Hearts Women lost out in the Edinburgh derby to Hibernian in Sunday’s match at Oriam.
In sweltering conditions, the Jambos never really got going in the match and despite working their socks off, they couldn’t make a crucial breakthrough.
Hibs started on the front foot and threatened early in the match. Amy Gallacher tried a long range effort from a free-kick, which went over the bar. Two minutes later, Hibs got in behind Hearts far too easily with a long ball over the top.
Eilidh Adams ran in on goal, drawing out Charlotte Parker-Smith, but put her effort wide from 12 yards with the goal gaping. At the other end, Hearts had an opening when Lia Tweedie managed to get in behind the very high Hibs backline, but she dragged her shot wide.
The Hearts defence didn’t heed the warning from Adams earlier, and were made to pay after just quarter of an hour, when Amy Muir found herself in acres of space behind the defensive line, and squared for Adams who made no mistake this time.
It was almost two ten minutes later, when Gallacher got down the wing and squared for Carla Boyce, who blazed over the bar from a few yards out. Parker-Smith made a superb stop from Colette Cavanagh on the stroke of half-time, when she tried to catch out the keeper with a free kick, but Parker-Smith got two strong hands to it.
Hearts were struggling in defence due to Georgia Hunter and Claire Delworth both having to be substituted due to injury and illness, but the makeshift backline was battling well despite the setback, although Parker-Smith was twice called into action again.
First, she tipped over a Gallacher effort from the edge of the area after Hearts were caught up the field chasing the equaliser, then Gallacher was denied again after a Muir cutback, before some superb last gasp defending.
Hearts thought they might have a possible opening from a Kirstie McIntosh free-kick, when Tweedie rose highest in the area but she was unable to direct the effort on target. They would rue that missed chance, as Cavanagh beat Paige McAllister, out of position at right back now, down the wing and cut back for Muir who tapped in.
The introduction of Amelie Birse and Eilidh Davies in the last ten minutes did inject some more energy and enthusiasm to the side, with the two 16 year olds looking bright in their time on the pitch, and Birse nearly headed in a late goal after superb play by fellow sub Katey Turner down the right wing to make space and cross for the striker, but the ball glanced off her head and away.
That was the last chance of the game for either side, with Hearts just one game away from completing their maiden SWPL1 season, against Spartans at Oriam next Sunday.
Player of the match: Lia Tweedie
Hearts: Parker-Smith; Delworth (Turner 50), McAllister (Birse 82), Hunter (Aitchison 34), Cunningham, Williamson; Forsyth (Davies 82), McIntosh, Kaney, Smith; Tweedie. Subs not used: Begg, Shepherd, Anderson.
Images courtesy of David Mollison