Hibernian claimed another 3 points in their SWPL match against Spartans on Sunday, winning 7-1 at Ainslie Park.
Report & Image: Hibernian FC
Hat-tricks from Abi Harrison and Lizzie Arnot as well as another goal from Kirsten Reilly ensured another victory to continue Hibernian’s pursuit of the league title.
The scoring was opened through Harrison after a long ball over the top from Siobhan Hunter placed her one-on-one with the keeper, and the ball was calmly placed in the corner.
Hibernian’s lead was immediately cancelled out though after Spartans scored straight from kick off after nice passing saw Ronaigh Douglas skip round Kirsten Reilly and fire past Jenna Fife.
Ten minutes later Lizzie Arnot scored straight from a corner which saw the ball go flying over the head of the Spartans goalkeeper.
The score at the half-time break was 2-1 to Hibernian and the second half brought no shortage of goals.
Less than five minutes into the second half, Harrison met McLauchlan’s ball with her head which soared past the ‘keeper and into the bottom corner.
Reilly then made it four for the Hibees after the Spartans defence struggled to get the ball away from danger. The ball fell to her 10 yards out and she continued her consecutive goal streak which began four games ago.
Just after the hour mark, Arnot secured a brace when McLauchlan did well to nudge the ball along to her from 12 yards out.
Six minutes later Harrison sealed her hat-trick after meeting Emma Brownlie’s corner by getting down low to reach it with her right foot. This is Harrison’s second hat-trick in less five weeks, her first being against Glasgow City in their 3-1 win in the semi final of the SWPL Cup.
Twenty minutes later Arnot joined Harrison in scoring a treble with McLauchlan’s low cross finding her feet. Arnot then calmly controlled and fired into the bottom right.
Hibernian’s 7-1 win placed them ahead of Glasgow City on goal difference, but since then City have re-claimed top place with a win over Stirling Uni. Hibernian have one game in hand.
Clare Williamson came on as a substitute which marks her first game back after being out for over a year with a knee injury.
After the game, she said: “Personally it was amazing to get back on. It’s been a really long time and it’s always been something that I’ve wanted to get back to and to finally get back on the pitch and play alongside the girls feels amazing.
“Right now, I want to keep improving, get more game time and get back into it. I’d like to play more like I haven’t been able to for so long, and to me 10 minutes is amazing right now.”
Head Coach Grant Scott said: “Obviously pleased with the win, it’s the least the girls deserved for their second half performance.
“I didn’t feel we were quite good enough in the first half, but the players knew that. It doesn’t take a lot of words from me sometimes.
“The squad is constantly evolving, we’ve had a lot of injuries this year, but it’s given other players a chance. It is important mentally for a player who’s been out so long to get some minutes on the pitch, and it’s up to Clare now to force her way back in.
“We have our ambition to win games. It’s another one ticked off, another three points, and we keep going.”
Hibernian: Fife, Hunter, Robertson, Arnot, Michie (Williamson, 80), Smith, McLauchlan, Gallacher (Napier ’62), Harrison, Brownlie (Notley, 80), Reilly (McGregor, 74). Unused substitutes: Reid, Tweedie.