Women’s football: Hearts aim to boost survival bid

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HEARTS LADIES head coach Grant Scott insists tomorrow’s clash with Stirling University isn’t a ‘must-win’ encounter.

However, he accepts victory would be a major boost to his side’s hopes of retaining their Scottish Women’s Premier League status.

Stirling picked up their first victory of the season by defeating Hamilton Academical last weekend and will be confident ahead of tomorrow’s match at the University campus (kick-off 2.00pm) after finishing ahead of Hearts in SWFL1 last term.

Both clubs were promoted last season and know each other well.

With four teams facing relegation this term due to league reconstruction, every point becomes a prisoner and Hearts boss Scott predicts a tough test for his side.

He said: “It’s a good opportunity for us to get some points on the board if we can counteract their strengths but there is little doubt it’ll be another tough match.

“We know them very well from our time together in the First Division last season and they have retained largely the same squad.

“Stirling will be very organised, well-disciplined and quick on the attack so we must guard against their pace. They were the best side in the First Division last season and thoroughly-deserving winners.

“The match is not quite a must-win game because the bottom six will all play each other twice in the second part of the season and the picture could change very quickly. However, we can give ourselves a helping hand by winning.”

Elsewhere, Hutchison Vale travel north to take on Aberdeen at the home of Sunnybank Juniors (1.00pm) and manager Andy Enwood is looking for everyone in black and yellow to stand up and be counted.

He commented: “It’s always a tough match away to Aberdeen and they will be flying after beating Rangers last weekend.

“They’re in a good run of form and are high in confidence while we are probably at the other end of the confidence spectrum.

“The onus is on everyone – the players and the coaching staff – to step up and take responsibility for turning around our poor form.”

Meanwhile, Hibs Ladies aim to maintain their 100 per cent winning start to the season when they host Forfar Farmington at Albyn Park, Broxburn (2.00pm).

Spartans hope to bounce back after three defeats in their last four games when they tackle bottom of the league Hamilton Academical at New Douglas Park (4.00pm).