Hibs Ladies shorn of key players for crunch title clash

Joelle Murray was dismissed for Hibs Ladies at the weekend - but nobody knows why. Pic: TSPL
Joelle Murray was dismissed for Hibs Ladies at the weekend - but nobody knows why. Pic: TSPL
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Hibs Ladies will go into this weekend’s SWPL 1 title decider against Glasgow City without captain Joelle Murray and midfielder Lisa Robertson

The duo were sent off during the second half of Sunday’s 4-1 win over Rangers for two bookable offences and will now sit out Sunday’s crucial encounter at Ainslie Park.

Goals from Kirsty Smith, Rachael Small, Siobhan Hunter and Abi Harrison gave Kevin Milne’s side a precious three points, Glasgow City’s 3-0 win over Stirling University maintaining a two-point lead over their rivals at the top of the table.

However, Milne says he has been left scratching his head over the dismissal of Murray and admits the loss of both players couldn’t have come at a worse time.

With just two fixtures left to play, a City victory on Sunday would see Scott Booth’s side crowned league champions.

“The sending offs took a little bit of shine off the result and the performance,” Milne said. “We haven’t had any confirmation from the league yet, but I can’t see them being available.

“I asked the referee afterwards what Joelle had done and he wouldn’t tell me. Joelle was gutted in the changing room afterwards, but she said she couldn’t apologise to me or the rest of the team because she hadn’t said anything. She merely shook her head at the decision of awarding a free-kick [to Rangers] and walked off.

“We are just going to have to go with what we’ve got, but that’s why we’ve got such strength in depth. I still believe we can get a result on Sunday so that’s what we’ll be striving for.”

Meanwhile, Spartans Women, who last week saw manager Suzy Shepherd leave the club to take up the position of assistant coach with Scotland Under-19s, were 3-2 winners over Celtic at Ainslie Park.

And in SWPL 2, Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale came away with a 2-1 win at East Fife while Hearts drew 2-2 with league champions Forfar.