Written by Tim Oliver
The Scottish Building Society SWPL takes a break for the Quarter Finals of the SWPL Cup. All eight of the SBS SWPL 1 sides made it to this round with four previous winners of the cup looking to add to their trophy collection. Holders, Hibernian, are looking to win their third SWPL Cup in a row, which if they do, would bring them level with Glasgow City’s record haul of six cups.
Forfar Farmington v Stirling University
Station Park, Kick-off: 1pm
This is the only quarter-final tie not to have a previous champion or a side that has reached the final in the competition. The nearest either has gotten in the competition is Forfar Farmington, who last reached the Semi Finals back in 2013 when they lost to the eventual winners, Glasgow City. Stirling University have reached the Quarter Finals for the second time over the past three seasons, however, they have yet to progress past this point.
In the early stages of the Scottish Building Society SWPL 1 season, Forfar Farmington have started better, picking up one victory to date (Stirling have played one less match). Last Sunday, these two sides were meant to meet, only for the weather to get the better.
In the First Round, Forfar Farmington picked up a 3-0 win over Aberdeen. Stirling University had a far harder tie, needing keeper Chloe Logan to make a series of superb saves as they beat Central Girls, 3-2.
Spartans v Glasgow City
Ainslie Park, Kick-off: 1pm
The 2006-07 winners take on the six-time champions as Spartans host Glasgow City.
These two sides have 16 final appearances between them, with Spartans having the unfortunate record of losing five of their six finals. Glasgow City have lost in the final four times, as well as their six victories.
Spartans have had a tricky start to the season, but last Sunday, they picked up their first point of the season with an impressive draw against Celtic. Glasgow City have had a 100% start to the season, conceding just one goal, and have looked massively impressive despite the high number of new players. They’ve added to their numbers with Scotland international attacker, Christie Murray returning to the club.
In the First Round, Spartans came from behind to beat Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale 3-1 whilst Glasgow City defeated the first ever SWPL Cup winners, Kilmarnock.
Hamilton Academical v Celtic
Superseal Stadium, Kick-off: 2:30pm
Hamilton Academical host the 2017 SWPL Cup runners-up, Celtic.
Hamilton have had their past two matches postponed and find themselves bottom of the league table (they have played one game less than the teams around them). On the 15th March, Hamilton picked up their first win of the season, beating Glasgow Girls in the SWPL Cup First Round.
Celtic will be slightly disappointed with their start. Whilst they are sitting in third place, they have now dropped points with two draws already this season, something they would have wanted to avoid before playing either Glasgow City or Hibernian in the league.
Celtic beat St Johnstone 4-0 in the First Round and will be hoping to reach the final for the second season in a row.
Hibernian v Rangers
Ainslie Park, Kick-off: 4pm
The SWPL Cup holders, Hibernian, take on Rangers in the final match of the day.
Hibernian have dominated this competition in recent seasons with their last defeat coming in the 2015 SWPL Cup Final. Last season they defeated Celtic 4-1 in the final whilst the season before, they beat Glasgow City.
Hibs have had a 100% start to the season although they have had to fight for all of their points. However, they have been cheered by the return of captain Joelle Murray to training after injury.
Rangers have impressed with how they have performed since their opening-day defeat to Celtic. They beat Spartans 2-1 and then played Hibernian in the league. It was the Edinburgh side who won the game 2-1, however, Rangers pushed them all the way and had opportunities to take the lead and had a goal ruled out late on.
Hibernian overcame Hearts in the First Round to win 4-0 whilst Rangers defeated Motherwell 1-0.