Comfortable wins place four teams in cup semis
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.