Two quick goals saw Hibs slip to defeat as midfielder makes long-awaited return

Hibs were undone by two quick second half Newcastle goals as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at Meadowbank stadium.
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The hosts took the lead in the first half thanks to a Ellis Notley corner that flew straight into the net. However, two goals in three minutes from Olivia Watt and Bridget Galloway ultimately condemned the capital club to their first pre-season defeat. However, the highlight of the match came late on as Shannon McGregor made her long-awaited return to the field. The midfielder suffered a knee injury in a 2-1 defeat to Spartans back in January but will now be ready for the upcoming campaign to the delight of Grant Scott.

“It was brilliant,” Scott told the Edinburgh Evening News. “We had just managed her through a really difficult period with a longer term injury. As short as her time on the pitch was, you could hear the ovation she got from the supporters today. She is going to be hopefully fit, well and a strong player for us this season. It is good to see her back on the pitch.”

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In a highly entertaining first half, Hibs almost got in front immediately. A delicate chip from Brooke Nunn managed to split open the Geordie defence as Lia Tweedie ran onto the ball. Despite the close angle of the shot, the striker’s shot flew past the keeper, only to be stopped on the line. Newcastle soon ramped up the pressure with Katie Fraine being called upon with some impressive stops midway through the half. Tweedie soon found herself amongst the action again as she was in the right place at the right time to clear the ball off the line to keep the score level. Soon after, Tegan Bowie created a brilliant chance as she pounced on the Newcastle defence after a mistake with the opposition ‘keeper forced to push the ball out for a corner. The breakthrough soon came in unusual circumstances as Ellis Notley gave the hosts the lead as the ball flew into the net straight from the corner flag.

Shannon McGregor had been out with a knee injury for six months. Credit: Hibs WomenShannon McGregor had been out with a knee injury for six months. Credit: Hibs Women
Shannon McGregor had been out with a knee injury for six months. Credit: Hibs Women

Newcastle equalised 10 minutes into the second half thanks to a fantastic distanced goal from Watt, which gave Nina Wilson no chance. The goal gave the Georides confidence, with the visitors quickly netting another as Bridget Galloway tapped in from a corner. Wilson did well to parry away a powerful effort from a free-kick to keep the score 2-1 midway through the half. With just over 10 minutes to go, McGregor made her long awaited return to the pitch and almost immediately set-up a goal from a cross. However, Newcastle stayed firm and saw out the result.

“It was a good test for us against a strong opponent,” Grant added. “ I know a lot of the players from my time down south last year, I know their capabilities so I always knew it was going to be a tough test. At this point in our preparation, that’s what we needed. It let us get a measure of where we are compared to where we think we are. All positive.”