Sunday 21 August 2016, 14.00, Saughton Enclosure
Another visit to see a Scottish Women’s Premier League 2 clash, this time between Hutchison Vale Ladies and Hearts Ladies.
Hutchison Vale Ladies ended a five year stay in the top league with relegation last year. They currently sit in fourth place. They had a chance to go third in their last game but lost to the current incumbents, Hamilton. This followed three wins in a row.
After seeing Hearts Ladies win against third place Hamilton at the end of July, they have since knocked the same team out of the cup and also won at top of the league Glasgow Girls. Hearts therefore go into this game sitting in first place.
Hutchison Vale Ladies play their home games at the same ground as East of Scotland league side Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale.
Hearts have usual starter Anderson on the bench as she has not trained much in the lead up to the game due to starting a new job.
There’s around 90 in attendance.
Mason came forward for Hearts in 4 minutes but she was blocked and the ball fell to Smith who blasted over the bar.
There was a scramble in the Hearts box following a Vale corner in 7 minutes with Ross hammering a shot towards goal which was blocked. The rebound was thumped off the underside of the bar before Hearts eventually cleared.
A minute later, a slack pass just inside their own half by Hearts gave the ball to Fish who charged towards the goal and from the edge of the box, lashed the ball into the net past a helpless Watson, giving Hutchie the lead.
Walkingshaw crossed into the box from a Hearts free kick in 14 minutes and the ball was missed by Fish as she attempted to clear. The ball came to Smith at the back post, but the flag went up for offside as she hit her shot over the bar.
Some lovely play by McAlonie for Hearts in 20 minutes ended with her playing a through ball for Carse, but Smith in goals won the race. Her attempted clearance came off the Hearts striker, but it bounced wide.
In 22 minutes, Walkingshaw’s cross into the Vale box came off the top of the head of Fish and came to Smith. Her effort was blocked and came to Carse, but her shot was too high.
Hearts struggled to clear a Sturrock corner in 24 minutes, but Walkingshaw eventually manged to get the ball away.
McAlonie found Anderson on the right in 30 minutes as Hearts attacked and her cross almost found Carse in the middle, but Smith was out quickly to gather at her feet.
Hearts came forward again a minute later with a great run from McAlonie, who played the ball to Carse, who stepped away from a defender and curled a shot at goal that Smith did well to turn around the post.
Rogers came off worst after a tackle with McAlonie and had to be replaced for Vale in 37 minutes.
The home side managed to keep their narrow lead until the break.
Hearts keeper Watson picked up the first booking of the afternoon in 51 minutes, which must have been for something she said.
Patterson was forced to limp off for Hearts in 54 minutes.
Sturrock put a free kick into the Hearts box in 57 minutes and Fish headed goalwards, but it was too high.
Anderson was the next Hearts player to go into the book for backchat to the referee in 59 minutes and she was followed by Pagliarulo in 65 minutes for the same offence.
Hutchie forced a succession of corners around the 66 minute mark, but they came to nothing.
In 68 minutes, Jamie-Lee Smith managed to beat Vale’s number 23 to a through ball to fire a shot at goal, but Smith in goal managed to push the ball behind.
A minute later, McAlonie’s run beat two players and her shot was goal bound, but the Hutchie keeper just managed to reach it.
A Hearts free kick in 77 minutes was crossed in by Smith to the back post, but Carse could only head into the side netting.
Hearts were putting the pressure on the home defence in search of an equaliser, but they were struggling to create chances against a well drilled defence.
More good play by McAlonie in 80 minutes saw her tee up Walkingshaw for a shot, but it was a comfortable save for Smith.
Carse became the next Hearts player to go into the book for dissent in 85 minutes. I’d seen this referee a number of times before and been impressed, and haven’t seen her so card happy, although the players were aware that she wasn’t tolerating backchat and continued to do it.
Smith ran down the left for Hearts in 86 minutes and her ball into the middle almost went straight in, but was just wide of the far post.
More bad news for Hearts in the last minute with Walkingshaw having to be helped from the field of play.
Hutchie managed to hang on for the win with a resolute display, with Hearts bossing possession and territory, but not really creating much in the way of clear goalscoring opportunities. Fish and McLeod impressed for the home side and Smith in goals looked a very good keeper. McAlonie was best for Hearts with Hutchison good when she came on.
Hutchison Vale close the gap on the leaders and Hearts drop from top spot.
The teams will play each other in the quarter final of the Cup in a couple of weeks time, when Hearts will have the home advantage.
Full Time: Hutchison Vale Ladies 1 Hearts Ladies 0.
Hutchison Vale Ladies: 1 Charlotte Parker Smith, 77 Bryony Ross, 16 Lisa McFarlane, 15 Jen Rogers (23 37), 17 Jude Shepherd, 18 Anna Murray, 11 Leanne Forker, 10 Nichola Sturrock (6 86), 9 Beth McLeod, 8 Ashley Fish, 21 Yasemin Emek. Subs: 6, 23.
Hearts Ladies: 1 Ashley Watson, 14 Lynsay Anderson, 4 Louise Moultray, 6 Megan Patterson (Hutchinson 54), 9 Kara Kidd (Smith 66), 2 Danni Pagliarulo, 15 Gemma Mason, 12 Michaela McAlonie, 7 Rachel Walkingshaw, 10 Ashley Carse, 18 Becca Smith (Anderson 45). Subs: 11 Brogan Anderson, 3 Jamie-Lee Smith, 17 Stacey Hutchison, 16 Sharon Hughes.
Referee: Vikki Allan