Hibees denied historic cup win by Glasgow

Hibs Ladies were unable to hold on to the lead in the League Cup Final. Picture: Neil Hanna
Hibs Ladies were unable to hold on to the lead in the League Cup Final. Picture: Neil Hanna
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Susan Fairlie came back to haunt former club Hibs Ladies last night as Glasgow City claimed the Scottish Women’s Premier League Cup with a 2-1 victory after extra-time at Ainslie Park.

City, winners of the last 12 domestic trophies, had to come from behind to claim their latest piece of silverware after Heather Richards had given Hibs a first-half lead.

Former Spartans midfielder Kerry Montgomery levelled with 13 minutes remaining of normal time before Fairlie grabbed the winner in extra-time as City retained the trophy.

Hibs went into the match with a starting XI that had an average age of just 19 and they made a bright start, taking the match to their more experience opponents.

The Hibees pace and movement was already causing problems when Lisa Robertson played a delightful ball in behind the City defence leaving Lucy Graham with only Lee Alexander to beat, and although the Hibs midfielder lifted the ball over the advancing goalkeeper, it dropped just wide of goal.

Moments later and Chris Roberts’ side had a strong claim for a penalty kick when Richards appeared to be bundled over by Emma Black only for referee Nicolle Andrews to wave play on.

Hibs kept the pressure on City, penning them back in defence, and went agonisingly close to finding the breakthrough when Abbi Harrison’s header from Joelle Murray’s corner kick crashed back into play off the underside of the crossbar.

City were toiling to contain the Easter Road girls and it was no surprise when Hibs moved in front on 27 minutes. There appeared little danger to City when Richards won possession just inside her own half, however the Scotland youth internationalist was quick to spot Alexander off her line and unleashed an audacious 50 yard effort high over the head of the goalkeeper and into the back of the net. City appeared shell-shocked and could have fallen further behind when Chloe Arthur slipped in Lizzie Arnot, the Scotland internationalist angled a drive across goal only to be denied by a terrific save from Alexander.

Eventually City began to recover and gain a foothold in the match with Fairlie and Abbi Grant having half chances.

Hibs would take a narrow lead into the interval although they had to survive a scare when goalkeeper Jenna Fife failed to take Hayley Lauder’s corner kick cleanly and Nicola Docherty stabbed the ball toward goal before Arnot headed off the line.

After the break City stepped up the pressure on the Edinburgh side and were unlucky not to draw level when Jo Love’s free kick from distance smashed off the crossbar with Fife beaten.

The Scottish champions were more like their normal selves and it took desperate late blocks from Graham and Siobhan Hunter to deny Lauder and Love.

City introduced Leanne Ross and she wasted little time in making her presence felt, delivering a pin-point cross for Montgomery to head in from close range to level.

At the other end it took a fine save from Alexander at full-stretch to keep out a Graham volley and with no winner to be found in 90 minutes the match went to extra-time.

Three minutes after the restart Fairlie turned away from Hunter and fired a left foot strike on the angle beyond Fife as City completed their turnaround.

Hibs had a glorious opportunity to level when Smith was put through on goal with just five minutes of extra-time remaining, however the full-back dragged her shot wide of goal and with it went her side’s hopes.

Glasgow City: Alexander, Lauder (Ross 67’), Jones (Cuthbert 68’), Love, O’Sullivan, Montgomery, Docherty, McCulloch (McMurchie 116’), Black, Grant, Fairlie. Substitutes not used: Cunningham, Rafferty, Brown, Lappin.

Hibernian Ladies: Fife, Hunter, Robertson, Arnot, Graham, Smith, Murray, Harrison (Williamson 70’), Richards (Tweedie 122‘), Brownlie, Arthur. Substitutes not used: Reid, Johnstone, McMahon, Lynch, Cornet.

Referee: Nicolle Andrews. Attendance: 743.