Hibs unable to contain Glasgow City in first post-split game
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A goal in each half from Bea Prades and Lauren Davidson was enough to see off the Edinburgh side despite Benni Haaland’s brilliant penalty save in the first-half. The fixture was the first post-split game of the season as Hibs looked to climb up from fifth place. However, Glasgow City proved to be too strong for the hosts as they extended their lead to nine points at the top of the SWPL.
“It’s hard playing against the team top of the league, it was always going to be difficult”, Hibs manager Dean Gibson told the Edinburgh Evening News. “I was disappointed with the first half, it’s not often I have thought that the performance has been low par but the first 45 we were well below our standards. We defended alright, we huffed and puffed. We were aggressive defending our box which was nice compared to last week. We just have to do a little bit better with the ball.
“The thing we have done well this year is we have cut through teams, we may have let ourselves down in the final third but we’ve got to the final third pretty easily. I just felt we weren’t getting there tonight in the first half. In the second half we changed it a little, brought a striker on and went 4-4-2. We got a little more joy out of it, we didn’t create chances but we were getting into the final third more. The right team won the game and the scoreline was fair.”
Haaland did brilliantly in the opening exchanges to tip Emily Whelan’s shot over the bar. From the resulting corner, Paredes looked to open the scoring but her distanced effort flew over the bar. However, the Spaniard soon scored the opener for the visitors, as she slammed the ball into the net inside the box 24 minutes in. Glasgow City received a penalty with five minutes to go as Haaland brought down Priscila Chinchilla. The Norwegian soon made up for her mistake as she saved Davidson’s penalty to keep the score 1-0 at half-time.
Hibs saw more of the ball in the second half as they tried to get back on level terms. City however, were on the hunt for a second as Prades shot was saved five minutes in. Whelan was next to have a go with her shot, unable to go past Haaland. Another penalty was awarded to the visitors with 15 minutes to go as Liana Hinds brought down Chinchilla. Davidson stepped up once again and this time converted into the bottom right corner to give Glasgow City all three points.
Looking back onto the first penalty Gibson questioned if the officials made the right decision. “I’m not saying she dived, she might have tripped but she definitely went down early”, he added. “Was it a dive, I don’t know. I’m not saying she dived, she might have just tripped up or lost her feet underneath her but it 100 percent wasn't a penalty in my opinion. I need to see it back so I might need to apologise for that but in my eyes it wasn’t.”