Dundee United completed the double over Hearts to go joint top of the Scottish Building Society SWPL 2 table, with a 1-0 win in front of a healthy crowd of 582 at a sunny Tynecastle Park. Neve Guthrie’s second half goal was enough to hand United the win and join the hosts and Glasgow Girls on 17 points.
The first chance of the game fell United’s way when Guthrie intercepted a short pass, but her effort on goal was high and wide. Despite Hearts enjoying most of the ball in the early stages, United were the side getting shots away and Ellie-Jai Reid saw her effort well held by the Hearts keeper.
Hearts though went close to opening the scoring after 17 minutes; Aisha Maughan’s cutback found Lauren Hall whose shot was blocked by Jenna Penman, before Lauren Evans volleyed the rebound over the bar.
Evans was involved again soon after when she cleverly escaped Diana Dewald before crossing for Hall whose shot deflected out for a corner. From the resultant delivery, Courtney McAvoy’s header came back off the post.
Just on the stroke of half-time, the hosts hit the woodwork again when Jenny Smith let fly from distance, her shot coming off the crossbar.
Hearts began the second half strongly and should have taken the lead instantly, but Evans managed to fire over the bar from close range.
However, it was the visitors who would take the lead on 49 minutes. Georgia Hunter took too long to pass the ball back to her goalkeeper, allowing Guthrie to nip in and round Charlotte Parker-Smith before rolling the ball into the empty net. That was the forward’s second goal against the Jambos this season and her sixth of the league campaign.
Rachel Walkingshaw let fly from distance as Hearts tried to force an equaliser but her shot was easily held by Aaliyah-Jay Meach. The United keeper had to be alert again with 20 minutes to go, when Walkingshaw once more tried her luck from distance with the keeper managing to parry the ball away before the offside flag came to United’s rescue.
With Hearts pressing forward, there were spaces opening up for United to attack into and Philippa McCallum tried to make the most of her opportunity, but her speculative shot flew just wide.
United were defending well as they tried to hold on for the win, reducing Hearts to efforts from distance with Claire Delworth’s effort failing to trouble Meach. The Jambos had one final chance in stoppage time, but Danni Pagliarulo’s free-kick was straight at Meach as United completed the double over their Edinburgh rivals.
Next week, United host Partick Thistle while Hearts travel to Perth to take on St Johnstone.
Hearts: Parker-Smith; Delworth, Pagliarulo, Hunter (Dodds, 79), Malcolm (Carse, 74); Smith, Walkingshaw, McAvoy (Kidd, 74); Maughan , Evans, Hall (Hughes, 61)
Dundee United: Meach; Penman, Carter, Dewald, Burns; Reid (Robertson, 90), McLaren, McCallum, McFadyen (Robbie, 69); Denney (Caine, 87), Guthrie
Andy Enwood – Heart of Midlothian WFC Head Coach
Gavin Beith – Dundee United WFC Head Coach