Last-gasp Hibs Ladies secure Cup glory
Hibs Ladies captain Joelle Murray and her team-mates were jubilant today after clinching the Scottish Women's Premier League Cup with a 2-1 win over Glasgow City at Ainslie Park.
In scenes reminiscent of their male counterparts’ last-gasp Scottish Cup win over Rangers at Hampden last month, Lizzie Arnot struck in injury time to secure the silverware and end City’s recent domination of Scottish women’s football.
One of only two survivors of Hibs’ last trophy win – in this tournament in 2011 – Murray said: “It’s absolutely amazing, We waited so long for this and we deserved it. We played so well. I’m just delighted for the other girls. It’s a first for a lot of them. Prior to that, it was the Kim Little era. Lizzie, as ever, chased after the ball and kept it in when it looked like going out.”
The goal which separated the sides came just as it looked as if extra time was inevitable, Arnot’s low cross in the 92nd minute looking to have been deflected into the net by City goalkeeper Gemma Fay.
The final was in many aspects similar to the one between the teams last season, with Hibs having the better of the first half and City, despite the crushing blow which was to await them, edging the second. Despite that, it was the holders who took the first-half lead on 30 minutes. Fay had earlier saved her side with a great save from a Lisa Robertson volley before Julie Fleeting scored the opener following a Leanne Ross corner.
Hibs needed a quick response and they got it five minutes later. Savannah McCarthy brought Kirsty Smith down in the box and referee Morag Pirie pointed to the spot. Arnot, who was later to be the heroine, had her penalty saved by Fay and then failed to connect properly with the rebound. Fortunately for Hibs, Lucy Graham was on hand to fire home the equaliser.
The second half saw both sides create several chances. An audacious Graham volley from just inside the City half nearly brought Hibs a goal, and then at the other end, Hayley Lauder hit a post and Murray headed the follow-up attempt off the line.
Extra time looked inevitable until Arnot struck, Pirie waving away City protests that there had been an infringement in the build-up.