Sunday 2 October 2016, 14.00, Kings Park

Scottish Women’s Premier League 2 action between Hearts Ladies and Queens Park Ladies.

A big game for both sides for completely different reasons.  Hearts sit in third place going into the game with the top two, Glasgow Girls and Hamilton Ladies playing each other.  It’s very tight at the top with Glasgow sitting three points ahead of the two chasing.  Anything but a win would have been a disaster for Hearts.  With games to come against both the leaders in the last three games, and a far from foregone conclusion in the final game against Hutchison Vale Ladies, three points were a must.

It’s been a tough season for Queens Park Ladies.  Coming into the game nine points from safety and with a considerably worse goal difference, they look all but doomed.  Anything but a win and they would be down.  Sadly, even a win would just surely be delaying the inevitable.

The first effort at goal came in 5 minutes, when Hearts’ Walkingshaw had an effort from distance which was well struck, but straight at the keeper.

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Walkingshaw was to the fore again in 7 minutes, exchanging passes with Mason before curling just over from the corner of the box.

A minute later, Kidd’s cross into the Queens box was met by a defender’s head and the keeper did well to claim the ball.

A great cross by Kidd from the left in 10 minutes went over the head of the keeper and found Carse at the back post who stretched to make contact and the ball somehow managed to hit the post and bar and not go in.  Quite an escape for Queens Park.

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Hughes showed great running and skill in 18 minutes down the right to get all the way to the by-line and her cross into the box found the head of Summers who rose well and saw her header come back off the bar.

In 19 minutes, Walkingshaw lifted a ball over the defence and Mason ran onto it, but could only shoot wide.

The Queens defence cleared a Hearts free kick in 25 minutes to the edge of the box where Anderson struck for goal, but her effort was too high.

Another strike from distance by Walkingshaw in 29 minutes was parried by the keeper before she collected the ball.

Carse showed great persistence in the box in 30 minutes to re-win the ball twice before laying it back to Walkingshaw who hammered the ball into the net to give Hearts the lead.

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More good running down the right by Hearts’ Hughes in 32 minutes when she played a one-two with Mason before getting to the by-line, but her cross was just behind Anderson in the middle.

Carse found herself through on goal in 34 minutes but the keeper made a good block.  The Hearts striker played the ball across to Mason, but she hammered her shot over the bar.

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Hearts put together a good move in 38 minutes, with Mason finding Kidd on the left.  She passed inside to Anderson who turned well and struck for goal, but there wasn’t enough power to trouble the keeper.

In 40 minutes, Hughes’ cross from the right was just too high for Summers to get a header on target, but she managed to head back across goal where Anderson reacted first to nod the ball into the net for Hearts’ second goal.

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Walkingshaw hit a powerful free kick goalwards from 25 yards just before half time that was just too high before in injury time, Anderson showed great feet in the box to set up Carse, but she poked just wide.

A dominant first half display by Hearts, but some resolute defending by Queens Park means there is only a two goal lead at the break.

Hearts began the second half as they finished the first, looking for goals and Kidd played a one-two with Carse in 47 minutes before seeing her shot turned round the post by the keeper.

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With 50 minutes gone, Walkingshaw went down the right and when the ball came over, it fell to Anderson on the edge of the box and she hit the ball high into the net to make it three for the home side.

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Patterson made a mistake in 53 minutes, giving Queens’ number 10 a half chance, but she shot wide from well out.

Kidd burst down the left for Hearts in 59 minutes after being played in by Mason and squared the ball to Carse, who laid the ball off to Anderson, but she shot wide.

On the hour mark, Walkingshaw’s cross was headed to the edge of the box by a defender and Mason met the ball on the volley and it flew into the top corner to give Hearts their fourth.  A fabulous strike.

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In 62 minutes, Carse latched onto a through ball and showed great awareness as she lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper, but it was inches too high, hitting the top of the net.

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Queens Park’s number 3 needed treatment in 66 minutes after taking a knock, but she was ok to continue.

The linesman, noticing I was taking notes asked if I would mention his two offside decisions in the first half.  I advised him that I’d mention it if he got one right.

Lynsay Anderson crossed into the Queens box in 75 minutes and Smith headed goalwards, but the keeper did well to get a hand to it.

In 80 minutes, Brogan Anderson was through on goal and was brought down by the keeper.  Penalty.  Anderson took it herself and put the ball in the middle of the goals for her hat-trick and Hearts’ fifth.

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Queens’ number 7 had a chance in 83 minutes when the ball dropped to her in the box, but her shot hit her team mate, number 10 in the head.  It was that kind of day for her team.

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Smith played a through ball to Brogan Anderson in 84 minutes and the Hearts striker ran on and blasted high into the net for her fourth goal of the afternoon.

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A good victory and performance from Hearts to keep them firmly in the title race.  Walkingshaw continued to impress with another inspiring performance in midfield and Hughes and Kidd were both every effective in their wing back roles.  Hutchison was tireless with her running and does a lot of the dirty work which is often unnoticed in the ball winning role.  Credit too to Brogan Anderson with her four goals.

Sad to see relegation confirmed for Queens whose effort can’t be faulted.  The keeper and central defender number 4 were both good at the back for their side.  They didn’t appear to have any substitutes with them for the game and some fresh legs would certainly have helped them in the closing stages.

I’ve been unable to obtain the Queens Park team but will update if I manage to get it.

Full Time: Hearts Ladies 6 Queens Park Ladies 0

Admission: £3

Hearts Ladies: 1 Ashley Watson, 12 Sharon Hughes (Anderson 61), 4 Louise Moultray, 6 Megan Patterson, 9 Kara Kidd (Robertson 72), 15 Gemma Mason, 17 Stacey Hutchison (Pagliarulo), 7 Rachel Walkingshaw, 10 Ashley Carse (Smith 72), 8 Demi Summers, 11 Brogan Anderson. Subs: 2 Danni Pagliarulo, 14 Lynsay Anderson, 16 Amber Robertson, 18 Becca Smith.

Queens Park Ladies: 1, 2, 3 Lindsay , 4 Jen, 5 , 6 Gemma , 7 Jess , 8 , 9 Neave , 10 Ash, 11 .

Referee: Steven Wilson

Programme: None.

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