Hibs 1-1 Hearts debrief: Player of the match, hint of offside, roaring atmosphere, tactical tweaks

A look back at the inaugural Capital Cup match as Hibs lift trophy following penalty win.

Player of the match

Full-back Lucy Parry was given the award in the stadium for a strong showing defensively and getting forward to support the attack. There weren’t too many stand-outs in green and white with a performance that was more about the collective. Krystyna Freda was a constant threat in attack but did miss a number of opportunities to score for her side.

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For Hearts, Ciara Grant was a clear stand-out in the middle of the park. Every time the visitors threatened she was involved, whether it be winning back possession or spraying passes around. She also crossed for Emma Brownlie (who also impressed) to open the scoring.

Hibs' Eilidh Adams battles for possession with Hearts' Vyan Sampson during the SWPL 1 match at Easter Road. Picture: Malcolm Mackenzie

Defining moment

Hearts certainly didn’t have much luck in the penalty shoot-out as Hibs were able to convert all five of their penalties to lift the inaugural Capital Cup after Georgia Timms missed for the away side. It did, however, appear that Charlotte Parker-Smith in the Hearts goal had denied Rosie Livingstone with Hibs’ third attempt. The keeper got a strong hand to it, pushed it on to the post, but could only watch on agonisingly as the ball spun across the goal-line, hit the opposite post and crept over.

You could even say both goals scored were defining moments in the history of this fixture and the women’s game in Scotland as a whole. With a record-setting 8,000 in attendance there was a strong atmosphere inside Easter Road with both sets of supporters singing regularly to back their players. There was jubilation in the away end when Hearts opened the scoring and an almighty roar when greeted Crystal Thomas’ equaliser. Interest in the game is growing.

Ref watch

Hearts can feel aggrieved as it looks like Hibs’ late equaliser should have been called as offside against Thomas after Freda’s initial shot was blocked by Georgia Hunter. The away side also weren’t impressed with a couple of meaty challenges on the forward players by Hibs centre-backs which were allowed to occur by the referee.

Benefit of hindsight

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Eva Olid started with Jenny Smith partnering top goalscorer Georgia Timms in attack with New Zealand striker Katie Rood on the bench. Smith struggled to make much of an impact in an advanced role as the Gorgie Girls were definitely improved in the second period when Rood was introduced and Smith moved to wing-back. The absence of club captain Mariel Kaney from the matchday squad was also a bit surprising.

Similarly for Hibs you could wonder if they’d have won the game outright if the changes they made had started with Thomas, in particular, a real bright spark off the bench.

Moment you may have missed

When Hibs netted their late equaliser the joy of the players was there for all to see. While some ran to Thomas, others – including Hibs-daft defender Siobhan Hunter – sprinted in the direction of the West Stand to join the crowd in the celebrations of such an important strike.

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At the conclusion of the penalty kicks, defender Vyan Sampson made a point of going to comfort goalkeeper Charlotte Parker-Smith, who looked dejected in the goalmouth having got her hand to a couple of attempts but failed to keep them out.

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