A two-minute double from Ashley Carse saw SWPL 2 side Hearts knock-out SWPL 1 Hamilton Academical 3-0. After a goalless first half where neither side managed to test the opposition goalkeeper, the game changed in the 57th minute when a defensive mix-up presented Ashley Carse with an empty goal to score into. The next minute, Carse won a penalty which she converted to double Hearts’ lead.
Hamilton went for broke and created several chances but failed to test Hearts’ keeper Ashley Watson. Late on, Jennifer Dodds marked her debut with a smart finish – picking out the top corner.
Hamilton Create Chances
Last season, these two sides competed for the SWPL 2 title with Hamilton securing the league on the final day. And with both sides making few changes from last season, the two teams knew each other well.
Hamilton started the game by pressing high up the pitch and soon carved out the game’s first chance but Mhairi Lyle blasted over from a good position.
However, a clever counter attack from Hearts nearly saw the home side take the lead but Kara Kidd’s couldn’t head the ball on target from Ashley Carse’s cross.
But soon Hamilton started to gain a foothold in the game and a defensive error from Hearts from Louise Moultray present Emma Lyons with a great chance, but the ex-Stirling midfielder blasted wide. Lyons had another great chance soon after some delightful passing from Hamilton, but once again, she failed to find the target with her effort.
With half-time approaching, Hamilton had two more glorious opportunities. A mis-hit shot from Paton turned out to be a perfect cross for Lori Gardner at the far post, but she could only shoot into the side-netting. And then Paton stole the ball from Hearts’ full-back Lyndsey Anderson and played a delightful through-ball for MT McGuiness, but her left-footed shot went the wrong side of the far post.
Carse Puts Hearts In Control
The second half started a lot slower than the first, but alert keeping from Carys Hopkins stopped the home side from taking the lead. A long ball looked like it had picked out Stacey Hutchison but the Hamilton keeper was quick off her line to intercept.
But a mix-up at the back then gave Hearts the lead. Brogan Anderson’s through-ball sent Carse through on goal but Hamilton had the chance to clear – but Amy Allan’s clearance hit Hopkins, and provided Ashley Carse with an open goal to score into.
The next minute, it was 2-0. Carse was tripped by Accies’ captain Gillian Inglis and the Hearts’ forward placed the ball on the spot before picking out the bottom left corner.
Hamilton Look To Pull Goal Back
Hamilton came close to pulling a goal back through McGuiness’ cross which picked out Paton, but stretching, she could only shoot wide. Minutes later, Paton had a shot deflected wide and then from the corner, Amy Allen volleyed over.
Hamilton’s forwards had a mix-up in Hearts’ box with both McGuiness and Gardner unsure which one would shoot – eventually, Garnder took control of the situation, but her tame effort went wide.
Hearts Secure Win
Hearts started to regain some control over the game and Katie Reilly came close to marking her Hearts’ debut with a goal after cleverly using her body to shield the ball from a defender – but her effort crept wide of the top corner,
And then Hearts secured the win. Jade Lindsay failed to fully clear Lauren Hall’s through-ball, sending the ball straight to Jennifer Dodds who found the top-left corner with a clever finish.
Hearts progress to the SWPL Cup Quarter-Finals and are currently the only SWPL 2 side in the Quarter-Finals.