Written by Tim Oliver. Photo by Lorraine Hill.
The SWPL Cup First Round saw seven exciting games with the holders Hibernian being frustrated by a brilliant defensive display from Hearts and Central Girls coming close to an upset against Stirling University.
The game between Glasgow Girls and Hamilton Academical fell foul of the weather.
Stirling University 3-2 Central Girls
In possibly the game of the round, Stirling University beat Central Girls 3-2 in a thrilling game, with the SBS SWPL 1 side needing keeper Chloe Logan to make a series of important saves.
It was Central who took the lead in the 14th minute through Naomi Welch but soon after Stirling were in the lead thanks to a quick double from Rebecca Galbraith.
11 minutes into the second half, it was 3-1 to Stirling as Galbraith completed her hat-trick after heading in Beth McKay’s cross. Almost immediately after, Central pulled a goal back through Chelsea McEachran.
Although Stirling had chances to extend their lead, Central were posing a real threat, and the home side needed Chloe Logan to make three stunning saves from one-on-one situations to see them through to the next round.
— Stirling Uni WFC (@StirUniWFC) February 25, 2018
Hearts 0-4 Hibernian
The SWPL Cup holders, Hibernian, reached the Quarter-Finals after overcoming a superb defensive performance by Hearts.
Hibs, who have been suffering from an injury crisis, had the majority of the possession and chances but for the large part of the game failed to unlock Hearts’ defence. When they looked like they would score, there was often a Hearts defender there to make a block or goalline clearance.
Hearts showed a threat on the counter and could have gone into half-time in front, but eventually, the tiredness felt and Hibs found a way through. Sharon McGregor scored her first goal for the club in the 75th minute. Then, two minutes later, they doubled their advantage through Lia Tweedie.
Hearts could have pulled a goal back but Laura Gavin’s shot was tipped around the post by Hannah Reid and in the last minutes of the game, Hibs scored twice. Katey Turner with their third and then Kirsty Smith scored a wonder goal.
— Hibernian Ladies FC (@HibsLadies) February 25, 2018
EUHV 1-3 Spartans
Spartans came from behind to beat Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale (EUHV) and needed a late goal to make the scoreline comfortable.
Krissy Williams converted a cut-back from Macleod to open the scoring but Spartans scored the equaliser in the 19th minute after Alana Marshall’s corner was headed in by Bobbie Beveridge.
Simone McMahon then came close to putting Spartans in front, but her free-kick hit the crossbar. Five minutes before the break, Rachel Walkingshaw did put Spartans in front with a wonder strike from 25 yards.
Spartans’ third goal came in the final minute of normal time through Elena Santoyo-Brown.
— Spartans FC Women (@spartansfcwomen) February 25, 2018
Rangers 1-0 Motherwell
Rangers progressed to the Quarter-Finals after a late goal saw them beat Motherwell.
‘Well’s keeper Claire Johnstone had to be alert to keep out a cross that was on target and then the defence had to clear the ball off the line from the resulting corner.
The only goal of the game came in the 82nd minute when a short corner was played to second-half substitute, Chantelle Brown, whose powerful effort went in off the far post.
Suzanne Mulvey, who had a few decent chances during the game, saw her half-volley was well saved by Rangers’ keeper Khym Ramsay soon after.
Rangers played the final minutes with ten players after Chelsie Watson was sent off for a last-ditch tackle on the edge of the box.
— Rangers Women (@RangersWFC) February 26, 2018
Glasgow City 7-0 Kilmarnock
Four goals from Kirsty Howat helped the most successful club in SWPL Cup history, Glasgow City, beat the inaugural winners of the competition, Kilmarnock.
Howat scored her first ever City goal in the 12th minute when she headed in Abbi Grant’s flick-on from Nicola Docherty’s cross. Grant made it 2-0 just before half-time, beating the Kilmarnock keeper from the edge of the box.
Four minutes into the second half, Howat scored her second goal from the penalty spot and soon after completed her hat-trick after a converting a lovely passing move. Then in the 66th minute, she scored her fourth as she intercepted a pass-back to beat the keeper.
Lauren McMurchie came on in the 70th minute for her final appearance for the club before she moves to Dubai for work opportunities.
Soon after, Joanne Paton made it 6-0 to City before Megan Foley pounced on a loose ball in the box to score City’s seventh.
Celtic 4-0 St Johnstone
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) February 26, 2018
The 2017 SWPL Cup Runners-up progressed after beating St Johnstone 4-0, despite missing two penalties.
Celtic gave a debut to new signing Josephine Giard and she had a half-chance to score her debut goal in the opening minutes but couldn’t quite get on the end of Nicole Pullar’s through-ball.
Celtic thought they had taken the lead in the 26th minute, only for Heather Richards’ effort to be ruled out for offside. Richards though would be the provider for the opener nine minutes later as her cross was headed in off the post by Ruesha Littlejohn.
Two minutes into the second half, Celtic won a penalty but Giard saw her effort rebound off the post. The next minute, Celtic did extend their lead as Pullar headed in Colette Cavanagh’s cross.
Once again, Celtic won a penalty, but this time it was Pullar who took it. Her effort was saved the keeper who made a follow-up save to deny Littlejohn.
In the 71st minute, they scored their third goal after good play between their front two saw Pullar find the bottom corner. In the final stages, Richards found the back of the net after being set up by Pullar.
Forfar Farmington 3-0 Aberdeen
Forfar Farmington progressed to the Quarter-Finals after beating Aberdeen 3-0.
Cheryl Kilcoyne put the home side in front in the 36th minute after converting Danni McGinley’s cross.
It took until the 70th minute for Farmington to double their lead as Robyn Smith’s corner went straight in. Then, in second half stoppage-time, McGinley took advantage of poor defending from Aberdeen to make it 3-0.
— Forfar Farmington FC (@Farmington_FC) February 26, 2018