Hibs and City to contest Scottish Cup final
Tuesday, 08 October 2013
Hibernian and Glasgow City will contest next month’s SWF Scottish Cup final after they overcame Old Firm rivals Rangers and Celtic respectively at the weekend.
Both ties produced an enthralling spectacle for a packed Ravenscraig Regional Centre in Motherwell and served as tremendous advertisements for Women's football in Scotland.
Rangers and Hibernian got the afternoon underway by taking to the field first and they produced a breathless 120 minutes of action.
Rachel Walkingshaw gave the Hibees the lead on the hour however they were quickly pegged back as Amy Harrison struck for Rangers with a well placed header.
Hibs had the best chances to win it in normal time with Joelle Murray free kick resulting in the girls in green hitting both the crossbar and the post in the dying moments.
With nothing to separate the teams after 90 minutes and then a further 30 of extra-time; the match was settled by penalty kicks and Hibs clinical efficiency came out on top with the girls in green edging it 5-4 thanks to Shannon Lynn's goalkeeping heroics.
Hibs boss Willie Kirk believes their Scottish Cup final appearance is just reward for a remarkable campaign, saying: "I am absolutely delighted for the girls because they deserved their victory after working their backsides off.
"We didn't start quickly enough and it took us a while to get going, but Rangers didn't pose us a huge threat.
"Sammy's injury forced us to change things tactically and we moved wee Lizzie into midfielder where she changed the game.
"Our fitness levels were terrific and I thought the longer the game went the stronger we looked.
"We should've won the game in normal time as we have the chances to do so, but the younger players will take a lot more from the game going all the way than they would have had we won within regulation time.
"They will be a lot more confident next time they face the same pressure and longer-term it will aid the squad’s development as it will be beneficial for their self-belief.
"It's been a long season and now the girls have a reward for their incredible efforts."
Rangers Manager Angie Hind couldn't hide her disappointment after watching her side lose out in the cruellest of fashions.
She said: "I am really disappointed that we didn't go through as I genuinely felt our performance merited a place in the final.
"As a team we were excellent both sides of the ball. In the first half we created good chances and could have been up by a few goals however I think Hibs came more into it in the second half and it was a much more equal game.
"They went ahead but the goal we scored to level things was just fantastic.
"Credit to both teams as it was a very good match and we were both trying to win the game in open play however neither team could find the winner.
"Of course, to lose 5-4 in penalties is difficult to accept but I don't think I could have asked anymore of our players, sometimes luck has a role to play and it didn't roll for us in the end."
In the other tie holder Glasgow City had little trouble overcoming Celtic, eventually running out 3-0 winners.
They took the lead on 22 minutes with a wonderful strike from midfielder Jo Love who fired into the top corner from 25 yards out.
It was a strike of real quality from the City and Scotland star and gave City the lead their early pressure deserved.
City had to wait until late on before extending their lead when a great ball from Suzanne Lappin sent Suzanne Mulvey through on goal and the City striker shot expertly past the outrushing Gemma Fay into the bottom corner of the net.
The holders finished off a fine performance when Lappin netted with moments to go after being set up by Ruesha Littlejohn.
City's Assistant First Team Coach, Donald Jennow, commented afterwards: “This result means we have guaranteed we will play in every possible domestic fixture for the second season in-a-row.
"The consistency the team have shown is testament to the efforts of every player in the squad.
"I thought we dominated the game although maybe didn't create quite as many clear cut chances as we are used to.
"That small detail aside, it was a good performance, played at a good tempo that has put us into the final and set us up well for midweek.
"When we moved the ball quickly and utilised our midfield we were difficult to live with.
"In the second half I think our fitness levels proved crucial in seeing out the game and ultimately we have another fantastic day to look forward to as a club.”
Despite the defeat Celtic Manager David Haley was proud of his players telling www.celticfc.net: “Firstly, I am extremely proud of the performance the girls put in.
“They worked and fought right to the end of the game. I can’t fault anyone in the team for effort or work rate.
“In previous games against Glasgow City we have struggled to create opportunities but, we created a number of chances and maybe with better decision making we could be looking at a different scoreline.
“We knew Glasgow City were going to have more possession than us and we accepted that, but I always felt we would create something and that can’t always have been said in the past.“
The SWF Scottish Cup final will take place at Broadwood Stadium on November 17th.
Match highlights from Rangers v Hibernian can be found on SWFTV by clicking here and for Glasgow City v Celtic