|EDINBURGH LADIES FOOTBALL CLUB||
Hibs v Newburgh - Premier League - Sunday 8th. April 2007
Ladies still on course
Hibernian Ladies maintained their place at the top of the Scottish Women’s Premier League on Sunday with a convincing win over Newburgh. Hibs are level at the top of the league with Glasgow City but hold a marginally better goal difference than their west coast rivals.
Managers Iain and Paul Johnston made two changes to the side that defeated Edinburgh Ladies last weekend, Frankie Brown and Shelley Grant returning to the side at the expense of Laura Kennedy and the suspended Mandy Burns. Stacey Cook moving from defence into central midfield as the Hibees changed their system to line up 4-4-2.
It is a feature of this Hibernian side that they start at break neck speed and the high tempo of their play was to cause Newburgh a problem. Hibs making a whirlwind start and working hard to close down the defence and midfield of Newburgh with the pace of Kim Little and Suzanne Grant a constant thorn in the visitor’s sides. The Newburgh keeper was in fine form however and was a match to Hibs attacks in the opening period but the Hibees continued to move the ball around the park and building well from defence.
The opening goal came after fifteen minutes when a long throw in from Joelle Murray found Suzanne Grant, her shot was blocked but luckily it feel perfectly for Stacey Cook to unleash a powerful effort that gave the goalkeeper no chance. Hibernian had been in total control and could have gone further ahead through Kim Little and Suzanne Grant but the inspired Newburgh goalkeeper thwarted them. Joelle Murray and Kirsty McBride both gave their markers a torrid time and their service to the strikers meant it was only a matter of time before Hibs did score again.
The second goal was coming and it duly arrived soon after when Kim Little picked the ball up thirty yards from goal, driving at the Newburgh defence she evaded a couple of tackles before slotting the ball beyond the despairing goalkeeper who had tried to narrow the angle. Hibernian should have gone on from here and put the game beyond doubt but Newburgh had other ideas, straight from the restart Ross hit the ball forward and a defensive mix up saw the ball break to Duncan who smashed the ball into the net.
The goal lifted Newburgh and just five minutes later they were level, Ann Houliston hitting a speculative shot from twenty-five yards that nestled in the top corner giving Jo Hutcheson in the Hibs goals no chance. Hibernian had let a commanding lead slip as Newburgh drew level, this spurred the Hibees on as Kim Little and Suzanne Grant went close before Joelle Murray and Julie Ferguson linked up to play the ball to Frankie Brown on the left, she passed inside to Suzanne Grant who played a delightful flick onto Kim Little and she calmly rounded the goalkeeper to fire Hibs back into the lead.
Soon after it was four when a good move from midfield saw Kim Little receive the ball in the penalty area, she turned and fired a fine shot past the goalkeeper for her hat-trick to restore her sides two goal lead going into the half time break.
Half Time: Hibernian Ladies 4 Newburgh 2
The second half started with Hibs firmly in control but the constant threat of Ross and Duncan for Newburgh was evident. Hibs continued to pass the ball well and formed some good attacks, the pace of Shelley Grant on the overlap was causing problems and she delivered some good balls into the box, again with the Newburgh goalkeeper thwarting many of their good attacks. Defensively Hibernian looked strong again and many of the Newburgh attacks came to nothing thanks to the work of Frankie Brown, Shelley Kerr, Suzanne Robertson and Shelley Grant.
As the game wore on Hibs continued to search for the fifth goal and it came after sixty-five minutes after some good work in midfield, a long ball from Julie Ferguson to Suzanne Grant was knocked onto Kim Little in the box and she hit a powerful effort for her thirty-sixth goal of the season. Soon after Hibs replaced Joelle Murray with Louise Young and this allowed Shelley Grant to push forward and she continued to send over some tempting crosses into the Newburgh penalty area.
Goal number six duly arrived when Kirsty McBride showed fine individual skill on the left wing, turning the defender inside out before sending over a deep cross that saw Suzanne Grant out jump the goalkeeper and glance the ball into the unguarded net. Both side created further chances before the games end but there were to be no more goals in this enthralling encounter.
Full Time: Hibernian Ladies 6 Newburgh 2
Hibernian Ladies: Jo Hutcheson, Shelley Grant, Shelley Kerr, Suzy Robertson, Frankie Brown, Kirsty McBride, Joelle Murray, Julie Ferguson, Stacey Cook, Kim Little, Suzanne Grant. Subs: Louise Young, Laura Kennedy, Debbie McDonald
Referee: Lorraine Quinn
After the game Midfielder Julie Ferguson commented: ”We got off to a flyer, the girls looked really up for the game and everyone was buzzing. We started the game well, working hard to close down the Newburgh midfield and defence. At half time we were disappointed with losing the two goals but delighted at our response, we wanted to go out and continue our good work. A great result and team performance from the girls, I felt we were the dominant team; we didn’t get frustrated and stuck to our task which was good to see.”
“Newburgh are very hard working and we knew that we couldn’t shut off like we have done in previous times the season. The team are really beginning to come together the last couple of games have been difficult but we have come through them, next week Mandy Burns will be back so the team will be even stronger and all in all a great result and performance, which everyone at the club is delighted about.”