Sunday 23 October 2016, 14.00, Kings Park
The Scottish Women’s Premier League 2 match between Hearts Ladies and Glasgow Girls.
After both sides lost to Hamilton Accies Ladies in the previous two weeks, it looked like Hearts and Glasgow were playing for second in the league. With only one team going up, they were both hoping for an Accies slip up in one of the two remaining games, but that would have been a big surprise. All three teams were level on points, but Accies had a superior goal difference.
Glasgow Girls had new signing Claire Johnstone in goals.
I must give apologies to Hearts’ Lynsay Miller, who I have been calling Lynsay Anderson in previous reports. She got married in the summer and I will be using that name from now on!
In the two previous meetings between the teams this season, they have both won 2-0 away from home.
Judging by the competitive nature of the opening minutes, neither team had given up hope of catching Hamilton and it looked like a midfield battle was on the cards.
McAlonie had the first effort at goal in 6 minutes, but the Hearts midfielder dragged her shot wide from outside the box.
A strong run by Glasgow’s Docherty in 8 minutes saw her go all the way into the Hearts box. Miller had shown some great tracking back to put a challenge in and seemed to get the ball with her tackle, but the referee gave a penalty. It was the first time Glasgow had been anywhere near the Hearts box.
Logan stepped up and sent Watson the wrong way to give Glasgow Girls the lead.
In 14 minutes, Carse created some space for herself after showing some good feet, but couldn’t get her shot on target from the corner of Glasgow’s box.
Glasgow had certainly come more into the match since the goal, and were starting to knock the ball about well, but the vast majority of the action was still taking place in the middle of the park.
A chip forward by Anderson in 25 minutes sent Stewart racing through on the Glasgow goal, but it was just too far in front of her.
There was a loose ball on the edge of the Hearts box in 28 minutes which was hit goalwards by Evans. Her shot was blocked but came back to McManus whose low shot was narrowly wide.
McAlonie hit a fine pass in 31 minutes to find Stewart on the right for Hearts. She cut the ball back into Anderson’s path, but her shot was blocked.
In 33 minutes, Kidd had a decent effort at goal from the left which went just wide, although Johnstone in the Glasgow goal looked to have it covered.
Glasgow’s Evans had a shot from distance in 38 minutes, but it was into the arms of Watson.
Logan caught Walkingshaw from behind in 41 minutes and the Hearts midfielder took the free kick from 25 yards herself but Johnstone saved well.
With two minutes to half time, Halliday played a pass across the edge of the Hearts box and it was hit at goal first time by Docherty, but flashed wide.
Glasgow still led at half time by their early goal in what had been a hard fought and even game.
Hearts started the second half well and in the opening minute, put together a fine move. Carse found Mason who played the ball to Walkingshaw. She put a good ball into the box, but it was turned behind for a corner which came to nothing.
The second half was going the same way as the first, with both sides giving their all, but very few chances of note happening.
On the hour, Glasgow won a free kick 25 yards from goal after a foul by Walkingshaw. Coleman stepped up and hit a great shot which Watson did well to push onto the post before the ball was cleared.
In 72 minutes, Walkingshaw played a great ball behind the Glasgow defence for Stewart. Her cross came to Carse at the back post who expertly sidestepped a defender before putting the ball in the corner of the net for the equaliser.
Two minutes later and Carse was in the box again. She went down under the challenge of Logan, but the referee signalled for a corner. That looked to be the right decision.
Halliday showed good technique when she struck at goal on the half-volley from the edge of the box in 76 minutes, but it went over the Hearts bar.
A good one-two between Hearts’ Stewart and Smith in 80 minutes saw the former break into the box, but Malovin managed to do enough to put her off and Johnstone saved her shot.
With three minutes left, a through ball by Hearts saw Smith running through on goal. Johnstone rushed from her goal and looked to just get there first as the players collided and the ball went to safety.
Neither side could grab a winner and the single point didn’t help either team. Particularly when Hamilton won 6-0 at Hutchison Vale Ladies.
It was clear why the teams had been challenging for the title and also why they were so close in the table.
Patterson had probably the best game I have seen her have at the back for Hearts and McAlonie back in midfield showed touches of class. Evans and Halliday both impressed in midfield for Glasgow and Johnstone looks a good signing in goal.
Full Time Hearts Ladies 1 Glasgow Girls 1
Hearts Ladies: 1 Ashley Watson, 14 Lynsay Miller, 4 Louise Moultray (Smith 68), 6 Megan Patterson, 9 Kara Kidd, 17 Stacey Hutchison, 12 Michaela McAlonie (, 7 Rachel Walkingshaw, 8 Michelle Stewart, 10 Ashley Carse, 11 Brogan Anderson (Mason 45). Subs: 15 Gemma Mason, 18 Becca Smith.
Glasgow Girls: 1 Claire Johnstone, 20 Emma Malavin (McDonald 88), 2 Georgie McTear (Curtis 65), 22 Jayne Cameron, 5 Lauren Coleman, 4 Megan Logan, 19 Charmaine Maguire, 7 Lauren Evans, 14 Sam McManus, 8 Rachel Halliday (Fury 77), 21 Chloe Docherty. Subs: 10 Sarah Curtis, 23 Maxine Fury, 17 Kirsty McDonald.
Referee: Nicky Marshall