Hearts 2021/22 season review: Wonder goals, derby victories and super Ciara Grant

Now that the SWPL has drawn to a close, Hearts certainly had a campaign to remember.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

If you were to offer manager Eva Olid a top-half-of-the-table finish at the start of the season she may have taken it on the spot. The fact that the Jambos finished the campaign fourth and nine points clear of Hibs is a masterstroke and shows how far her side came in just 12 months. Below we pinpoint the highs and the lows of a memorable year for the Jam Tarts.

Best moment

While there have been many highlights throughout their campaign, the best moment has to be Georgia Hunter’s last-minute equaliser in the Edinburgh derby last February. The captain rose highest from a corner in the 89th minute to make the score 1-1 at Tynecastle in front of a beaming record 7,024 crowd. The equaliser was made even sweeter moments later as the Jambos won the penalty shootout to lift the Capital Cup.

Worst moment

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

There may have been few bad moments in an amazing campaign for Hearts, some did leave a sour taste in many fans' mouths. While the two 6-0 home defeats to Rangers and Celtic did leave much to be desired, Crystal Thomas’ last-minute equaliser for Hibs is as hard-hitting as it gets. Hearts were on course to get their first victory in years over their bitter in front of a then-record SWPL crowd of 8,066 at Easter Road thanks to Emma Brownlie’s goal. However, Thomas popped up in the dying minutes to make the score 1-1. This goal was made even more difficult to take after Hibs won the penalty shoot-out to lift the Capital Cup.

Best game

Fourth place may have been tied all before Hearts went into the final Edinburgh derby of the season, but this did not quell their desire to win the game. After the first three clashes ended 1-1, this was the Jam Tarts final chance to get a result over their rivals and they did not disappoint. Former Hibee Erin Rennie opened the scoring before Aimee Anderson netted an absolute world-class goal to give Hearts a two-goal advantage at half-time. While Katie Lockwood reduced the deficit early in the second half, the Jam Tarts managed to hold on to show that the tide may well be turning in Edinburgh.

Erin Rennie is mobbed by her teammates after scoring the opener against Hibs. Credit: Malcolm MackenzieErin Rennie is mobbed by her teammates after scoring the opener against Hibs. Credit: Malcolm Mackenzie
Erin Rennie is mobbed by her teammates after scoring the opener against Hibs. Credit: Malcolm Mackenzie

Biggest surprise

Many might argue that the campaign as a whole had been a surprise after Hearts finished nine points above Hibs. However, such a gap could never have come to fruition without Monica Forsyth. Making her return midway through the campaign after a 12-month injury, many would have forgiven the winger if she had struggled to meet the pace of the league after such a long time out on the sidelines. Yet, the 19-year-old made her return to the pitch in style. Six months after her first appearance back, Forsyth was awarded Hearts Young Player of the Season, no less than the winger deserves after a memorising last half of the season.

Upcoming star

With Hearts having multiple young players who are regulars this could go to multiple stars. However, one to keep an eye out for next season is Olivia Chomczuk. Having played for the Under 16s side this season, she has helped the academy side to win a league and cup double so far this campaign, with the team now looking to complete the treble this weekend. For her efforts, Chomczuk was awarded a debut appearance for the first team against Rangers in May, which may be the first of many.

Goal of the season

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Hearts have scored some absolutely beautiful goals this season. From Jenny Smith’s powerful strike against Hamilton to Katie Rood’s fantastic, curled goal against Partick Thistle. However, none top Aimee Anderson’s strike against Hibs. From 30 yards out the 19-year-old thundered the ball into the top right corner of the net, a strike that no goalkeeper in the division would be able to save. The fact that this goal helped Hearts overcome Hibs made it all the sweeter.

Best signing

While this could easily go to Ciara Grant (we will get to her later), but Brownlie’s contributions to this season should not be forgotten. Since signing from Rangers in the summer, the defender has helped turn Hearts defence into a disciplined and feared backline. In a single season, Olid’s team went from conceding 66 goals in 27 games to just 42 in 32 fixtures. While Brownlie certainly did not do this on her own, the 29-year-old performances have been outstanding. Her consistency throughout the season helped her to win the SWPL January Player of the Month as well as a place in the PFA Team of the Season.

Player of the season

Coming in on the back of an SWPL title, Hearts had high expectations when Grant walked through their doors last summer and she certainly delivered. The Republic of Ireland international was at the heart of everything that went right for the Jam Tarts this season. A passing master, the 29-year-old assisted in three of the four Edinburgh derbies this season, scoring the only goal in the other with a late equaliser. Her efforts throughout the year saw the midfielder deservedly awarded a place in the PFA Team of the Season as well as Hearts Player of the Season.


To go from eighth to fourth in one season is already an impressive feat but Hearts did it in style. The club had already confirmed their best-ever finish in the SWPL1 back in March and did not stop there eventually finishing fourth comfortably. Big wins such as the 5-0 dismantling of Hamilton, the two draws against Rangers as well as the derby wins against both Spartans and Hibs can be looked back on as the highlights of an amazing campaign. The club will now be hoping that they can use this as a platform to go and challenge the top three more consistently next season.

Related topics: