Match report by Chris Marshall and photo courtesy of Craig Doyle.
A hat-trick from Siobhan Higgins helped Hearts pick up their first victory of the season with a comfortable 5-1 win over city rivals Boroughmuir Thistle in front of a healthy crowd at Oriam.
Both sides had opened their respective league campaigns with defeats and there were few chances in the opening exchanges. In fact, it was the first shot on target of the game that would open the scoring as last season’s SWPL 2 joint top goalscorer, Lisa Swanson, lobbed Katie Moodie in the Thistle goal on the 17th minute.
The Jambos continued to dominate possession and doubled their lead on the 25th minute when Higgins would be the one to finally drive the ball home after a Swanson flick had split the visitors defence.
Boroughmuir, with former Hearts striker Ashley Carse leading the line, were struggling to keep the play away from their own area and Kevin Murphy’s side would make it 3-0 just before the break. Neat set up play on the Hearts right hand side saw a cross ball reach Taylor Hamill with the diminutive winger nodding down for an on-rushing Jenny Smith to blast home from the edge of the area.
Hearts dominance continued after the break and Higgins would get her second and Hearts fourth on the 49th minute when she would get on the end of a beautifully judged Louise McDaniel cross-field ball before cutting in and slotting past Moodie. She would complete her hat trick not long after the hour mark when she was quickest to react after Moodie had parried Hamill’s initial effort back into the danger area.
Thistle did grab a consolation in the 85th minute when Beth McLeod nipped in ahead of Charlotte Parker-Smith to poke home from close range, a reward for an evenings endeavour.
On Sunday Hearts host Stirling University at Oriam and Thistle welcome Aberdeen to Meggatland as qualification from SWPL Cup group C looks set to go to the wire.
Hearts:Parker-Smith, Delworth, Cunningham, Hunter, Smith, Hamill, Mason, McDaniel, Swanson, Williamson, Higgins. Subs: Mutch, Whyte, Kaney, Maughan.
Boroughmuir Thistle: Moodie, Gibson, Clark, Goodchild, Lynch, Handley, Anderson, Macleod, Wilkinson, Guthrie, Carse. Subs: Paton, Markley, Templeton, Novou Torrente, Durand Wilson, Brown, Coppel.
Post-match interviews with Heart of Midlothian Manager, Kevin Murphy, and Heart of Midlothian Forward, Siobhan Higgins