Hibernian Women bounced back from defeat against Partick Thistle to claim all three points against SWPL 2 champions Aberdeen.
Hibs almost got off to the perfect start inside two minutes. A Rachael Boyle corner found the feet of Leah Eddie, who played it back out to the playmaker. Boyle swung it towards the back post, and Ellis Notley’s header crashed off the post and out for a goal kick.
Notley struck the woodwork once again in the 10thminute, with a nice move down the right-hand side finding Alexa Coyle in the box. The American played it across to Notley, but her effort from close range hitting the crossbar.
Hibs were ramping up the pressure and forced Aberdeen keeper Gail Gilmour into a smart stop a couple of minutes later, as she got down low to smother a shot from Amy Gallacher.
Chances continued to fall for the home side, and Amy Muir sent an effort on Gilmour’s goal from 30 yards after collecting a Boyle free kick, but the Aberdeen stopper made herself equal to the strike.
Hibs continued to knock on the door, and they would eventually find the breakthrough in the 36thminute. A free-flowing move up the middle of the park resulted with the ball lying at Colette Cavanagh’s feet just inside the box, and the winger curled a lovely effort into the top left corner to give Hibs the advantage.
Hibs had pressed hard throughout the first half and went into half-time with a deserved lead. Aberdeen had created very little in the opening 45 minutes and were dealing with constant pressure from the home side, who were perhaps unlucky to only be one goal up at the break.
The second half began in much of the same vein as the first, with Hibs on the front foot. However, Aberdeen’s Donna Paterson gave Gabby English a bit of a fright as she let fly from 30 yards, but her lofty effort dropped onto the roof of the net.
Hibs responded to that slight scare by looking to score their second goal as soon as possible. Coyle had two chances in quick succession – first, she fired into the side netting after being played through by Notley, before going on to draw an excellent save from Gilmour moments later.
Cavanagh could well have added another screamer to a tally on the hour mark, as she cut in from the right and let fly, with her strike careening towards the top right corner. However, a fingertip touch from Gilmour diverted the effort onto the crossbar and back into play.
The second half brought about a welcome return to football for Shannon McGregor – the number 10 last appeared for Hibs in early 2020 against Spartans, before suffering a long-term injury that kept her out of action for nearly two years.
While Hibs couldn’t add to their one-goal lead in the second half, there was little to suggest they would lose said lead, as they kept the ball in the corner to see out the win and claim all three points against the SWPL 2 champions.
With the international break delaying the next round of SWPL fixtures, both sides will have to wait until November for their next match. Hibernian will travel to Lanarkshire to take on Hamilton, while Aberdeen will host Glasgow City.