Hibs Ladies retain Scottish Cup to secure ‘double double’

The Hibs Ladies squad celebrate their win over Glasgow City. Pic: Ian Georgeson
The Hibs Ladies squad celebrate their win over Glasgow City. Pic: Ian Georgeson
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Hibs Ladies defeated Glasgow City 3-0 to retain the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup and complete a glorious ‘double double’

Abi Harrison’s scrambled effort on the stroke of half-time and further goals from Siobhan Hunter – a 30-yard thunderbolt – and a Rachael Small header after the break, ensured the Capital outfit repeated their cup-double winning heroics from last season.

Abi Harrison Scores gives Hibs the lead. Pic: Ian Georgeson

Abi Harrison Scores gives Hibs the lead. Pic: Ian Georgeson

Having already made a successful defence of the League Cup with victory over Celtic in May, Kevin Milne’s players were desperate to end the year with a second piece of silverware.

And boy did they do it in style.

Scott Booth’s side have been the club’s Achilles’ heel this season with the Glasgow outfit getting the better of the Hibees on all three occasions in the league this season, a 3-0 triumph a fortnight ago sealing an 11th consecutive league title for Scottish women’s football’s most decorated club.

However, it was the team in green and white’s moment to savour in West Lothian today.

“It’s a bit surreal at this moment in time,” said Milne, who was appointed head coach last month following Chris Roberts’ departure to Bristol City 
Women. “We had a game plan and it worked so the girls thoroughly deserved the win. I’m drained emotionally but we’re delighted to retain the cup. I can’t really remember them having a shot on target, so that’s credit to our defence.

“It’s a great way to win it in the 90 minutes. Last year we won it on penalties so to emphatically beat them this time is great. City also hadn’t conceded a goal since May so hopefully the girls can now take that confidence into next year.”

The first half was a fairly drab affair, neither goalkeeper being tested to any great extent.

Emma Brownlie’s in-swinging corner had to be palmed away by goalkeeper Lee Alexander as Hibs finally cranked up the pressure towards half-time.

The same player’s set-piece to the near post just moments later was flicked on by the lively Harrison, but the 20-year-old’s effort trickled just wide.

However, Hibs weren’t to be denied as full-back Brownlie’s corner was met by the towering Hunter, whose knock down was turned home by Harrison from just a couple of yards.

It was a narrow but deserved lead for the Edinburgh side at the interval.

In truth, City were a shadow of the team that had gone through their entire SWPL 1 campaign unbeaten and Hibs made them pay.

Katey Turner passed up a glorious chance on the angle before Rachel McLauchlan went agonisingly close to doubling her side’s lead as Alexander blocked the Scottish internationalist’s shot.

However, with just nine minutes remaining and after Small had won a free kick 30 yards from City’s goal, up stepped Hunter to smash a dipping effort into the top right corner that sparked wild celebrations amongst the Hibs bench.

And then Lisa Robertson’s cross to the back post in the final minute was steered in by the head of Small to cap off a fine afternoon.

“It was a good performance and we never doubt ourselves,” goalscorer Harrison said.

“We won our individual battles. If we win cups and the team’s successful then I don’t really care who is scoring the goals. We haven’t conceded at all in this season’s Scottish Cup so that makes it that bit sweeter.

“I’ve hit a few like that but they’ve never went in a cup final so it was just a massive relief,” centre-half Hunter said of her goal. “It doesn’t get much better than that.

“Their goalkeeper didn’t really set up a wall as I don’t think she really expected me to shoot so I just knew that if I could get it on target then there would be a chance of it going in.

“We were still upset from a couple of weeks ago but I think we went about it in the right way.”

Glasgow City: Alexander, McMurchie, McCarthy, Lauder (Boyce 77), Love, Grant, Murray, Docherty, Keenan (Paton 84), Ross, Foley. Subs: McSorley, Kerr, Clachers.

Hibs Ladies: Fife, Hunter, Robertson, Smith, McLauchlan, Murray, Turner (Tweedie 77), Cornet, Harrison, Small, Brownlie. Subs: Reid, Michie, Leishman, Gallacher, Notley, Russell.