Hearts Women returned from the international break with three points at Petershill Park on Sunday, following a 4-1 victory over Partick Thistle.
In wet and windy conditions in Glasgow, it was Hearts who started the brighter of the two teams and they were ahead inside five minutes.
Sade Adamolekun picked up a nice pocket of space in the centre circle and threaded a perfect through ball in behind the Thistle backline for Katie Lockwood. The Hearts number 10 kept her cool to slot the ball low past Ava Easdon at the near post and open the scoring.
The Jags have been enjoying a good campaign so far and they hit back eight minutes later. A long throw from the right wasn’t dealt with by the Hearts backline and it was bundled in at the back post by Imogen Longcake.
In truth, it was a scrappy first half with few opportunities at either end, but Hearts made sure they went in with the half-time lead courtesy of Ciara Grant’s free kick.
The build-up was the best piece of football Hearts had managed to produce and when Danni Findlay took a good first touch to skip past her marker, the Jambos were away. The ball was worked wide left to Addie Handley, who had the presence of mind to cut the ball back to Lockwood, who was brought down right on the edge of the box.
Grant stepped up and opted for the low route, curling the ball around the wall and into the bottom corner in first half stoppage time.
Half-time: Partick Thistle 1-2 Hearts
Into the second half and Georgia Timms was inches away from adding to Hearts’ lead when latching on to Lizzie Waldie’s diagonal pass, but the forward fired just wide of the far post.
The home side then enjoyed their best spell of the game and Charlotte Parker-Smith produced an excellent save to deny Linzi Taylor after a good break from the Jags down the right.
Hearts have shown a ruthlessness in front of goal in recent weeks, and they did add to their lead on 68 minutes.
It was another good move from the Jambos, who had weathered that Thistle storm and an excellent through ball from substitute Cailin Michie sent Addie Handley off down the left. Her first time cross was begging to be tapped home and Katie Lockwood dually obliged bagging her second of the afternoon.
Thistle were reduced to ten players just seconds later when Demi Falconer brought down Timms as she prepared to race through on goal and as the last player back, she was given her marching orders.
Hearts instantly took advantage of Falconer’s dismissal as the resulting free kick caused confusion in the Thistle box. It was a mini scramble as Carly Girasoli nodded home before wheeling away in celebration.
The points were sealed by that point and it was a professional performance in the end from Hearts, who saw the remaining 20 minutes out with ease to move within one point of the Jags.
Partick Thistle: Easdon, Slater, Lawton, Falconer, Docherty, Henderson, Donaldson, Bulloch, Taylor, Longcake, Sinclair
Subs: Cunningham, Hay, Ferguson, Robb, Robinson, McQuillan
Hearts: Parker-Smith, Brownlie (Penman, 83), Hunter ©, Grant, Timms, Lockwood (E. Rennie, 83), Waldie, Adamolekun (Anderson, 73), Handley (Husband, 73), Girasoli, Findlay (Michie, 57)
Subs: B. Rennie, Penman, E. Rennie, Anderson, Park, Davies, Michie, Husband