Hearts Ladies took a massive step towards Scottish Women’s Premier League safety when they defeated Hutchison Vale 1-0 at Meggatland on Sunday.
Brogan Anderson scored the only goal after 28 minutes with a header from close range despite the efforts of Laura Connolly in the Hutchie goal.
Victory for the newly-promoted Jambos, coupled with Spartans’ surprise defeat by Stirling University, means the Gorgie girls can claim the final top-six slot, and with it SWPL security, if results go their way in the final round of fixtures before the mid-season split.
Hearts manager Grant Scott said: “The result was the most important thing, more so than the performance, however I thought we were fantastic and worthy winners.
“The longer it remained 1-0, the more dangerous the scoreline became, but if we had scored a few more it certainly wouldn’t have flattered us.
“If someone had offered us the chance to go into the final game before the split with a chance of making the top six we would’ve certainly taken, however we have to give this weekend’s cup clash with Forfar our full focus before we can begin to think about Spartans.”
It was Spartans’ third consecutive defeat, losing 1-0 at home to Stirling University, despite dominating for long spells.
Nicole Pullar scored the only goal of the game as the students shocked their hosts just before half-time; Spartans threw everything at their opponents to get back into the game, including missing a late Kirsty McLaughlin penalty kick, but were unable to restore parity.
Spartans boss Debbie McCulloch said: “I cannot believe we never won because Stirling had just two chances and scored from one of them.
“We must’ve had 95 per cent possession, 25 shots on goal, hit the crossbar, missed a penalty and had a goal chalked off – it was one of those days.”
Hibs Ladies came from behind to defeat Aberdeen 3-1 at Heathryfold Park thanks to goals from Lia Tweedie, Siobhan Hunter and Abigail Harrison.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game but it was the outcome we wanted and it’s another step towards where we want to be,” said Hibs boss, Chris Roberts.