By Tim Oliver
It was another fascinating set of fixtures in the SWPL Cup. We now know our four semi-finalists, with Hibernian, Spartans, Glasgow City and Celtic all progressing. It means we are set for an absolutely fascinating set of Semi-Finals, with the draw being made on Wednesday
Hibernian 5-0 Rangers
The SWPL Cup holders Hibernian reached the Semi-Finals after they beat Rangers 5-0 with a highly impressive performance. Hibernian controlled the game from start to finish, never allowing Rangers to find a way back into the game.
Hibernian took the lead when Abi Harrison’s cut-back picked out Amy Gallacher who, despite pressure from the Rangers defence, managed to prod the ball into the net. Then, in the 16th minute, they made it 2-0 after winning a free-kick just inside the Rangers’ half. Brownlie launched the ball into the penalty area where Harrison controlled the ball and then volleyed the ball over the keeper and into the net.
In the 43rd minute, Hibernian finally scored their third goal. It came from a corner that Rangers failed to fully clear, and eventually Harrison’s cross picked out Graham who prodded the ball home at the near post.
It was 4-0 early in the second half. Arnot broke to the byline when she put a delightful cross into the six-yard box where Harrison tapped the ball into the net. Late on, Hibs made it 5-0 as Harrison cut the ball back across the six-yard box to Katey Turner, and the ex-Rangers forward scored.
Spartans 4-1 Aberdeen
Spartans progressed to the Semi-Finals of the SWPL Cup after beating Aberdeen 4-1 in the Quarter-Final. At a sunny Ainslie Park, Aberdeen had taken a shock half-time lead through a Dion McMahon own-goal despite not having a shot on target in the first half. Spartans had created several chances with the offside flag and good keeping from Aberdeen’s keeper Emily Mutch denying them.
Spartans equalised in the 56th minute. Simone McMahon’s corner was headed back across goal by Bobby Beveridge and there was Zoe Johnstone to fire the ball over the line, despite Mutch’s valiant attempt to keep the ball out.
Three minutes later, Spartans were in front as Alana Marshall’s corner went directly in.
In the closing stages, Spartans made sure of the win. A long ball sent Carla Boyce into the box, she took a touch past the keeper who took her out and the referee pointed at the spot. Mutch had to be replaced by debutant Melia Marquez, and she had to pick the ball out of the back of the net after Alana Marshall placed the ball down the middle.
Then, in the 92nd minute, Spartans scored their fourth. A cross picked out debutant Kaela McDonald who mishit her shot, but it turned into an assist for Simone McMahon as she poked the ball home from six yards.
Glasgow City 2-0 Stirling University
Glasgow City reached the Semi-Finals of the SWPL Cup after beating Stirling University 2-0.
City could have taken the lead in the first minute but Leanne Ross’ effort was well saved by Stirling’s keeper Chloe Logan. Soon after, Leanne Ross’ cross found Abbi Grant in a great goal-scoring position but she was denied by Logan also.
In the 11th minute, City’s keeper Lee Alexander had to be alert to deny Rebecca Galbraith’s shot. Stirling had another good chance soon after, but Galbraith’s header went wide.
And in the 44th minute, Glasgow City took the lead through Noelle Murray, whose delightful lobbed finish gave Logan no chance.
Stirling came close to an equaliser, but Nicole Pullar was denied by alert keeping from Alexander who made a slide tackle just outside her box. Minutes later, Pullar came close but her shot just went over.
In the 65th minute, City made it 2-0 when Hayley Lauder’s shot smashed off the underside of the bar and into the net after being assisted by Murray.
Celtic 4-1 Hearts
Celtic reached the Semi-Finals of the SWPL Cup after beating the only remaining SWPL 2 side in the competition, Hearts.
They could have taken the lead in the 14th minute, but Kirsty Howat was denied by Ashley Watson’s save. But they did take the lead when Howat’s corner was deflected into the net by a Hearts defender.
It was soon 2-0 when Howat’s driven cross picked out Kerry Montgomery who found the back of the net with a clever finish.
Natalie Ross and Ruesha Littlejohn had good chances early in the second half to extend Celtic’s lead, but in the 53rd minute, Sarah Ewens scored her first goal for her new club to make it 3-0.
Darcy McFarlane came close to her first goal for Celtic, but her 25-yard shot smashed off the crossbar. Then, in the 67th minute, Howat got onto the scoresheet to make it 4-0.
Late on, Hearts pulled a goal back to make it 4-1.