It was a victorious outing for Hibernian Women’s Football club as they triumphed 1-0 over their Edinburgh rivals at Tynecastle this afternoon.
A shot from Abbie Ferguson, reflected off Hearts’ goalkeeper Charlotte Parker-Smith, just on the brink of half-time was all that separated the teams in a hotly contested battle that stretched the full length and width of the Tynecastle grass.
Not only was this a must-win game for the Hibees, who have now won just two of their six fixtures so far, it also marked returning manager Grant Scott’s first Edinburgh Derby and Capital Cup win of his second reign in charge of the Leith-based side.
Speaking after the match to Edinburgh News, the Scottish manager, who self-admittedly had his heart in his mouth for much of the fixture, said “it felt like two really good teams going at it for 90 minutes. The didn’t seem to be a lot of let-up.
“A lot of battles won in the middle of the pitch, and both teams looking to break really fast. I suspect it was quite an entertaining team for the neutral - but not so good for my heart!”
As the game progressed, Hearts were desperate to find at least an equaliser and threw all but the kitchen sink at the visitors. However, the defensive duo of captain Leah Eddie and Poppy Lawson proved impossible to break past with Eddie producing one of her strongest performances to date.
When asked about the pair, Scott said “We can see just at the moment that they’re quite comfortable and particularly strong defensively.
“Eddie is just such a composed player, good defender, she reads the game really really well - she’s calm and composed on the ball most of the time so yeah I’m chuffed to bits the two of them have done really well today.”
It has not been unknown for the 22-year-old Hibs captain to play in several positions on the pitch but Scott made it clear he sees her as his primary centre-back: “Leah Eddie is a centre-back. I suspect if she keeps progressing the way she is she will continue to go on to bigger and better things and become hopefully a Scotland regular in the future.
“So I see her in that position, I know she can play others, but we need to give her a fighting chance of becoming the best player she can be.
Eddie and Lawson form part of a very young back-line with 18-year-old Mya Christie featuring on the left. Her talent shone through today, although her inexperience did too but Scott was nothing but full of praise for the youngster: “Mya is learning her new position.
What she offers physically for us, her speed and strength. She’s going to lose, positionally she lost some jewels in the game but she never ever stops and never gives up. She’s got that tenacity. She’s started every game for us - so we’ve got lots and lots of faith in her.”
It was also noted that Christie’s injury was far from serious and Scott believed it to be caused by fatigue and a potential small sprain but there was no concern coming from the Hibs’ boss.
Hibs will now look ahead to their next fixture on Wednesday where they will host Aberdeen at Meadowbank. Speaking ahead of the fixture, Scott said: “It’s a completely different opponent for us on Wednesday. We’ll hopefully take those positives into the game and it will be an easier ride for me on the side!”