Hibernian Ladies won the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup Final on Sunday evening, defeating Glasgow City 6-5 on penalties after the game had finished 1-1 after extra time.
Lisa Robertson headed Chris Roberts’ side into the lead in the first half, before Hayley Lauder equalised for City in the second half, with the game remaining level until the end of 120 minutes of football.
The shoot-out went to sudden death and the match was all over when Sam Kerr blazed her penalty over the bar – sparking scenes of jubilation from the Hibernian supporters and players.
Hibernian Ladies took onto the field looking to secure the cup double in the women’s game in Scotland, having taken the SWPL Cup in June after defeating City 2-1 at Ainslie Park in Edinburgh.
They began playing in a manner which showcased their team spirit and skill as they worked openings against a strong Glasgow City side.
Good work from the likes of Rachel McLauchlan and Lizzie Arnot ensured that the experienced backline of Scott Booth’s side were worked hard in attempting to stop the crosses coming into the box.
Eventually the side’s endeavour was paid off. Williamson took a throw-in quickly, immediately receiving the ball back and picking out Robertson who looped her header over Scotland internationalist Gemma Fay,to give Hibernian Ladies the lead they deserved.
Whenever Glasgow City did pressurise the defence of Roberts’, they were unstuck by the hard work ethic present throughout the entirety of the squad. City were instead restricted to crosses into the box, which were all dealt with comfortably by the Ladies.
Lucy Graham and Abi Harrison both came close with efforts in the closing stages of the half, but the lead was unable to be added to.
In the second half, it was a much more even affair, with City beginning to make more in-roads into the match, however, the form of Fife and the defence in front of her, ensured that it was difficult for the SWPL Champions to find a direct route to goal.
Graham came desperately close on the hour mark with a header and eight minutes later, Lauder levelled for Glasgow City.
The forward received the ball in the right channel, shifted the ball onto her right foot and curled an effort into the net, with Fife unable to keep it out.
In the closing minutes of the 90, Hibernian Ladies were close to sneaking the win when Sarah Ewens saw her effort blocked on the way to goal and a goal-mouth scramble ensued in the fourth minute of injury time, with Savannah McCarthy clearing the ball off the line.
The Ladies did not seem fazed by the prospect of extra-time and Ewens, fresh on as a sub towards the end of regular time, helped to stretch the City defence and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. Graham also had a shot cleared off the line as the pressure continued to be piled on.
As good as it got for Booth’s side was Claire Shine skewing an effort wide of the target, but the hard work and sheer determination for the Hibernian Ladies saw them create more chances as the match wound to a close, but it went to penalties for the first time since 2003 in the Scottish Women’s Cup Final – when Hibernian defeated Kilmarnock on penalties.
That omen appeared to be false when Robertson, scorer of the Ladies goal, lofted her penalty over the bar, with Glasgow City successful with their first penalty.
The following five penalties were successful, before Fife dived to her left and saved Lauder’s penalty, meaning the scores were level at 3-3 in the shoot-out – and that both scorers did not score their penalties.
Graham, Ewens and Murray then scored for Hibernian Ladies, before Kerr blazed her effort over the bar, confirming Hibernian Ladies as the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup Winners for 2016.
Hibernian Ladies: Fife, Williamson (Small, 72), Hunter, Robertson, Arnot, Smith, McLauchlan (Michie, 120), Graham, Murray, Harrison (Ewens, 89), Brownlie. Unused substitutes: Jefferies, Russell, Notley, Leishman.
Glasgow City: Fay, McMurchie, McCarthy (McCulloch, 77), Lauder, Love, Rosen (Crilly, 45), Shine, Docherty, Ross (Kerr, 84), Brown, Cuthbert. Unused substitutes: Clachers, Hay, Keenan, Boyce.
Reported by Hibernian Media
Picture: Callum Landells