History for Hearts Women15 January 2023
Eva Olid made three changes to the side that defeated Dundee United in the Scottish Cup last weekend, as Jenny Smith, Addie Handley and Aimee Anderson were replaced by Cailin Michie, Katie Rood and Monica Forsyth.
It was a bold strategy, but Hearts had decided to match Rangers up, which meant ditching their usual three at the back system.
In the early stages it appeared to be working, as Hearts saw plenty of the ball and created the more dangerous openings.
Georgia Timms has caused chaos for many backlines this season and this game was proving no different with the striker constantly spinning in behind an extremely high line set by the Rangers defence.
Hearts almost went ahead on 11 minutes when one of those trademark Timms runs saw her in behind the Rangers backline, but after being picked out perfectly by Brownlie, her scuffed volley was comfortable for Jenna Fife.
Rangers were pressing high as a unit, and it was no surprise to see their first real opening arrive after they won possession high up the pitch. The shot from 20-yards from Howat was brilliantly tipped round the post from Charlotte Parker-Smith.
Hearts responded and again almost opened the scoring on the half hour mark. Timms this time turned provider and after another excellent run down the channel, her cutback for Erin Rennie again called Fife into action.
Rangers were enjoying lots of space in wide areas and a pattern of the first half saw them continuously whipping dangerous crosses into the box and after a deep cross found Howatt, but Parker-Smith again produced an excellent point-blank save to keep the scores level at the break.
Into the second half and the champions had stepped it up a gear, but Hearts stuck to the gameplan and due to some excellent defending, Parker-Smith was not called into action as regularly as she could have been.
The visitors continued to dominate, and Parker-Smith was called into action on 73 minutes to deny Howat after the striker had timed her run well.
Rangers were continuing to get the ball wide and Brogan Hay looked the most likely player in blue to unlock the door for the Gers, she was at the heart of two great opportunities five minutes later.
Firstly, she did not give up on a lost cause and after reaching the byline, her cross was fired over by Sam Kerr from 12 yards and just a minute later, her deep cross came off the top of the crossbar.
As the game entered the final ten minutes, Rangers continued to dominate possession, but Hearts were well organised and Parker-Smith wasn’t tested again in the final moments as the girls deservedly held on for a precious point.
Hearts: Parker-Smith, Penman, Brownlie, Hunter ©, Grant, Forsyth, (Handley, 88), Timms, Rennie (G. Davies, 53), Sampson, Rood (Smith, 70), Michie
Subs: Currie, Smith, Anderson, McAllister, Handley, G. Davies, E. Davies, Connor, Cowan
Rangers: Fife, McLaughlan, Hill, Middag, Hay, Howat, Cavanagh, Arnot, Cornet, Maclean, Kerr
Subs: Esson, Davison, McCoy, Bell, Danielsson, McLeary, Watson