Spartans Reserves hosted Hibs 1875 in a league game at the Academy,
with both teams looking for three points that would keep them within touching
distance of the top of SWFL Division 2 South East.
Hibs started the strongest, putting Spartans under pressure early on by pressing
all over the pitch and giving the Spartans players no time on the ball.
Spartans lost Stacey Pendreigh to a knee injury in the 7th minute and
her replacement, Jen Robertson’s, first job was to clear a header off the goal
line from a corner to keep the score 0-0.
Hibs looked dangerous from set pieces and their early pressure eventually told
when a Karen McConnell corner found its way in to the Spartans net via the head
of Spartans defender Heather Smart. 1-0 Hibs.
Hibs continued to press their advantage but the Spartans defence held strong. In
possession Spartans began to play a more direct game, looking to relieve the
pressure on their back four, and began to get success through the pace of
Stewart and Lyon up front.
Spartans equalised in the 32nd minute. Laura McRitchie finally found
some space on the left wing and her square pass fell to Emma Stewart 15 yards
out, who took the ball off the toe of Lianne Gray as she passed the ball past
Samantha Eyeington in the Hibs goal, too score her 15th goal of the
Hibs almost restored their lead when Kirsty Compston charged down Spartans
Keeper Lessels clearance, but the ball rolled narrowly wide of the post.
Lessels was also alert to save smartly from Maude Marx as the Hibs player went
through one on one with the Spartans Keeper just before half time.
HALF TIME 1-1
The second half started the same way the first half had finished. Lessels got
her positioning wrong at a Hibs free kick, and only a terrific spiralling save
from Compston’s header kept the score at 1-1. That was Hibs only real chance in
the second half.
Spartans began to keep the ball and dominated the game in the last 40 minutes.
First, Helen Lyon had a free kick that sailed narrowly over the bar in the 52nd
Then Lianne Gray was played in down the Spartans right and her cut back fell at
the feet of Stewart who saw her shot from 5 yards blocked In the stramash that
followed, Stewart, Lyon and Montgomery all had shots blocked or saved before the
ball was cleared.
Stewart then had a goal disallowed for hand ball in the box in the 67th
minute. It was clear that the goal was coming for Spartans.
In the 75th minute, Kerry Montgomery drove forward with the ball in
her own half, drifting towards the right wing. As she approached the halfway
line she played a reverse pass to the left wing which found McRitchie who
outpaced the Hibs defence and slotted the ball in to the bottom corner of the
Hibs net. It was McRitchie’s 13th goal of the season. 2-1 Spartans
In the closing minutes of the game both Stewart and substitute Anne Smollett
came close to scoring again for Spartans, as they saw the game out comfortably.
FINAL SCORE SPARTANS RESERVES 2 HIBS