wasn’t quite as fluid as it has been. You can always find an excuse - we just have to deal with that. Travelling factor takes a bit out of the legs. We just didn’t get to the levels we should have though.
“Same line up as the Celtic game - I thought they performed really well on that day. Scoring the five goals in the second half was brilliant. That team deserved to be on the pitch today, and players returning from injury need to be managed, and given time. It’s common sense trying to be fair to the team that played as well.
“Rachel and Joelle are fantastic players, so it’s great to have them back. Joelle is a natural leader, she’s got the respect of the group and is a terrific defender; a terrific footballer. Rachel gives us that pace and power, that we lacked in the first half. We thought with that we would change that, and it worked.
“Some days you have to work hard. If it’s not looking like it’s going your way, with a few missed chances. With the quality of players we have, we should have put them away. We kept on working, and kept attacking and we got there in the end. The class showed near the end.
“A fantastic night for the SWPL. I was delighted to take part in first televised game. Under the floodlights, on the TV made it a special night.
“Not the best game, but it’s the three points we needed.”
Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale.
SSE Scottish Women’s Cup Quarter-Final.
Peffermill Playing Fields, Edinburgh, EH16 5LL.