Sunday 14 May 2017, 13.15, Peffermill 3G
Action from the Scottish Women’s Premier League 2 between Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale and Hearts Ladies.
Vale finished last season in fourth place in the SWPL2 last year after being relegated from the top flight the season before.
It’s all change this season, with January seeing them announce a new partnership with the University of Edinburgh. The SWPL2 side has been renamed as Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale Women’s Football Club and they have moved from their home at Saughton Enclosure to the University’s Peffermill Playing Fields, where they have access to better facilities.
They managed to keep a hold of their better players from the previous season and have high hopes for the team to push on this year.
In their six league games before this one, they had won two and lost four. They had lost two in a row, but one of them was away to runaway leaders Forfar Farmington.
Hearts had four wins, one loss and one draw before this match up. Their solitary loss was followed up by the draw, against Forfar Farmington, and they bounced back in style with a thumping win at Glasgow Girls in the game before this one. Hearts were without captain Megan Patterson and the injured Sharon Hughes.
There were around 80 in attendance.
With 5 minutes gone, Hearts’ Hutchison required treatment and limped back on a couple of minutes later.
Anderson played a great ball down the right for Miller in 11 minutes, but she overran the ball and it went out for a Vale free kick.
A minute later, Miller burst past MacLeod and put a great ball into the Vale box. The ball came all the way to Carse at the back post, but she was unable to direct her effort on target.
In 13 minutes, a Reilly through ball sent Walkingshaw running towards the Vale goal. She attempted to lift the ball over Lessells, but the keeper was able to block.
Vale had their first opportunity after 15 minutes when Forker played Fish in on goal, but it was slightly overhit and the chance was gone.
Walkingshaw played a pass in behind the Vale defence in 19 minutes looking for Carse, but Lessells was out quickly to save at her feet.
A mistake by the Vale defence in 22 minutes gave the ball to Carse on the right hand side of the box. With Lessells out of position, she tried to curl the ball into the net, but it went narrowly wide of the far post.
Although the home side were having their fair share of possession, they were struggling to create any chances.
Hutchison got another knock in 25 minutes when she was blocked by Macleod. It looked like she had been winded. She continued after treatment.
A Hearts free kick on the touchline was taken by Walkingshaw in 30 minutes. Her ball into the box was punched clear by Lessells, who was back up to save well when the ball was volleyed at goal.
In 37 minutes, Walkingshaw tried a shot at the Vale goal from at least 30 yards. It had Lessells backpeddling, but it went over her bar.
A long range effort by Vale’s Clark in 39 minutes was blocked by Moultray as Vale still struggled to create.
A minute later and Carse had a chance for Hearts. Lessells got the ball half clear, but Carse chased after it and tried a shot which was blocked, when a pass to Anderson, who was in a better position, may have been a better move.
Just before half time a poor headed clearance came to Walkingshaw and she saw her shot deflected wide. She took the corner herself and her deep cross found Pagliarulo at the back post, but she volleyed wide.
In first half injury time Murray played the ball to Fish on the left. She cut the ball back to Macleod, but her cross into the Hearts box was too deep.
It was still goalless at the break in a keenly contested encounter. While Hearts had the only chances in the first half, it had been a pretty even game in terms of possession.
The opening minute of the second half saw Vale come forward and Forker found Boslem who shot at goal, but it was well off target.
Vale’s Shepherd took a knock and needed treatment before limping back on. She was replaced a couple of minutes later.
Macleod put a good ball into the Hearts box from the left in 6 minutes, but Hunter cleared the danger.
Hutchison was next to be replaced. Another who had taken knocks during the game.
‘The Flying Scotsman’, the famous train that began its service between Edinburgh and London in 1862, and the first train in the UK to reach 100mph sped past at this point, but the players were very much focused on the game.
Kidd burst down the right for Hearts in 56 minutes, but strong play by Clark won the ball back for Vale.
A Hearts corner in 61 minutes was cleared from the box but went to Anderson. She played the ball back in for Kidd on the left of the box, but the flag was up for offside.
As the game progressed, it seemed to be getting a bit tetchy between the sides and both teams were showing quite a bit of dissent. The referee must have been in a lenient mood. There always seemed to be a bit of an edge in games between Hutchison Vale and Hearts Ladies and the name change for the home side didn’t seem to have changed that.
Kerr won the ball for Vale in 67 minutes and played it into the Hearts area for Fish. She brought the ball down well but saw her well struck shot saved by Watson, before Hunter thumped the ball clear.
Walkingshaw’s corner in 72 minutes saw Reilly head for the Vale goal, but Clark was on the line to turn it wide.
There was a pitch invasion in 73 minutes as a woman ran on the pitch to chase after a toddler who was making her way across it.
Another Walkingshaw corner in 75 minutes eluded the gloves of Lessells, and there was a brief scramble in the Vale box before the defence got it clear.
Vale’s Boslem was down injured in 76 minutes and as she got treatment, players from both sides took the opportunity to get some fluids on board. Boslem had to be helped off and was replaced.
Things threatened to boil over in 81 minutes when Walkingshaw appeared to push Vale’s Briggs off the ball. Someone on the Vale bench shouted to his players that “you know what to do now then”. Sounded sinister!
Vale won a corner in 84 minutes and the ball fell to Mcleod inside the box who fired a low shot through a ruck of players and into the net to give the home side the lead.
Hearts looked to respond right away and Anderson found herself through on the Vale goal a minute after the goal. Lessells managed to get something on her shot to send it past the post. She retreated to her line then went down needing treatment.
Although Hearts tried to put pressure on in the remaining minutes, they couldn’t create another chance. As the final whistle blew, Lessells in the Vale goal shouted “Fucking take that!” With no sign of Gary Barlow and co, I assume she was happy with the result.
As always with games between the sides, it was closely fought. Although Hearts had the better clear-cut chances, Vale were always in the game and were delighted with their win.
Macleod, Clark and Forker starred for Vale with Pagliarulo, Moultray and Hunter impressive in the Hearts defence. Anderson looked the most likely up front for Hearts.
Full Time: Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale 1 Hearts Ladies 0
Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale: 1 Charlene Lessells, 2 Nicole Clark, 3 Laila Juul-Dam, 4 Jude Shepherd (Sturrock 48), 18 Louise Kerr, 7 Steph Briggs, 6 Beth Macleod, 8 Anna Murray, 12 Leanne Forker, 5 Fiona Boslem (Durand-Waston 77), 9 Ashley Fish. Subs: 11 Hannah Craig, 15 Florence Haines, 16 Lauren Watters, 10 Nichola Sturrock, Lisa Macfarlane, 14 Margaux Durand-Watson, 17 Zuzana Psenakova.
Hearts Ladies: 1 Ashley Watson, 14 Lynsay Miller, 16 Dani Pagliarulo, 4 Louise Moultray, 5 Georgia Hunter, 17 Stacey Hutchison (Summers 53), 9 Kara Kidd (Shankie 73), 18 Katie Reilly, 11 Brogan Anderson (Aitchison 86), 7 Rachel Walkingshaw, 10 Ashley Carse. Subs: 19 Demi Summers, 12 Jennifer Dodds, 9 Holly Aitchison, 6 Chloe Shankie.
Referee: Liza MacKenzie
Programme: Free with admission.