Hibs Ladies hold nerve in shoot-out

Hibs Ladies manager Chris Roberts. Kirsty Smith, below, opened the scoring for Hibs
Hibs Ladies manager Chris Roberts. Kirsty Smith, below, opened the scoring for Hibs
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Hibs Ladies manager Chris Roberts praised his side’s character after they came from behind to beat city rivals Spartans and claim a place in the last four of the Scottish Women’s Premier League Cup.

Sarah Ewen and Michelle Russell twice fired Spartans ahead in a pulsating cup tie before Kirsty Smith and Lucy Graham levelled for the Hibees – the latter coming in the dying embers of extra-time.

Kirsty Smith has been in goalscoring from for Hibs

Kirsty Smith has been in goalscoring from for Hibs

The Easter Road girls then went on to complete their dramatic comeback by holding their nerve during the penalty shoot-out - winning 4-1.

Roberts said: “It was a tough day but we are delighted to get through. The players showed great character to come back twice. We created several great chances in the game and, to be fair, Spartans had a few themselves, but when Lizzie [Arnot] hits the crossbar towards the end of extra-time and we are still chasing the game, then you do wonder if it is going to be your day.

“However the girls refused to give up and kept going; they believed in themselves and eventually got their reward.”

Spartans boss Debbi McCulloch, said: “It’s never easy to go out of any cup via penalties, however we showed that we could compete. As a coach you want your players to take responsibility on the pitch and every single one of them gave me a positive reaction.

“We were doing fine but we never picked up the runner at the set piece and that cost us in the end. We matched them in every position for 120 minutes and there are a lot of positives to take from this performance.”

Hibs will play Aberdeen in the semi-final at Ainslie Park on May 10, 3pm. The other semi-final between Glasgow City and Celtic proceeds that match at the same venue, kick-off noon.

Hutchison Vale’s cup dreams were shattered by Glasgow City in clinical fashion.

Fiona Brown (3), Jo Love (2), Leanne Ross, Abbi Grant, Hayley Lauder, Erin Cuthbert, Denise O’Sullivan and Alysia Walker were all on target for the ruthless holders.

Hutchie only had 12 players available because of injuries and they lost another early on whilst another should not have played because of illness.