The start of the SWFL Division One South season threw up an Edinburgh Derby as Hibernian Development took on Hearts Development at the Hibernian Training Centre, and in extremely blustery conditions, it was the Hibees who triumphed 2-0.
The wind made things incredibly difficult for both sets of teams to even pass the ball, let alone cross, and at one point the Hearts’ keeper required a team-mate to place her finger on the ball to take a goal kick. On the two sides, Hibernian managed to keep hold of the ball the better, keeping the ball on the pitch – however, it was the wind that assisted their opener when the corner sailed past the Hearts’ keeper and allowed Katherine Campbell to score into an empty net.
Hearts improved in the second half and can feel unlucky not to have equalised, but it would be Hibs who would score next when Caitlin Russell finished calmly into the bottom corner, securing the three points.
With both sides struggling to gain control of the ball, it took until the sixth minute for either side to create a chance when Kirsten Laing ran down the right-wing and tried from distance, but her shot was well saved by Tegayn Hamilton. Soon after, Laing had another effort, with the keeper tipping the ball around the post.
Hibernian Development nearly had a glorious opportunity when from a corner fell to Kelsey Boyle, but before she could get her shot off, a Hearts Development defender made a crucial tackle.
With the wind being so strong, shots from distance were always going to threaten and the home side came close through Caitlin Russell’s 30-yard strike, but the Hearts’ keeper was equal to it.
Lauren Hall had Hearts’ first real chance of the game when she shot from distance, but the Hibs’ keeper saved it.
Laing then saw her shot from distance well saved before Nicole Rutherford’s shot from the edge of the box was tipped around the post.
Hibs’ Take The Lead
And it was from this corner that Hibernian took the lead. Hamilton came to claim Robyn Fleming’s delivery, but she could only get a weak hand to it, and this left Katherine Campbell with a tap-in.
Late in the first half, Hearts had a half-chance when a quick free-kick allowed Kazya Stevens to be played down the right-wing, and her cross picked out Hall at the far post, but she failed to get a clean contact on her header.
Half-Time: Hibernian Development 1-0 Hearts Development
Hearts had a great chance early in the second half when the Hibs’ keeper Charlotte Parker-Smith passed straight to Georgia Hunter, but she failed to hit the target with her shot.
But it was still Hibernian who were on top and they really should have doubled their lead in the 69th minute when their captain was picked out in the box, but Rutherford shinned the ball wide.
Hibs’ Double Their Advantage
However, two minutes later, the home side did double their lead. Caitlin Lynch sent Russell through on goal with a delightful through-ball and 10 beat the keeper with a lovely finish.
Hearts had a chance to pull a goal back in the 75th minute, but Jennifer Dodds could only shoot over from 25 yards. Louise Pearce then had a shot from a similar distance and she hit the target, but Parker-Smith made a good save.
With full-time approaching, Hearts had their best chance of the game. Pearce turned her marker but could only shoot wide.
Hibernian Development: Charlotte Parker-Smith; Kirsten Laing (Lucia Antonachi 77), Katherine Campbell, Kelsey Boyle, Robyn Fleming; Danielle Forsyth (Caitlin Lynch 62), Lucy Smith (Morgan Turner 57), Lauren Kogelmann, Beth Preston (Hannah Preston 71); Nicole Rutherford, Caitlin Russell.
Sub not Used: Carly Noble
Goals: Campbell 33, Russell 71
Hearts Development: Tegayn Hamilton, Samantha Cunningham (Jenny More 86), Laura Hunter, Jennifer Dodds, Kazya Stevens (Ellie Meechan 86), Angyl Learmonth (Jayden Simmons 82), Chloe Shankie, Holly Flett, Lauren Hall, Claire Delworth (Zoe Carmichael 62), Georgia Hunter (Louise Pearce 77).
Referee: Gary Aitchison.