Sunday 11 September 2016, 14.00, Kings Park
Hearts Ladies against Inverness City Ladies in the Scottish Women’s Premier League 2.
After Hearts Ladies loss at Hutchison Vale we attended, they then went to Buchan Ladies and could only manage a 1-1 draw. They found themselves in third place behind Hamilton Accies Ladies and Glasgow Girls.
Inverness City Ladies were formed in 1994 and were another team who came down a league at the end of last season. Theirs wasn’t as a result of league reconstruction though as they finished bottom, although a horrendous injury list played a part in that. They’ve found it tough going in the SWPL2 this season as well and are in danger of another relegation, going into this game 5 points from safety.
Hearts have already beaten Inverness 7-0 at home and 10-1 away, so a challenging afternoon for the Highlanders ahead.
Hearts Ladies are without first team regular Michaela McAlonie who is on International duty with the Scottish Under 17 team.
Not even the middle of September and the first goal of the afternoon would be the 100th goal of the season that we’d seen.
As the Inverness team came out, one of them shouted to her team mates “C’mon bitches!”
There was around 40 in the ground as the game kicked off, including regular attender Alan McLaren, the former Hearts and Rangers defender.
In the opening minute, Stewart came down the left for Hearts and played the ball wide to Anderson. Her cross to the back post came to Carse. Her attempted ball across goal was blocked and came back to her. She then stepped away from the defender and curled the ball into the net at the far post to give the home side an early lead. It didn’t take long to get that 100th goal.
With 4 minutes gone, Mason played the ball through to Carse and she got there before City keeper Jappy, but could only poke the ball wide.
Carse popped up on the right in 9 minutes and cut the ball back to Mason. As she was challenged it came to Stewart, but her effort was too high.
Good control a minute later by Hutchison saw her strike for goal from 25 yards, but Jappy saved well again for Inverness.
In 13 minutes Walkingshaw played a pass behind the defence for Anderson and she ran on and tried to place it past Jappy, but the keeper saved Inverness again with a fine one handed stop, before she smothered the ball.
Walkingshaw played another pass through the defence in 14 minutes and this time it was Stewart who was through on goal. She managed to get her shot away under pressure from the defender, but Jappy made another good save.
The three pronged Hearts strikeforce had all been one-on-one with Jappy now and none of them had scored to add to the first minute strike.
Hearts attacked again in 16 minutes and Stewart found Mason on the right. She shot for goal but Jappy once again was there to turn the ball round the post.
The players took the opportunity for a water break as City’s Andrews was down with an injury in 25 minutes.
A great ball by Walkingshaw into Carse deep inside the City box in 29 minutes saw Hearts have another chance, but Jappy was there as the Hearts forward tried to bring the ball down.
Carse laid the ball off to Walkingshaw in 34 minutes and she hammered the ball goalwards from 20 yards. This time, Jappy couldn’t get there, but the ball came off the inside of the post and flew across the face of goal.
A rare City attack in 38 minutes saw Andrews chase a ball on the right and she beat Watson to the ball as the Hearts keeper came out of her box. Her attempted ball into the middle hit Watson though, who was able to gather.
The traffic headed back towards the City goal in 40 minutes and a great through ball by Carse found Stewart, but her shot came back off the crossbar.
A minute later Carse played the ball to Anderson on the right. Her cross-shot went just wide of the far post.
Walkingshaw played another good through ball in 42 minutes for Anderson, but her touch was heavy and Jappy was there to collect.
Hearts were really putting on the pressure and Walkingshaw hit a great strike goalwards from 22 yards in 43 minutes which Jappy somehow managed to get a hand to, to send it over the bar.
In injury time, Anderson was through on goal again, but her shot was just wide of the post.
Incredibly, it was still just 1-0 as the half time whistle blew.
The second half began with Hearts heading towards the City goal again and the ball fell to Stewart in the box in 50 minutes, but Jappy was out quickly to block.
In 52 minutes, Anderson played a pass through to Stewart on the right. She was well offside, but the linesman said she was on, but her shot was saved by Jappy. (This was the same linesman who had been at the Hibs Ladies v Celtic Ladies game the week before you can read about elsewhere on this site.)
Mason passed to Walkingshaw in 53 minutes and she tried another effort from distance. It was close, but just too high.
Hearts continued to set the pace and Carse found Mason who hammered the ball at goal in 57 minutes, but it was narrowly wide.
Hearts finally got their second in 63 minutes when Stewart on the left played the ball to Carse in the box, and she despatched the ball into the corner on the half volley.
Substitute Lynsay Anderson passed to Brogan Anderson on the right hand side of the area in 65 minutes and she turned and smashed the ball in the top corner to make it 3-0.
Another fine through ball by Walkingshaw in 68 minutes released Carse, but the flag went up. She really didn’t think she was offside.
Walkingshaw chipped the ball forward for Stewart a minute later and she smashed it in the corner on the half volley for Hearts’ fourth.
The Inverness manager showed her multi-tasking skills in 70 minutes, coming on to treat the injured Andrews, who may have come off had there been another sub available. While the game was paused for the injury and Hearts made a substitution, the City players had an impromptu huddle in their own half.
Brogan Anderson found herself with space in the box in 74 minutes, but Jappy blocked her shot. The rebound came to Stewart who very cleverly lobbed the ball over the keeper’s head, but it hit the base of the post and went wide.
In 75 minutes, Carse received the ball on the left hand side of the box and lashed it home to give Hearts their fifth and Carse’s hat-trick.
Brogan Anderson played a lovely ball over the top in 78 minutes for Carse, but Jappy saved yet again from her shot.
Lynsay Anderson’s cross came to Stewart in the City box in 81 minutes, but her shot went wide of the post.
In 84 minutes, Carse fed Becca Smith in the box and she drilled the ball into the far corner of the net. 6-0.
Hearts were still hungry for more and Carse was through again in 87 minutes but shot wide.
In the last minute, Carse found Stewart on the right hand side of the box and she squared it for Becca Smith to tap in to complete the scoring.
Inverness never gave up, but it was one way traffic for almost the entire 90 minutes. How Hearts were only one goal in front at half time was beyond belief, but some inspired goalkeeping by Jappy and some poor finishing kept the score down. Hearts never stopped trying to score although frustration was setting in before the second goal was scored.
Calder held up the ball well up front for Inverness, but lacked support. Baker was the pick of the City defenders and Jappy was magnificent in goals.
Jamie-Lee Smith had a good game at left back for Hearts and Walkingshaw was outstanding in midfield, creating so many chances for her team mates and was unlucky not to score herself. A well taken hat-trick from Carse, although she could easily have had six or seven on her own. Becca Smith scored two in the 12 minutes she was on the pitch.
A bad day for City was made worse with Buchan winning against Hutchison Vale, and the two teams in front of Hearts both won convincingly.
Full Time: Hearts Ladies 7 Inverness City Ladies 0
Hearts Ladies: 1 Ashley Watson, 12 Sharon Hughes (Anderson 64), 4 Louise Moultray, 6 Megan Patterson, 3 Jamie-Lee Smith (Kidd 71), 17 Stacey Hutchison, 7 Rachel Walkingshaw, 15 Gemma Mason (Summers 76), 10 Ashley Carse, 11 Brogan Anderson (B Smith 78), 8 Michelle Stewart. Subs: 9 Kara Kidd, 14 Lynsay Anderson, 16 Demi Summers,18 Becca Smith.
Inverness City Ladies: 1 Kim Jappy, 2 Nicola Louise Wilson, 3 Becky Dingwall, 4 Rachel Gillies, 5 Nicola Ross, 6 Aimee McCormick, 12 Hannah Gordon (Adam 61), 8 Emma Baker, 9 Leanne Calder, 10 Alex Andrews, 11 Natalie Bodium. Subs: 14 Suzie Adam.
Referee: Vikki Allan