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#SBSSWPL1: Motherwell v Hibernian

Hibernian took all three points after a dominant second-half performance against Motherwell to stay top of the SWPL 1.

The opening exchanges saw both teams have spells in possession. Sarah Crilly played an inviting ball into the area, but the Hibs defence cleared well. Lauren Davidson then went close for the visitors, as she cut in from the left and saw her low-drive saved by Morgan Hunter.

Hibs saw more of the ball as they looked to feed the ball out wide to Jamie-Lee Napier on the left-wing, but the Motherwell defence coped well. Joelle Murray nearly put Hibs ahead when she headed towards goal from a corner, Hunter was beaten but was saved by her defence who cleared on the line.

The tie looked to be heading to a stalemate at the interval, but on the stroke of half-time Rachel Small found herself in space, and she slotted the ball home after Napier crossed into the box.

Motherwell began the second half with purpose, Chelsea McEachran going down under heavy pressure just outside the box and a free-kick was given. Kerry Montgomery then shot well over the bar.

Napier then began to dominate the game, and she was desperately unlucky when she struck the post with a ferocious effort. Hibs made it two when Davidson was played in by Napier, and she placed the ball into the net to put the game beyond Motherwell.

The third came in bizarre fashion. The returning Small floated the ball to the back post from a corner, only for the ball to sail into the net past Hunter. The game continued to see Hibs push forward, looking for more goals.

The fourth and final goal came from a free-kick just outside the box. Kirsten Reilly’s effort was just enough to sneak past Hunter and finish off, what in the end, was a routine victory for the league leaders.

Hibernian Head Coach Grant Scott was delighted with the performance:

“It was great to score some goals, something we have struggled to do for a few weeks. It was great to see Rachel (Small) back and we could see Shannon (McGregor) back in light-training soon. Glasgow City will keep on winning so we need to keep up the high level of performance.”

Motherwell Head Coach Donald Jennow was disappointed with individual mistakes:

“I don’t think the result was down to Hibs quality, but our mistakes at set-pieces and some lapses in concentration. First-half we were competitive, but we lost our concentration, unfortunately. Truthfully three points against Hibs is not something we would have banked on at the start of the season.

He is, however, looking forward to seeing his team play in front of the cameras on Friday night, when they take on Celtic, live on BBC ALBA (7.45pm)

“It is great to have more exposure for the Women’s game, and I am hoping it is an extra wee bit of motivation for our players. We will still treat it like any other game. It was great to see our chief executive Alan Burrows at the match today once again helping out.”

Hibernian forward Lauren Davidson enjoyed getting on the scoresheet, after returning from Scotland Under 19s training camp:

“It was great to get 80 minutes and of course score, I thought the game had a really good tempo to it. I think we are just starting to get to our best, and it was great to have Rachel (Small) back in the team. Going away with Scotland is incredible, it is an honour to play for your country and it was great to win against China.”

Motherwell: Hunter, Knox (Russell), Welsh (Roberts), Rolph, Rafferty, Rice, Crilly, Montgomery, Gardner, McEachran, Adams.

Hibernian: Fyfe, Napier, Hunter, Tweedie (Fish) Davidson (Morrison), Leishman (Williamson), Notley, Murray, Cornet, Small (Cavanagh), Reilly.

Written by
Ben Kearney
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