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Hibs Secure Win

Hibernian 3 Spartans 1

Match Report by Edmund Brown




Hibernian came out on top in the last Edinburgh derby of the season beating Spartans 3-1 at Albyn Park, Broxburn.

After taking a 2-0 lead into half time through goals by Sammy Hare and Siobhan Hunter, and even though Spartans momentarily reduced the deficit through a Sarah Ewens strike, the home side sealed the victory 15 minutes from time through a Caroline Weir left foot drive.

It was the away side who started the brighter and could have been a goal up inside seven minutes but for Sarah Ewens strike flying wide of the right hand post. Olivia Lukasewich charged down the right wing and, after gaining a yard on her opponent, sent over a low cross to the near post where Ewens, unmarked, fired in a right foot drive that flew past the post.

Straight away Hibs opened up the Spartans defence and they too could have taken the advantage but for a strong hand by keeper Rachel Harrison. Joelle Murray drove down the left wing and cut the ball back onto her right foot before crossing to the advanced Sammy Hare whose fierce header was palmed away by Harrison.

Moments later Ewens found herself through on goal but the Spartans forward was thwarted by the Hibs Number 1 Shannon Lynn. Chloe Fitzpatrick broke up a Hibs attack and played the ball through to Ewens who turned the defence and charged towards goal with the central defenders lagging behind. However as the striker entered the box she found the presence of Lynn unbeatable and her shot was tipped away by the goalkeeper.

Spartans were causing the Hibs defenders problems and with 17 minutes gone a Claire Crosbie header was cleared off the line by Frankie Brown.  Alana Marshall swung a corner in from the right to the far post where Crosbie, who had wriggled free of her marker, sent a downward header towards the far corner only to see Brown clip it away with an outstretched leg.

With the away side in the ascendancy Hibs took the lead with Hare flicking the ball home after Hibs were awarded a third corner in succession, much to the disagreement of the Spartans players. The first Hibs corner was swung in by Murray and tipped away by Harrison before Murray again fired a cross in to Siobhan Hunter to toe poke wide. However the referee awarded another corner which Murray this time took short. The ball was played back to the Scotland Internationalist who crossed to the near post for Hare to flick home with her right boot.

Inside two minutes Hare almost double the Hibs lead as she crashed in a fierce drive from 25 yards which was tipped onto the bar by Harrison before being cleared by the Spartans defence. However with 26 minutes gone Hibs double their lead with Hunter heading home from five yards out.

Three minutes before half time Hibs midfielder Hare again came close to getting her second goal after she collected a poor Spartans clearance and smashed in a fierce drive from 20 yards which flew past the stranded Harrison before crashing off the bar and away from danger.

Spartans started brightly in the second half and moments after the restart Ewens broke clear of the Hibs defence and with Goalkeeper Lynn out of her box the striker tried to lob the Hibs Number 1 however Lynn was equal to it. From the resulting corner, swung in by Marshall, Crosbie again sent a header towards goal only to see it cleared.

With 72 minutes gone Spartans reduced the deficit with Ewens flicking the ball into the back of the net from 16 yards out. Diana Barry collected the ball on the halfway line and played a through ball to Ewens who, with only Lynn to beat, placed the ball into the bottom corner.

Hibs, however, regained their two goal advantage minutes later with Weir firing a fierce shot into the top corner. Weir picked the ball up on the right wing and drove towards goal before cutting in past Crosbie and firing an unstoppable left foot shot into the top corner.

The home side came close to increasing their lead ten minutes from time when Kirsty McLaughlin found herself in acres of space inside the area but her left foot shot went wide of the mark. Weir played the ball through from the right wing to McLaughlin who had sped past the Spartans midfield but her first time left foot shot was placed wide of the right hand post.

With only two minutes to play Hibs were reduced to ten players when Lisa Robertson, who had been booked earlier for a foul on Louise Young, pulled Spartans substitute Louise Mason back leaving the referee no choice but to send the player off. However there was little time for Spartans to make the extra player count.

Spartans Head Coach Debbi McCulloch was disappointed to lose the game and felt her side created several opportunities to win the game. She said: “Going forward I felt we threatened the Hibs defence and should have converted more of our chances. I am disappointed to lose two first half goals from set pieces. Our best player on the field today was Chloe Fitzpatrick who pulled off some great tackles and played some great passes.”   




Hibs: Shannan Lynn, Emma Brownlee, Frankie Brown, Sammy Hare, Kirsty McLaughlin, Caroline Weir, Ellen Pia, Lisa Robertson, Kirsty Smith, Siobhan Hunter, Joelle Murray. Substitutes: Stef Malcolm, Hollie Thomson, Rebecca Zoltie, Mariel Kaney, Laura Kennedy

Spartans: Rachel Harrison, Alana Marshall, Claire Crosbie, Chloe Fitzpatrick, Diana Barry, Bobbie Beveridge, Olivia Lukasewich, Louise Young, Louise Moultray, Sarah Ewens, Katie Reilly. Substitutes: Victoria Farquhar, Louise Mason, Ann Taylor, Becky Galbraith, Sarah Archibald




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