Com­fort­able wins place four teams in cup semis

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FOOTBALL - ALAN CAMP­BELL

HOLD­ERS Hibernian will be joined by Glas­gow City, Celtic and Spar­tans in the SWPL Cup semi-fi­nals af­ter all four won their last-eight ties com­fort­ably yes­ter­day. They also oc­cupy the top four places in the league.

Celtic failed to re­pro­duce the level of per­for­mance which earned them a draw against City in their pre­vi­ous game but still beat Hearts 4-1.

Winger Kirsty Howat, who started in­stead of the in­jured Sarah Crilly, made a point by pro­vid­ing three as­sists and scor­ing the fourth goal in the win over the only SWPL2 side re­main­ing in the com­pe­ti­tion.

The two first-half goals both came from Howat cor­ners. Hearts cap­tain Louise Moul­tray was un­lucky to turn the first into her own net and Kerry Mont­gomery scored from the sec­ond.

Sarah Ewens then made her mark for Celtic when she headed home Howat’s cross. Then the lat­ter rounded off her player-of-the-match per­for­mance by scor­ing with a shot from 20 yards.

Hearts got a late con­so­la­tion through 17-year-old sub­sti­tute Lau­ren Hill.

“It has been a long time com­ing, so I was pleased to get off the mark,” striker Ewens pointed out. “We knew it was go­ing to be tough be­cause Hearts sat back a lot and were hard to break down. It took us a while to fi­nally get through them and we had to work for it. It’s a shame we didn’t keep a clean sheet, but we played well and are through to the semis.”

Hearts head coach Andy En­wood said: “It would have been easy to crum­ble when the third goal went in but we didn’t. If the play­ers put in the same workrate, de­sire and to­geth­er­ness we’re go­ing to give our­selves a good chance in SWPL2.

Glas­gow City beat Stir­ling Uni­ver­sity 7-0 in a re­cent league game, but it took them 44 min­utes to take the lead against the same op­po­si­tion at the Ex­cel­sior. Ir­ish No.10 Noelle Mur­ray was the scorer with Jo Love adding a sec­ond af­ter the in­ter­val for a 2-0 win.

There was an ex­cel­lent re­sult for Spar­tans in the first game of a dou­ble­header at Ainslie Park. They beat Aberdeen 4-1 with Si­mone McMa­hon, Alana Mar­shall (2) and Zoe John­stone get­ting the goals.

Hibs had the big­gest win of the day with Amy Gal­lacher, Abi Har­ri­son (2), Lucy Gra­ham and Katey Turner all find­ing the net in a 5-0 vic­tory.

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