A penalty save from Emily Mutch and a last-minute equaliser from Ellis Notley saw Hibs secure a 1-1 draw against Celtic
Following the festive period, Hibernian Women played host to Celtic at the Tony Macaroni Arena for their first Park’s Motor Group SWPL 1 match of the year.
The game started with real intensity and several turnovers as both sides looked to gain control of the match. Ellis Notley made a great block on the edge of Hibs’ box in the 9th minute after Celtic had worked a good chance. Shortly after the block, Celtic were awarded the first corner of the match. The ensuing corner came to nothing, however, as Hibs defended well inside their box.
Colette Cavanagh attempted a shot on the edge of Celtic’s box in the 13th minute, but her effort flashed wide of Rachael Johnstone’s post. Moments later, Celtic’s Charlie Wellings was played through but her low-driven shot from the right flashed just wide of Emily Mutch’s far post.
Dean Gibson’s side won their first corner of the match in the 17th minute after some good build-up play. Rachael Boyle delivered the corner to the back post where it was met by Siobhan Hunter whose effort went wide.
After some excellent work inside the box, Alexa Coyle won her team another corner in the 26th minute. The corner came to nothing, but Hibs were able to retain possession and force another corner. This led to Cavanagh getting a shot inside the box that went just over the crossbar.
Celtic were awarded a penalty in the 28th minute after Hunter brought down Jacynta inside the box. Celtic captain Chloe Craig stepped up to take the penalty but was denied from the spot thanks to an excellent save from Mutch. This was the second penalty save in two matches for Mutch.
Fran Alonso’s side opened the scoring just before halftime in the 43rd minute thanks to a well-placed finish from Wellings. The goal came thanks to a great pass over the top from Jacynta that sent Wellings through on goal to finish and give her side the lead.
This goal proved to be one of the final actions of the half as the referee blew the whistle for halftime shortly after.
HALFTIME SCORE: Hibernian Women 0-1 Celtic Women
The opening 10 minutes of the second half were cagey as neither side were able to hold onto the ball of any real length of time or create a clear-cut chance.
Hibs were awarded a freekick near the touchline in the 57th minute. Boyle played the ball into the box where it was met by Hunter whose shot went into the side netting.
Hibs almost found their equaliser in the 66th minute thanks to a shot from Amy Muir. After a great run from defence, Muir found herself on the edge of Celtic’s box and was able to curl an effort towards the goal that was well saved by Johnstone.
Mutch was able to deny Celtic from creating a chance in the 70th minute thanks to some excellent positioning. The ball was played through towards the Hibs goal, but Mutch was able to sprint out and get to the ball first to end the visitor’s attack.
Celtic won a freekick in an excellent position just outside of Hibs’ box in the 77th minute. The freekick was delivered into the box but came to nothing as the effort from inside the box went behind for a goal kick.
Despite being 1-0 for a large period of the match, Hibs’ hard work and determination eventually paid off as they found the equaliser in the 91st minute through Notley. The ball came into the box from a corner and, following a scramble at the back post, Notley was able to fire the ball past Johnstone and into the back of the net.
Despite a few Celtic attempts late on, Hibs were able to hold on and earned a 1-1 draw.
FINAL SCORE: Hibernian Women 1-1 Celtic Women