SWPL1: Hearts won’t get ahead of themselves as they and Hibs end 2022 with a win

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Manager Eva Olid insists that the club won’t get ahead of themselves after they hold on to beat Partick Thistle 2-1.

The Jam Tarts ended 2022 with a victory as goals from Georgia Timms and Katie Rood were enough to inch past the Jags at Petershill Park. It was one of only three games that went ahead in the SWPL with multiple being called off due to the weather. Hibs also ended the year with a victory as they overcame Dundee United 4-1 at the Meadowbank. Goals from Leah Eddie, Eilidh Adams, Lucy Parry and Kristy Morrsion completed the comeback for the hosts as they moved up the table.

But the win for Hearts in Glasgow further cements fourth spot in the league as they move seven points clear of fifth-placed Hibs and are now only six points behind Celtic in third. However, Olid believes the club need to stay grounded with their goals to ensure they don’t get carried away.

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“We are realistic, the top three is far,” she stated. “We are focusing on our position in fourth. It is a good position, a realistic position and we will keep working to achieve that. We knew it would be a difficult game. At home, Partick are strong. The first half we played our game but the second half was more Partick, playing their style of play making it more difficult.”

Eva Olid will be hoping her team can continue their current form in 2023. Credit: Malcolm MacKenzieEva Olid will be hoping her team can continue their current form in 2023. Credit: Malcolm MacKenzie
Eva Olid will be hoping her team can continue their current form in 2023. Credit: Malcolm MacKenzie

Hearts had a fantastic start to the game as they took the lead after 10 minutes from a beautifully-worked set piece. Around 25-yards out, Ciara Grant rolled the ball to Timms, who delicately slid it into the net. Timms almost extended the lead 10 minutes later when her shot was cleared off the line from a corner. A quick break allowed Timms to get in behind the opposition backline and put the ball on a plate for Rood to get Hearts’ second 34 minutes in. Momentum was with the Jam Tarts, with a good save from Megan Cunningham the only thing preventing a third goal being added before half time, with Timms bearing down on goal.

The second half started in similar fashion with Calin Michie’s long-range effort hitting the top of the bar in the opening exchanges. Partick pulled a goal back in the 63rd minute, Cheryl McCulloch heading home from a free-kick. The hosts continued to push for an equaliser, but the Hearts defence remained solid, preventing the opposition a chance to score. Rood almost finished the game off in added time, but Cunningham was once again there for the Jags to prevent the New Zealander from getting her brace.

“We could be more clever [in the second half] as we were giving away free kicks when they are strong from set plays” Olid added. “Sometimes we just need to be more clever and avoid giving them what they want.

“We have multiple options [from set plays] and then the player will decide what option to go with at that moment. We work so hard in training on set plays as it is an important moment in football.”

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