Hibernian came out on top in the last Edinburgh derby of the
season beating Spartans 3-1 at Albyn Park, Broxburn.
After taking a 2-0 lead into half time through goals by Sammy
Hare and Siobhan Hunter, and even though Spartans momentarily reduced the
deficit through a Sarah Ewens strike, the home side sealed the victory 15
minutes from time through a Caroline Weir left foot drive.
It was the away side who started the brighter and could have
been a goal up inside seven minutes but for Sarah Ewens strike flying wide of
the right hand post. Olivia Lukasewich charged down the right wing and, after
gaining a yard on her opponent, sent over a low cross to the near post where
Ewens, unmarked, fired in a right foot drive that flew past the post.
Straight away Hibs opened up the Spartans defence and they
too could have taken the advantage but for a strong hand by keeper Rachel
Harrison. Joelle Murray drove down the left wing and cut the ball back onto her
right foot before crossing to the advanced Sammy Hare whose fierce header was
palmed away by Harrison.
Moments later Ewens found herself through on goal but the
Spartans forward was thwarted by the Hibs Number 1 Shannon Lynn. Chloe
Fitzpatrick broke up a Hibs attack and played the ball through to Ewens who
turned the defence and charged towards goal with the central defenders lagging
behind. However as the striker entered the box she found the presence of Lynn
unbeatable and her shot was tipped away by the goalkeeper.
Spartans were causing the Hibs
defenders problems and with 17 minutes gone a Claire Crosbie header was cleared
off the line by Frankie Brown. Alana Marshall swung a corner in from the
right to the far post where Crosbie, who had wriggled free of her marker, sent a
downward header towards the far corner only to see Brown clip it away with an
With the away side in the ascendancy Hibs took the lead with
Hare flicking the ball home after Hibs were awarded a third corner in
succession, much to the disagreement of the Spartans players. The first Hibs
corner was swung in by Murray and tipped away by Harrison before Murray again
fired a cross in to Siobhan Hunter to toe poke wide. However the referee awarded
another corner which Murray this time took short. The ball was played back to
the Scotland Internationalist who crossed to the near post for Hare to flick
home with her right boot.
Inside two minutes Hare almost double the Hibs lead as she
crashed in a fierce drive from 25 yards which was tipped onto the bar by
Harrison before being cleared by the Spartans defence. However with 26 minutes
gone Hibs double their lead with Hunter heading home from five yards out.
Three minutes before half time Hibs midfielder Hare again
came close to getting her second goal after she collected a poor Spartans
clearance and smashed in a fierce drive from 20 yards which flew past the
stranded Harrison before crashing off the bar and away from danger.
Spartans started brightly in the second half and moments
after the restart Ewens broke clear of the Hibs defence and with Goalkeeper Lynn
out of her box the striker tried to lob the Hibs Number 1 however Lynn was equal
to it. From the resulting corner, swung in by Marshall, Crosbie again sent a
header towards goal only to see it cleared.
With 72 minutes gone Spartans reduced the deficit with Ewens
flicking the ball into the back of the net from 16 yards out. Diana Barry
collected the ball on the halfway line and played a through ball to Ewens who,
with only Lynn to beat, placed the ball into the bottom corner.
Hibs, however, regained their two goal advantage minutes
later with Weir firing a fierce shot into the top corner. Weir picked the ball
up on the right wing and drove towards goal before cutting in past Crosbie and
firing an unstoppable left foot shot into the top corner.
The home side came close to increasing their lead ten minutes
from time when Kirsty McLaughlin found herself in acres of space inside the area
but her left foot shot went wide of the mark. Weir played the ball through from
the right wing to McLaughlin who had sped past the Spartans midfield but her
first time left foot shot was placed wide of the right hand post.
With only two minutes to play Hibs were reduced to ten
players when Lisa Robertson, who had been booked earlier for a foul on Louise
Young, pulled Spartans substitute Louise Mason back leaving the referee no
choice but to send the player off. However there was little time for Spartans to
make the extra player count.
Spartans Head Coach Debbi McCulloch
was disappointed to lose the game and felt her side created several
opportunities to win the game. She said: “Going forward I felt we threatened the
Hibs defence and should have converted more of our chances. I am disappointed to
lose two first half goals from set pieces. Our best player on the field today
was Chloe Fitzpatrick who pulled off some great tackles and played some great