Edinburgh Derby sets up Harrison’s 100 for Spartans

2O2A0462Spartans head across the Capital for their SWPL Round 16 clash against Hibs Ladies which will take place at Easter Road Stadium, the home of the host’s Men’s side, who ply their trade in the Scottish Championship.

Debbi McCulloch’s side won the corresponding Edinburgh Derby at Ainslie Park in May courtesy of a Sarah Ewens double and a ‘route one’ strike from Ciara Barnes on a day when the visitors finished the game with 9 players.

Playing down the significance on playing at the home of the Hibs, McCulloch noted, “It’s just another game for us – we are used to playing at a great facility with a fantastic stadium atmosphere so it doesn’t make any difference for us where we play to be honest.  Some of the players might get a bit of a buzz at playing there, but at the end of the day, we’re only interested in securing three points.”

A hard fought draw against second place Rangers last weekend sets up what promises to be a fiercly competitive Capital clash against a Hibs side that will be keen to build on last Sunday’s narrow win on the road at Aberdeen.

“Earlier in the season we comfortably beat Hibs 3-1 and we’ll go in to the game with the same attitude on Sunday – and that is one where we have to be confident.  I feel that we have more depth in the squad than we had when we met in May so we have nothing to fear and we look forward to the game.

“Teams are finding it hard to score against us, whilst we are creating some fantastic chances and playing a lot of exciting football which we’ll take forward into Sunday’s game against a talented and youthful Hibs side who, like us, have had injuries and been forced into positional changes throughout the season.”

On the player front, Rachel Harrison looks set to cap off a great week for the Spartans No.1 with the shot-stopper set to make her 100th appearance for the Club on the back of her call-up on Wednesday to the Scotland National Team’s squad ahead of their game against the Faroe Islands.

McCulloch paid tribute to her loyal keeper, “Players who reach 100 appearances in the Scottish Women’s game are few and far between because of the lack of boundaries in player movement.  I’m sure Rachel will enjoy her 100th appearance, if selected of course, and we are very grateful for her efforts and loyalty to the Club.  She is a top class goalkeeper and there have been many clubs who have came in for her over the seasons but she’s stayed true to Spartans and we fully appreciate that.”

Sunday’s match kicks-off at 2pm.  Admission £5 Adults, £3 Concessions.  Entrance will be via the West Stand.