Hearts women

Match Report: Spartans 0-3 Hearts

28 April 2024

Hearts Women progressed to their first-ever Scottish Cup Final on Sunday as they defeated Spartans 3-0 at Hampden Park.


Kate Mooney opened the scoring just prior to half-time, before second half headers from Kathleen McGovern and Carly Girasoli ensured a safe passage to next month’s showpiece event.


Eva Olid made three changes to the side that was beaten by Celtic last weekend. Addie Handley replaced Jess Husband at left-back, Monica Forsyth replaced Sade Adamolekun in midfield and Kate Mooney replaced the ineligible Megan Bell in attack.


Unsurprisingly, it was a nervy opening with many on the pitch playing at the national stadium for the first time.


The women in maroon came into this game as favourites and they were dominating the early possession, without testing Alicia Yates too much in the early exchanges.


Spartans were looking to play the early ball long to experienced striker Becky Galbraith and although she fired an early effort wide, she wasn’t getting much joy from the three Hearts centre backs.


By far the games clearest opening arrived 12 minutes before the interval. After an early sighter on goal flew well over the bar, Forsyth again drove forward from midfield, but her 25-yard strike was magnificently tipped on to the bar by Yates.


The Jambos were in control as we edged closer to the interval, the only thing missing was a goal and it almost arrived on 41 minutes. Forsyth again came close with a goal-bound effort which was blocked, before Handley’s powerful strike was beaten away by Yates.


Finally, Hearts got the lead they deserved in the final minute of the first half. Carly Girasoli took the initiative, striding forward from defence, before firing a ball into the feet of Georgia Timms. She made good ground down the right wing before delivering a wicked cross for Mooney, who was in the right place to tap home from close range.


Half-time: Spartans 0-1 Hearts


The Jambos started the second half with real intensity, knowing a second goal would likely be enough to book their place in the final.


After another Timms cross evaded everyone in a maroon shirt, Forsyth again rattled the crossbar from long-range.


Three minutes later and Hearts did find the second goal. Kathleen McGovern was introduced off the bench and made an instant impact to powerfully head home Forsyth’s cross from the left.


Spartans responded by making some attacking changes to get back into the game, but it meant that more gaps appeared in the backline and the women in maroon began to pick off their opponents at will.


Handley and Emma Brownlie had both had good games at wing back and the latter almost marked the occasion with an assist when crossing for Lockwood, but she volleyed over from just inside the box.


Leading Hearts out at the national stadium, skipper Georgia Hunter would’ve loved to have marked the special occasion with a goal and she almost did just that, ten minutes from time.


Brownlie’s dangerous free kick dropped to the skipper, she fired a left foot shot on goal, but it was a good stop at the near post from Yates.


Carly Girasoli had enjoyed another solid outing in the backline, and she put the icing on the cake in stoppage time, as she rose highest to meet McGovern’s cross and power a header into the bottom corner past Yates.


The Jambos will face Rangers in the Scottish Cup Final on Sunday, 26th May.


Spartans: Yates, Clelland, McMahon, Douglas, Marshall, Gibb, McCafferty, Galbraith, Jordan, Robinson, Bates


Subs: Gallagher, Mason, S. McMahon, Henderson, Browning, Birse, Goodman, Foote


Hearts: Parker-Smith, Brownlie, Hunter ©, Grant, Forsyth, Timms, Lockwood, Waldie, Handley, Mooney, Girasoli


Subs: Johnstone, Penman, Rennie, Adamolekun, McGovern, Findlay, Michie, E. Husband, J. Husband