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Derby classic as Hibernian lift the Kim Little League Cup at the expense of Hearts

Hibernian 8

Reid 16, Hay 17, Campbell 31, 38, McCafferty 37, Dempsey 48, 50, 54

Heart of Midlothian 4

Murray 10, Black 55, 60, McLean 57
  • Sunday, 24 May 2015
  • Ainslie Park
  • 13's Girls
  • Kim Little League Cup
Chris Grieve

Chris Grieve | YFS South East Region Journalist

The final of the Kim Little League Cup saw an Edinburgh derby played out in the cold wind of Ainslie Park and what a game it was! Twelve goals, and plenty of chances made up for the chill in the wind and the large crowd showed their appreciation of the efforts of all the players from both sides. It was Hibernian who ran out winners in the end in a pulsating encounter which finished 8-4 after a spirited comeback from Hearts.

The match started at a high tempo from both sides and was a very engaging opening period. Both sides showed intelligence in their movement on and off the ball and the crowd could sense that this game would be an exciting spectacle. The passing was crisp and both keepers were worked in the opening 10 minutes.

It was Hibs who created the first real chance when Eilidh McEwan was played through on goal but Ellie Wylie was equal to her low shot and turned the ball wide for a corner.

Again it was Hibs who were taking advantage of the space in behind the Hearts defence and McEwan found herself with another through-ball but like the earlier chance Wylie rushed out quickly to block the effort.

Hearts began to find their range of passing and they responded to the early Hibs pressure well. They created two good chances; the first was a strong run through a couple of challenges by Caitlin Black but the Hibs defence recovered just in time as Black was about to shoot, before Tegan McLean tried her luck from distance but Grace Mitchell turned her shot round the post.

It was an end-to-end encounter now as both teams pressed for the opening goal. It was Hearts who found it though when the ball was worked through to Emily Murray who composed herself before slotting the ball under the advancing keeper.

Hibs looked to hit back quickly but the Hearts defence was holding them out. Some of the intricate passing from both sides in the midfield was mesmerising at times as they looked to create space. The frantic pace of the game added to the spectacle and provided an exciting match for the crowd.

Eventually though, the breakthrough came for Hibs. The ball was played into the box but was only half cleared by the Hearts defence, whose clearance fell to Ellie Jai Reid inside the box. She made no mistake rolling the ball past the keeper for the equaliser.

So quickly did the second Hibs goal arrive that if you blinked you might have missed it! The ball broke some distance from goal and Amy Hay controlled it before curling a superb effort into the top corner via the post. It was an incredible finish and it handed the initiative back to Hibs.

Suddenly Hibs were buoyed by their two quick goals and they looked to press home their advantage but Hearts recovered their composure well. They held firm under the Hibs pressure and made sure that they were only a single goal behind come the interval. 

  • Half Time:
  • Hibernian
  • 2-1
  • Heart of Midlothian

The second half had barely started when Hibs grabbed a third goal. Good work in the midfield secured possession before a perfectly weighted pass found Nicole Campbell in space down the right hand side. She broke into the box and fired a shot beyond Wylie in the Hearts goal.

Hearts did well to weather the immediate storm and they looked to play their way back into the game. They restricted Hibs to few chances and were strong in defence.

However, two quick Hibs goals handed the Leith side a comfortable lead. The first came from the second phase of play following a corner. The ball fell to Robyn McCafferty who struck a low shot into the far corner of the net. A minute later Campbell added a fifth goal after a McCafferty shot was well saved by Wylie but the rebound broke kindly for Campbell who clipped the ball home.

Hibs began to dominate at this stage with the comfort of the lead they had built up. McCafferty was very close to adding a sixth for Hibs when she picked the ball up outside the box and powered a low shot which had the keeper beaten. However, the shot rattled the base of the post and bounced to safety.

Hearts were a bit shell-shocked at the turn of events as 10 minutes previously they had only been 2-1 behind. At 5-1 the game looked beyond them but they collectively failed to let that affect them. They responded magnificently through a long-range strike from McLean which Mitchell did well to turn round the post for a Hearts corner.

Hibs quashed any ideas of a comeback when they added a sixth. Hay picked up the ball some distance from goal and smashed a shot off the crossbar, unfortunately for Hearts the rebound fell to Morgan Dempsey who fired the ball beyond the recovering keeper.

The football was free-flowing now from Hibs and they were in the mood for goals. Dempsey was causing all sorts of problems for the Hearts defence and she quickly extended Hibs lead to 7-1. The ball was played into her feet at the edge of the box and she managed to turn and get a shot away which found the corner of the net.

Hibs were to inflict further damage four minutes later again through Dempsey. This time she gathered the ball outside the box, found a couple of yards of space and curled an effort beyond Wylie and into the top corner. A six-minute hat-trick for the Hibs striker left her side well in the driver’s seat.

The Hibs celebrations had barely finished when Hearts came roaring back. A minute after conceding they pulled one back. Black found herself in space outside the box and lashed a high, powerful shot into the top corner.

That goal sparked Hearts mini comeback. Only minutes later they scored their third of the afternoon in similar circumstances to the second. This time it was McLean who found the space outside the box and rattled a low shot beyond Mitchell in the Hibs goal.

Time was running out for Hearts but they were not finished yet. They added a fourth goal a minute from the end when the ball was cut back to Black who swept the ball home to make it 8-4.

An incredible scoreline accompanied an incredible match. Hibs ran away with it into the second half but Hearts responded fantastically well to reduce the deficit. Both sides showed why they were in the final with some scintillating football, great goalkeeping, wonderful goals and tremendous character. Hearts played right to the final whistle and deserved their goals at the end and could quite easily have won the game except for a rampant Hibs at the start of the second half. A greatly entertaining game of football fitting for a cup final which saw Hibs triumph by 8 goals to 4.

  • Full Time:
  • Hibernian
  • 8-4
  • Heart of Midlothian

Lineups

Hibernian
Heart of Midlothian
1. Grace Mitchell
2. Anna Dickov
3. Mairead Brown
4. Charlotte McDougall
5. Nicole Campbell
6. Eve MacFadden
8. Katy Pollock
9. Eilidh McEwan
10. Robyn McCafferty
11. Amy Hay
15. Ellie Jai Reid
18. Morgan Dempsey
1. Ellie Wylie
2. Chelsey Grattan
3. Amy Blackhurst
4. Isabelle Ratcliffe
5. Nicole Hogg
6. Tegan McLean
7. Caitlin Black
8. Emily Murray
9. Kacie Bain
10. Holly Aitchison
12. Marielle Gallagher
Star Player
Hibernian
Heart of Midlothian
Amy Hay was fantastic for Hibernian. She scored an excellent goal to give her side the lead before half time and she nearly added to her tally of goals with another long range raker. She drove her side forward and was instrumental in supplying the service for the strikers to extend Hibs lead in the second half.
Caitlin Black caused the Hibs defenders all sorts of problems. She showed some great touches and was able to turn defenders and bring others into play. She put in a great shift for her team and deserved the two goals she scored for Hearts.
Magic Moment
Hibernian
Heart of Midlothian
The second Hibs goal was decisive in the context of the match. That lead at half time gave them the platform they needed to push on in the second half. What a goal it was too! The curling effort right into the top corner from distance was a great finish!
At 8-1 down the Hearts side could be forgiven if the heads had gone down but credit has to go to them for the late fight back. It was a great show of character and coupled with two zingers towards the end they gave a performance they can be proud of. Caitlin Black's first goal (Hearts second) was an excellent finish from distance into the top corner!
Club Views
Hibernian
Heart of Midlothian
Hibs' Robyn McCafferty said: "Winning the cup is a great achievement for the team. We played well and kept ourselves motivated despite going a goal down. Winning this cup was one of our objectives for the season so to actually do it is a great achievement." Amy Hay also added: "The team came together well today and the support from the parents and the coaches has been great all season."
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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