Hearts resisted a late fight-back from Jeanfield Swifts to win 2-1 and keep up the pressure on the top two sides in the title race. It was a game where the Jeanfield goal lived a charm existence, with Hearts hitting the woodwork on numerous occasions.
Hearts took the lead in the 34th minute when Ashley Carse, from the edge of the box, superbly curled the ball into the top-left corner.
Early in the second half, Hearts had a goal disallowed for a foul on the keeper, but in the 70th minute, Brogan Anderson did double their lead.
But six minutes later, Jeanfield pulled a goal back through Jade McDonald, but try as they might, they couldn’t find a second goal.
Hearts started brightly and came close to a chance in the opening minutes when Rachel Walkingshaw drilled the ball across the six-yard box, but no Hearts player could get their foot on the ball.
And it would be Jeanfield who would have the game’s first chance when Eilidh McIntyre was given room in the box, but could only curl her shot straight at the Hearts’ keeper Ashley Watson.
Hearts were still threatening with Michelle Stewart seeing her shot from 20 yards saved by Swifts’ keeper Bobby Cochran.
But then the visitors started to produce a dangerous spell. Danni McGinley’s corner had to be parried away by Watson, and Stacey Hutchison had to clear behind. And then, from a later corner, Nicola Martin saw her shot at the near post tipped wide by the keeper.
However, Hearts were still looking dangerous on the counter and nearly took the lead when Ashley Carse played Stewart into the box, but her shot was saved by Cochran’s legs.
And then, Hearts did take the lead. Great play from Brogan Anderson produced space for Carse outside the box, and she took a touch before brilliantly curling the ball into the top-left corner.
Minutes later, it should have been 2-0 when Walkingshaw’s cross picked out Anderson, six-yards from goal, but under strong defensive pressure, she shot over. She came close again, minutes later, as she weaved in and out of the Swifts’ defence before shooting just over from 25-yards.
And then, just before half-time, the post came to Jeanfield’s rescue. Walkinghsaw’s shot hit the inside of the left post, and then deflected off Cochran but safely hitting the right post, and then the grateful keeper claimed the ball.
Six minutes into the second half, Hearts had a goal disallowed. Ashley Carse’s wonderful cross-field ball picked out Michelle Stewart in the box, who took a touch past Cochran before scoring – but the assistant had flagged for a foul on the keeper.
Hearts then had a series of chances with Stewart having a header deflected wide before she headed over from 10 yards. Minutes later, it was Anderson’s turn to have a header miss the target.
Stewart nearly scored as Hearts launched a counter-attack from a Jeanfield free-kick, but Cochran was quick off her line to make the crucial tackle.
And then, the woodwork came to the rescue of the visitors again, this time, it was Carse who saw her shot stopped by the post.
But, then, Hearts double their lead when Anderson’s cross from the right picked out Anderson at the near post, and she made no mistake from close range.
Six minutes later, though, Jeanfield pulled a goal back. Ellie Cowie beat her marker and cut the ball back across the six-yard box where Jade McDonald scored with a calm finish.
Minutes after pulling a goal back, Jeanfield came close to an equaliser but Danni McGinley shot just wide from outside the box.
Despite Jeanfield having a lot of possession in good positions, they never really threatened the Hearts’ keeper.
Player of the Match
Lyndsey Anderson – Hearts.
She was brilliant defensively, as well being a constant threat to the Jeanfield defence.