Hearts secure historic promotion

Spartans coach Debbi McCulloch with Alana Marshall

Spartans coach Debbi McCulloch with Alana Marshall

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Hearts secured promotion to the top flight of Scottish women’s football for the first time with a 2-0 win over Celtic Under-20s at Peffermill.

Grete Wilson was the hero, grabbing two goals. Her first strike came after she took a pass from Emma Stewart, waltzed past a defender and smashed the ball home. Her second arrived when she lofted the ball over the goalkeeper McKenzie from outside the box.

In the top flight, Alana Marshall struck to give Spartans their third Scottish Women’s Premier League victory in a row against a stubborn Aberdeen side.

Debbi McCulloch’s side are the in-form team in Scotland at the moment and still have an outside chance of finishing the campaign in second.

Spartans victory ensured they kept the momentum going, against a side they will face later this month in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup.

Manager McCulloch commented: “We made it tough for ourselves and that was our message at half-time. We had the majority of possession and perhaps we could’ve scored more team goals, however, Alana’s strike was top drawer.

“It was great to get another clean sheet; sometimes when you win games the defence doesn’t get a lot of credit, however Suzi Shepherd has been outstanding, Danni Pagliarulo is very tough to beat and Alana Marshall and Steph Briggs have been in great form also. It’s good to when you get that blend and its working.”

Hibs Ladies defeated Celtic 2-1 at Lennoxtown thanks to goals from Lucy Graham and Joelle Murray to move up into second place in the table.

Hibs boss Chris Roberts was pleased with his team’s performance even if it didn’t reach their usual standards, he said: “I felt we did okay but it was far from our best performance.

said: “What pleased me most was that the girls dug deep, came back after falling behind and got the victory even though we didn’t play as well as we could.

“As I said to the girls after the game, it is important that we ensure we take something from games where we are not at our best because that is what the top teams do.”

Meanwhile, a 25-yard rocket from Laura Gavin ensured that Hutchison Vale shared the spoils in their contest with Hamilton Academical at Saughton Enclosure.

“I’m really happy with the performance,” said manager Andy Enwood. “It’s the third game between the clubs this season and all three have finished 1-1.

“I thought we were very good tactically and the game was evenly matched.

“We brought in trailist goalkeeper, Sam Eyeington, and she was brave, had good handling, good kicking and talked to her defenders.”