Club News

Hearts beaten by Celts

15th May 2014

Hearts lose ground in title race.

By Hearts News at Lennoxtown

SWFL First Division

Celtic 20s 4 (Paton 32, McMahon 59, McManus 71, Crosbie 75) Hearts 1 (Stewart 6)

Hearts lost ground in the title race to fellow divisional hopefuls, Celtic 20s, in a game that turned into a deluge - and not just because of the heavy rain that appeared to hamper one team, but not the other.

Despite taking the lead during a first-half that was pretty even but where the occasion appeared to get the better of both sets of players - with passes going routinely astray - Hearts were eventually comfortably swept aside.

With Celtic holding numerical advantage in midfield, Hearts struggled to find the confident, trusting, short passing game shown in some of their recent performances.

And when the rain came crashing in, towards the end of the first half, the visitors seemed to further lose cohesion, while their opponents began to hit their stride.

Too many over-ambitious passes told a story of tension, which of course this top-of-the-table clash merited.

It could have been either side that took the lead. That it was Hearts owed much to one of their better players on the day, Gemma Mason, who artfully worked the ball into the box, before unleashing a shot. Although the goalkeeper was to save, it was a parry that allowed Emma Stewart the relatively straight-forward reply.

Along with Mason, Hearts' centre-back, Sharon Hughes, also put in a shift meriting a mention, her pace occasionally required to salvage the occasional dangerous slipped pass down the middle. When Celtic slightly re-shaped during the second-half, to seeming positive effect, Hearts goalkeeper, Jenni Currie, once again proved a stubborn opponent.

But by then, Celtic were taking a grip of proceedings. The sides went in 1-1 at half-time, the Celtic equaliser a shot from inside the 18-yard box from Joanne Paton, after a brief, scruffy passage of play.

Celtic's second goal came when Simone McMahon got ahead of her marker to turn a free-kick into the back of the net. Number four saw Haylie Crosbie given a relatively free run to knock the ball over the line. Even number three - a pass from Paton to allow Samantha McManus a close-range shot - seemed just a bit too easily granted by the visitors.

The only dent in the home side's joy was when, after barely a minute on the field as a substitute, Beth Preston took a nasty-looking injury, requiring her to be carried off. Meanwhile, for Hearts, Kirsten Reilly - on holiday from a soccer scholarship in the USA - made a brief appearance, also as a substitute.

Celtic (t-to-l): McGregor; Mcfadden, McGuire, Crosbie, Wardrop; McKerlie, Webb (McMahon 55); Paton (Bain 82), McManus, Docherty (Preston 87); Kearney (c) (McKay 75). Subs not used: None.

Hearts (r-to-l): Currie; Hutchison (Calder 85), Cassidy, Hughes, Diey; Paterson (c) (Rae 85); Noble (Kidd 55), Wilson (Falconer 63), Mason; Stewart (Reilly 85), B. Anderson. Subs not used: Winner.

Pictured: Hearts' Sharon Hughes challenges Celtic captain, Shelby Jade Kearney.