A new-look Hearts Women kicked off season 23/24 with a convincing 4-0 win over Hamilton at New Douglas Park.
Eva Olid named six debutants for the opening game of the season in Lanarkshire. Lizzie Waldie, Carly Girasoli, Esther Morgan, Brodie Greenwood, Katie Lockwood and Kathleen McGovern all started at New Douglas Park.
Big things are expected of Hearts this season and they got off to the perfect start inside two minutes. Lockwood’s corner from the right was met by Girasoli and her goal bound header was redirected by Waldie, leaving Chloe Nicolson helpless in the Accies goal.
Hearts were a threat from set pieces all game. Largely due to the accuracy of the crosses from Lockwood.
The Jambos continued to dominate possession and they deservedly doubled their lead after 26 minutes. Emma Brownlie was frequently bombing down the right channel and her cross was perfect for McGovern. Her header was expertly saved by Nicolson, but she could only parry it into the path of Addie Handley, who bundled the ball home from a matter of yards to put Hearts on easy street.
Girasoli and Georgia Timms both went close again from Lockwood deliveries, but Hearts had to settle for a two-goal lead at the break.
During her time at Hearts, it has been clear for all to see that Olid is a perfectionist, and she would’ve demanded her side continued with the same intensity in the second half.
That is exactly what they did and they added a third goal seven minutes after the restart.
Lockwood deserved a goal for her performane and in truth, it was a bit of gift. A mix-up in the Accies backline allowed Lockwood in and she kept her cool to round Nicolson and wrap up the three points.
The fourth goal seemed only a matter of time and it arrived courtesy of McGovern, another who had deserved a debut strike. Lockwood was again involved, and she delivered a teasing cross for McGovern to attack, which she dually did, once again, leaving Nicolson with no chance in goal.
The Accies keeper is one of the brightest young talents in the SWPL and in truth, she kept the score down in the closing stages, as Hearts continued to pepper the Accies goal.
Waldie and McGovern were both denied by the stopper in the final five minutes, as Hearts kicked-off season 23/24 with a convincing three points.
Hamilton: Nicolson, Macdonald, Quinn, Coakley, Martin, Giard, Robertson, McDonald, Ritchie, Graham, Kerr
Subs: Thomson, McIntosh, Muir, Taylor, Reid, Fisher
Hearts: Rodgers, Morgan, Brownlie © (Anderson, 63), Rennie, Timms (Findlay, 46), Lockwood, Waldie, Greenwood (Davies, 63), Handley (Husband, 46), Girasoli (Hunter, 69), McGovern
Subs: Parker-Smith, Penman, Hunter, Anderson, Davies, Findlay, Cowan, Michie, Husband