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.