Photo by Lorraine Hill.
Glasgow City took a huge step towards securing their twelfth straight SWPL 1 title with a 2-1 win over Hibs at Petershill Park.
The two sides went into the game level on points with City top on goal difference only with just two goals separating the teams, so it was all to play for in Glasgow’s West end.
Hibs had beaten the hosts in last weekend’s SSE Scottish Women’s Cup semi-final with Glasgow then losing in Barcelona in midweek, so Grant Scott’s side felt confident of adding to City’s misery but after just five minutes, that all went out the window.
Hayley Lauder burst down the left flank before crossing for Kirsty Howat to bundle the ball into the net as the home side made the perfect start.
Despite going behind, Hibs reacted well and had their first effort soon after but Abi Harrison could only drag her shot wide of the post. A Jamie-Lee Napier shot then managed to miss Harrison and the far corner by inches as Hibs went close once more.
City had held off the Hibs’ spell of pressure and had a chance of their own to make it two on 20 minutes but Howat could only hook her left foot shot wide of the target.
The rest of the half was played at a pretty pedestrian pace as the two sides tried to keep things tight and it was Glasgow City who led at the break.
Hibs had a golden chance to equalise within five minutes of the restart when Napier found herself one-on-one with Lee Alexander but her lofted effort dropped comfortably over the bar.
They would level the game on 65 minutes however when Lisa Robertson’s corner missed everyone bar Siobhan Hunter, who was able to knock the ball into the back of the net. Unfortunately for the visitors, they were on level terms for less than a minute, with City regaining the lead straight from kick-off.
Lauder once more found space on the left with her cross finding Megan Foley who controlled the ball before Leanne Crichton toe-poked it past Jenna Fife.
The game was beginning to spring into life and Hibs went close through substitute Shannon McGregor but her powerful effort was well held by Alexander in the home goal.
With three minutes of normal time remaining, Hibs were adamant they should have been awarded a penalty when McGregor’s header struck the arm of Jenna Clark but nothing was given by the referee.
They had one final chance to salvage a point when a short corner was played to Robertson but her curling effort clipped the crossbar and it’s City who have the advantage going into the final match-day next weekend as Spartans visit Petershill while Hibs host Rangers.
Campbell Finlayson spoke to Glasgow City FC Head Coach, Scott Booth:
Glasgow City: Alexander; Ross, Girasoli, Love, Docherty; Kerr (Clark, 67), Crichton; Grant (McLintock, 83), Lauder (Cunningham, 88), Ivanusa (Foley, 57); Howat (Stewart, 78)
Hibernian: Fife; Brownlie, Murray, Hunter, Michie; Robertson, Reilly; McLauchlan, Cornet (McGregor, 57), Napier; Harrison