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Sublime Rangers stun luckless Hibs to lift Scottish Cup

Rangers FC Girls 6

Cuthbert, Howat (2), Traynor, Clelland, Robertson

Hibernian Girls 0

  • Saturday, 09 November 2013
  • Toryglen Regional Football Centre
  • 17's Girls
  • SWF Youth Scottish Cup Final

Kyle Brown | YFS South East Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

 
Having spectated Falkirk 13's and Hibernian 15's win their respective Scottish Cup Finals, it was now Rangers and Hibernian 17's shot at glory in their age group's final in Scotland's most prestigious trophy. The teams came out to a rapturous applause, but in the end, there could only be one team cheering at the end. It was an honour for the right to match report be bestowed upon me. There is no bigger game than this one, and sadly this could be some of the older players last chance to win the prestigious award. Everyone was anticipating a great game, and it did indeed turn out to be thrilling game.
 
The first opportunity came the way of the Hibees, Amber Robetson and Nicole Rutherford combined and won a corner. Erin Burns' corner almost deceived Rangers goalkeeper Murren Stevenston but she held the ball at the second attempt just as Jaimie-Lee Smith was ready to pounce.
 
Rangers swiftly countered though. Erin Cuthbert turned her marker superbly and sent a lovely through ball to the on rushing Sarah Robertson. Her lob had Lauren Stewart in the Hibs goal beaten, but also the bar and the ball just didn't come down enough.
 
It was then Hibs who then applied the counter, Burns driving forward and winning  the ball high - her pass across goal almost found Rutherford in a great position but Chelsea Cornet read it and the danger was cleared. The ball came to Smith thirty yards out: she opted to strike it and just put it wide of the junction by a yard or so; Stevenson seeing it away the whole time.
 
Hibs were at it again four minutes after with another long drive. A ricochet found its way to Caitlin Russell, who curled the ball just wide, and this time Stevenson was considerably  more troubled.
 
From the resulting goal kick, Megan Karagoizos controlled and then played a superb through ball into the feet of Kirsty Howat. She was perhaps put off by the incoming Erin Burns and the shot was screwed wide from an angled twenty yards.
 
Twenty minutes of play had went passed at that point and it was clear both of these sides played at a top level, with both sides playing attractive passing football. They were cancelling each other out at the early stages though, but that for me, only added to the occasion of the final; the crowd were thrilled with what they had saw so far, and rightly so. Neither team's central players were seeing much of the play, both teams opting to get the ball put wide and make the most of the large pitch at Toryglen.
 
Hibs were just edging it in terms of possession, with the ball spending more time in the Rangers half than the white and green's. When found in space, Robertson again decided to have a go from distance. This time her rasping strike just dipped onto the roof of the goal. These strikes were getting closer, and were obviously a strong point of Hibs - why not have a go when the ability is there?
 
Rangers however registered the first shot on target. Cuthbert squared the ball to Clleland who hit a vicious drive straight at Stewart. In almost an identical position thirty seconds later, Cuthbert won the ball superbly in the Hibs D, and the space opened up for her. She opted for a snapshot which also went straight into Stewart's gloves.
 
The small girl from Irvine wasn't to be denied though. On the thirty-fourth minute the Scotland cap opened the scoring in superb fashion with a magnificent solo goal. She picked the ball up wide right, and jinked past two defenders to get into the box. From there, she proceeded to beat two more defenders and nick the ball just before Stewart got there, and the ball squeezed in at the far post.
 
It got better for Rangers moments later. A defence splitting long ball bounced perfectly for Howat and she steered it into the back of the net.
 
There was a moment of worry for Hibs moments later. Captain Rutherford received a nick and fell awkwardly on the knee she was bearing a knee support on. However, she was seen to by the medics and made it back on the park just before half time.
 
The free kick Rutherford won almost lead to a goal. Burns' cross-come-shot was destined for the far top corner, and Stevenston made a superb backwards dive to keep the ball out of her goal. She had Chelsie Watson to thank for the ball staying out completely though - Rebecca Smith's shot from close range from the rebound looked a certain goal, but centre back Watson cleared for her side and the score remained at 2-0, which did bring about half time.
  • Half Time:
  • Rangers FC Girls
  • 2-0
  • Hibernian Girls
As Rangers vacated the park and headed for the changing rooms (whilst their opposites remained on the turf) they must have been wondering how they had found themselves two goals up. The play was  very even for the half, and if that was anything to go by the score would still be at stalemate. However, that of course is never the case - and the girls in Blue found themselves leading thanks to a piece of magic from Cuthbert and then the second goal out of the blue from Howat. Their coaches were surely warning their side this, and most people were aware that this game was far from over right up until the final whistle. Hibs needed to come out fighting though, the question was would they? If they could, anything was possible.  They may have had to change their game plan if this was I happen. For me, Erin Burns was the player of the first half - the right back was superb both defensively and offensively.  Maybe though, the ball could be attacked through the middle rather than playing it wide, and that could shock the Glaswegian side.
 
That is what seemed to happen. Straight away, centre-forward Smith pressed the ball and won it high.  Play was made to stop though as left back Jaimie-Lee Smith went down after a collision. She wasn't moving though, and was left lying on the turf. She was still breathing and responsive but she was not moving at all. Worry started to spread around the stand as the paramedics and coaches saw to her. However, she signalled for the game to continue with our her and she received treatment at the side and Daniella Moffat took her place. We at YFS and myself personally wish Jaimie-Lee all the best and speedy recovery. What a sad end to the good game the defender was having.
 
Five minutes later, a Rutherford free kick was put into the danger area and a hooked shot just evades the crossbar.
 
On the fifty-five minute mark Rangers scored a somewhat bizarre goal. One minute Dana Baird was not facing the ball at a throw in, and less than twenty seconds later the ball broke to her again, and she raves though on the counter attack. She cut past the goalkeeper for Howat to tap into the open goal for her second and Rangers' third. 3-0.
 
It was 4-0 three minutes later. Amanda Traynor this time raced through on goal to dispatch past a stranded Stewart.
 
The Hibees defence were so disciplined for the first half but after he injury, delay and changes the firepower and pace of Rangers was quickly proving to be too much for the Edinburgh side. Cuthbert had a shot cleared off of the line by Kelsey Boyle after the former had beaten the goalkeeper for the second time today.
 
Again, they were close to making it five on the sixty-one minute mark. Following a neat interchange, Clleland found herself one on one with Stewart - this time though the goalkeeper came out on top, denying the winger with her feet smartly. Following a short corner, Traynor could not add to her sole goal after Stewart tipped her curling effort into the side net.
 
The keeper was starting to prove her class on the second half, and from the resulting corner of that save she made a fantastic one handed parry to deny Cuthbert's looping volley, which looked a certain goal.
 
And yet, it was still to be five. Kayleigh Docherty's shot was blocked and looked to be going wide for a corner.
 
Much to the protests of players and coaches, Alex Middleton kept the ball in play, and turned provider for Clelland to head the ball into the back of the net.
 
Straight away it was to be six-nil. A long ball was chased down hungrily by Sarah Robertson - she used her pace to speed away and run in on goal to pass the ball into the goal to add more gloss to the scoreline.
 
It was nearly seven straight away though. From a corner the ball broke to Watson in space and her side-footed volley was put just over the crossbar, in what turned out to be the last action in the 2013 Girls 17's Scottish Cup Final.
 
Credit to Rangers, they did everything right in the second half and deserved the win in the end. 6-0 does not represent the real difference in class though, and the match was a lot more even than the score line suggests. It was a lesson on how to be totally clinical from Rangers, and they used the depth of their squad efficiently. Some things are bigger than football though, and I'm sure everyone sends their best regards to Jaimie-Lee.
 
It was a cruel scoreline perhaps, and Hibs must be devasted. However, they have now got that taste for glory and I'm sure they'll be there or thereabouts once again next year. As for Rangers, there is a reason as to why perhaps they are a side that has went the season unbeaten. They showed their grit to get their noses in front at half time, and then their true quality to bang four in in a superb second half for them.
  • Full Time:
  • Rangers FC Girls
  • 6-0
  • Hibernian Girls

Lineups

Rangers FC Girls
Hibernian Girls
1. Dana Baird
2. Erin Cuthbert
3. Kirsty Elizabeth Howat
4. Megan Karagiozis
5. Alex Georgie Middleton
6. Sarah Robertson
7. Murren Stevenson
8. Amanday Traynor
9. Chelsie Watson
10. Sarah Clelland
11. Niamph Johnson
12. Kayleigh Docherty
14. Caitlin McLean
15. Demi Scott
16. Lauren Wilkies
17. Nicole Nancy Wilkie
18. Mirren Wright

1. Kelsey Boyle
2. Erin Margaret Burns
3. Lindsay Ferry
4. Amy Lynch
5. Amber Robertson
6. Caitlin Russell
7. Nicole Rutherford
8. Jaimie - Lee Smith
9. Rebecca Smith
10. Lauren Stewart
11. Chelsea Cornet
12. Daniella Moffat
14. Rebecca McArthur
15. Emma North
16. Bianca Murphy

Star Player
Rangers FC Girls
Hibernian Girls
Kirsty Elizabeth Howatt commanded this game up front and provided the vital opening goal for Rangers.
Nicole Rutherford was the creative mastermind for Hibs' many close chances. She played on despite ome very heavy challenges which required treatment.
Magic Moment
Rangers FC Girls
Hibernian Girls
Erin Cuthbert's goal to break the deadlock was what it says on the tin, a truly magic moment.
Erin Burns' free kick on the stroke of the half time whistle was so close to going in, and had it done so, it could have been an entirely different story.
Club Views
Rangers FC Girls
Hibernian Girls
Video interviews to follow.
Video interviews to follow.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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