Hibernian can reclaim the SWPL Cup after seeing off SWPL 1 Champions Glasgow City in dramatic fashion. Similarly to their 2016 victory over City, it was a last minute goal that sealed the deal but they required extra time on this occasion. Abbie Harrison was the goalscorer, turning in a loose shot to give her side victory only two minutes after being denied a penalty as she was adjudged to have dived inside the box.
Both teams started the game well, displaying the kind of football that top sides can produce on the ball. That quality though was matched defensively by both teams and chances were few and far between. No keeper was really tested for the first quarter of the match. Both teams were limited to long shots or couldn’t find the killer pass inside the final third.
It took 27 minutes for either side to really put pressure on the opposition. Harrison running down the left-hand side and with a couple of stepovers was in the box. Her cut back though couldn’t find a player in green and even when they regained possession from the clearance, the header towards goal from the cross wasn’t on target.
The best chance of the half came with only five minutes to go. A great corner for Hibs found Rachel Small unmarked from eight yards out but her header went wide and failed to test Lee Alexander. Glasgow City then ended the half with a Leanne Ross free-kick from 25 yards. It had Jenna Fife scrambling, but her effort was off target and hit the side netting.
The second half was perhaps more action packed in the first 10 minutes than the whole first half. A speculative Noelle Murray effort didn’t go far over the Hibs goal as City really started to pile on the pressure. However, it was Hibs that came closest to opening the scoring. A wonderful break started by Graham in the centre-circle saw a number of Hibs players put their effort towards goal. If not for some brave defending and goalkeeping, it would have been 1-0 to the Edinburgh side.
Glasgow City nearly got their reward for their bravery. A good Ross free-kick was put into the mixer and after a few touches in the box, it fell to Lauren McMurchie but she blasted the ball over.
Despite the game opening up, neither team really threatened to open the scoring and it was little surprise when the final whistle went at 0-0. A further 30 minutes would be required to try and separate the top two teams in Scottish Women’s Football.
It looked as if the additional half an hour would be of no use with both sides failing to really create any further chances. However, with minutes to go Harrison was put in behind the City defence as Alexander rushed towards her. Harrison rounded the keeper before hitting the deck and the referee was quick to rule that she had dived, showing her a yellow card in the process.
The decision was met with frustration from the Hibs bench but the feeling was short-lived. With little time to play, Hibs got a corner and it was another good delivery. The ball was then played back to Siobhan Hunter who’s effort was going wide but Harrison managed to get a touch onto the powerful shot and guide it into the net.
With a minute left to go, Glasgow piled as much pressure as possible but it was to no avail. Hibs had snatched and grabbed the victory and they will now face Celtic at Broadwood in three weeks time for a 16:05 kick-off.