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Hearts comeback inspires girls to victory over Rangers

Rangers FC 2

MacDonald 14’, Bates 23’

Hearts Girls 4

McFayden 40’, Yorkston 46’, Aitchison 84’, McLean 86’
  • Rangers FC 2-4 Hearts Girls (AET)
  • Sunday, 24 September 2017
  • Ainslie Park, Edinburgh
  • Under 15´s
  • Scottish Youth Cup – Semi Final

Hearts secured their place in the Scottish Youth Cup final as they came from two goals down at half time to beat Rangers in extra time. Both sides showed great fighting spirit with the girls in blue kicking off the scoring after Freya MacDonald’s wonder strike followed up by Reanna Bates tap in soon after.

The Jambos came fighting back after the break thanks to the efforts of Emma McFayden and a free kick from Emma Yorkston to level the shares.

With the scoring in a state of deadlock, it took up until the second half of extra time for Hearts’ captain, Holly Aitchison to net a perfectly placed penalty kick with Tegan McLean securing her side’s place in an Edinburgh derby final soon after with a fourth.

After a flurry of chances from both sides, Rangers led first in the 14th minute. MacDonald nicked the ball off the Hearts defender on the right side to then burst into the box with pace, the finish that followed was not far from perfect as the ball arrived high in the side netting at the far post giving the Gers the lead.

Hearts had the chance to level the scoring in the 16th minute after some good link up play between two of the girls. Caitlyn Black played in Maisy Hathaway on the left side, putting her through on goal. However, as the Rangers defender cut across to block Hathaway’s run, it resulted in the keeper being able to collect the effort.

The side chasing the equaliser had another great chance in the 22nd minute, this time from a free kick, 20 yards from goal. Aitchison did well to get the ball over the wall but was met by the diving save from Alicia Corral who stopped the ball entering the net at the left-hand side of goal.

Rangers netted their second of the game in the 23rd minute after an impressive run from Storm Anderson. After receiving a pass from Morgan Morton outside the area, Anderson manoeuvred herself past several defenders to then get a shot away at goal.

Hearts keeper, Alicia Yates did well to save the initial effort, however, Bates tapped in the rebound from the left side of goal to double the lead. 

  • Half Time:
  • Rangers FC
  • 2-0
  • Hearts Girls

Hearts looked a new side in the second half with their early efforts being awarded with a goal five minutes after the break. Yorkston managed to intercept an aerial pass from goal to set up McFayden just outside the area.

McFayden slotted the ball under the Rangers keeper in the 40th minute with the ball creeping into the net and putting the Edinburgh side back into the game.

The Jam Tarts’ equaliser came not soon after as Yorkston went from goal assister to goal scorer in the 46th minute. With a free kick awarded 15 yards out on the right side, Yorkston blasted the ball high into the centre of goal, the Gers keeper unable to reach the effort, as Hearts eased their nerves placing both sides back at square one.

With Rangers looking to put themselves back ahead once again, a chance from substitute, Summer Christie almost made that a reality in the 59th minute. Managing to create space for herself, Christie got a shot away outside the penalty box and central towards goal. However, the ball flew just over the left side of the crossbar.

The game finished at a deadlock, both teams unable to find a winner in regulated time as the fixture proceeded to extra time.

  • Full Time:
  • Rangers FC
  • 2-2
  • Hearts Girls
As both sides fought back and forth across the pitch looking for a winning effort at goal, the game looked it could go either way. It was Hearts however, who were given the best chance to go ahead in extra time as McFayden was brought down in the box with the referee pointing to the spot. The team captain, Aitchison stepped up to take the kick in the 84th minute. Despite Rangers keeper, Corral correctly predicting the direction of the penalty kick, Aitchison accurately finished into the bottom right hand corner of goal, subsequently putting Hearts ahead for the first time in the game.

Just moments later Hearts scored their fourth of the match thanks to the persistence of substitute, McLean. Applying pressure on the opposition defence, McLean managed to win possession inside the area to then stick the ball past the keeper into the far side of goal in the 86th minute.

Despite Rangers’ best efforts in the final minutes, Hearts’ two goal cushion lead meant they finished the game winners as they are set to face Hibernian in the final of the Scottish Youth Cup.

Final Result: Rangers FC 2-4 Hearts Girls (AET)

Lineups

Rangers FC
Hearts Girls
1. Alicia Corral
5. Amy Whitters
7. Morgan Morton
8. Lynsey Baillie
9. Ellie MacDonald
10. Rosie McQuillan
12. Reanna Bates
14. Stephanie Dorrans
19. Storm Anderson
23. Freya MacDonald
24. Leona Boyd
2. Hannah Robinson
6. Tegan Wilmot
7. Niamh Provan
15. Amy Gardiner
18. Gemma Russell
20. Dion Young
N/A. Summer Christie
1. Alicia Yates
4. Emma McFadyen
5. Lucy Horn
7. Catlyn Wilson
8. Eilidh Begg
9. Caitlyn Black
10. Holly Aitchison
11. Maisy Hathaway
12. Jamie-Lee Bain
15. Eve Mooney
19. Meghan Hood
2. Tegan McLean
3. Amy Denholm
6. Emma Yorkston
16. Emily Murray
Star Player
Rangers FC
Hearts Girls
Rangers’ star player was Freya MacDonald. Not only did Freya kick off the scoring in spectacular fashion but her hold up play was excellent in the semi-final match. She had a desire to get on the end of chances her teammates created while returning the favour whenever and wherever she could. Freya also had an impressive work rate as she continuously pressed and caused problems for her opponents throughout the match. While her side missed out on a final, there are plenty of positives she personally can take away from the game as she continues to develop and grow as a player.
Hearts’ star player was Emma Yorkston. Not only did Emma record a goal and assist during the course of the semi-final but her performance overall was fantastic. She was constantly switched on and seeking opportunities for not only herself but her teammates too. Comfortable on the ball, Emma and her coaching staff should be delighted with the performance she put in against Rangers and she will be hoping to replicate and possibly exceed her semi-final performance when her side faces their rivals in the final.
Magic Moment
Rangers FC
Hearts Girls
Rangers’ magic moment was their first goal of the game. Spectators for the game may agree that there may not be many goals better for the girls side this season than Freya MacDonald’s strike. Not only the desire to win the ball and get into a great area is a sign of a true professional, but the finish that follows is sublime as it hits off the side netting. The pace of MacDonald should be considered also as it’s difficult to get a shot away at that speed never mind one as accurate as that. While there will be disappointment that MacDonald and her teammates couldn’t make the final, there are plenty of positives to take away from the game and this goal is certainly one of them.
Hearts’ magic moment was the penalty kick that took them into the lead in extra time. There was a lot of pressure on captain, Holly Aitchison to send the ball home from the spot but she could have not placed the ball any better. The celebrations that followed showed even more, what not only the comeback meant to the girls but their hard work, determination and passion to make it happen.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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