A last-gasp goal from Abi Harrison in a controversial extra-time saw the SWPL Cup holders Hibernian beat Glasgow City 1-0. The game was a tense encounter, and it looked like it was heading to a penalty shootout as had happened in the 2016 SSE Scottish Cup Final. Harrison thought she had won a penalty after seeming to have been taken out by City’s keeper Lee Alexander, but the referee Vikki Robertson immediately booked her for diving. But the next minute, Harrison was in the right place to divert Siobhan Hunter’s mishit shot into the back of the net.
With the two best sides in the country for a place in the final, it is perhaps no surprise that the opening stages of the game were cagey, but Glasgow City were starting to have a half-chances with Nicola Docherty and Jo Love having a speculative shots from distance and Sam Kerr having a shot charged down by Chelsea Cornet.
Just before the half-hour mark, Hibernian had their first chance when Rachel McLauchlan’s cross picked out Katey Turner, but she could only head wide.
And then just before half-time, Hibernian had the best chance of the first half. Emma Brownlie’s corner picked out Rachel Small at the far post but the Hibs’ stand-in captain headed wide.
The last action of the first half came from a Glasgow City free-kick, but Leanne Ross’ effort just went wide of the near post.
In the opening five minutes of the second half, Glasgow City had more chances than they did in the whole of the first half. Leanne Crichton, making her debut in her third City spell, had her shot from the edge of the box saved by Jenna Fife. And then Noelle Murray had a lobbed shot which landed on the roof of the net.
Hibernian came close when Harrison’s cut-back picked out McLauchlan, but her shot was bravely blocked by City’s defender Savannah McCarthy.
Towards the end of the second half, Glasgow City was starting to have more chances. A free-kick fell to Crichton whose shot was blocked before Lauren McMurchie blasted the ball over from close range.
And with full-time approaching, City had a glorious chance as Brogan Hay’s cross picked out Megan Foley, but her header was blocked by Cailin Michie.
As the game entered extra-time, the first half saw very few chances, however, Alexander had to be brave to punch McLauchlan’s cross ahead of Harrison.
The second-half of extra-time had more chances, and City could have taken the lead when Foley headed over Brogan Hay’s cross. And then from a City corner, Jenna Fife spilt the ball but recovered the ball before Keeva Keenan could get an effort off.
As the game approached the end of extra-time, Hibernian looked the likelier side to scored. Harrison’s shot from the edge of the box just went wide, before Michie shot over.
And then in the 119th minute, it came a moment of real controversy. McLauchlan played Harrison into the penalty area, she knocked the ball past the diving Alexander before going over, appealing for a penalty. However, the referee Vikki Robertson immediately blew up and booked Harrison for diving.
But, a minute later, Hibernian took the lead. Emma Brownlie’s corner found Siobhan Hunter at the far post, her mishit shot turned into a perfect pass for Harrison who fired the ball into the corner to send Hibernian into their fourth consecutive SWPL Cup Final.