Hearts and Hutchison Vale cancelled each other out as they drew 1-1 in a match where the visitors were reduced to ten players late on.
It was the home side who looked more likely to score in the first half but yet it was Hutchie who took the lead through Ellis Jenkins’ wonder strike that found the top corner.
Midway through the second half, Hearts found the equaliser through Michelle Stewart.
Hutchie had their number 7 sent off for two quick yellow cards, her second for dissent.
Neither side could open the other’s defence, as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
Both sides had a nervous start, getting into good positions but failing to do something with the final ball with Hearts’ Kara Kidd having a wayward shot and Hutchie’s Judith Shepherd overhitting her cross.
But, in the 12th minute, Hearts nearly took the lead. Rachel Walkingshaw’s delivery was whipped into the area where Jamie-Lee Smith stabbed the ball towards goal, but the Hutchie keeper made the save.
Hutchie were starting to create chances with Beth McLeod running at the Hearts’ box but, under strong defensive pressure, her shot lacked the power the threaten the keeper. And then, from a corner, Courtney Mcavoy flicked her header towards the goal, but the Hearts defence cleared.
Whilst Hearts were still getting into positions, they were struggling to open up the Hutchie defence. When they won a free-kick on the edge of the Hutchie box, Walkingshaw drilled her effort into the wall. And then, Brogan Anderson’s through-ball nearly picked out Jamie-Lee Smith, but once again there was a Hutchie defender to clear.
And then the away side took the lead in the 40th minute. Hearts gifted possession to the opposition, and Ellis Jenkins’ first-time strike from 30-yards found the top corner.
Hearts reacted, determined to get an equaliser before half-time. Kara Kidd’s corner was cleared, but Hearts worked the ball back into the box and Ashley Carse had her shot superbly saved from close-range.
Hearts started the second half strongly, but never seemed able to create that opportunity to open up the Hutchie defence.
As the half drew on, it became a battle in the middle of the park with neither side looking like they could open each other up.
And Hearts actually equalised, it was with the half’s first proper chance. Walkingshaw’s early ball picked out Brogan Anderson. Her shot was blocked, but the ball fell to Michelle Stewart in the box and she blasted the ball into the net.
Hearts sensed the opportunity for a winner, and started to place Hutchie’s defence under pressure. From a 35-yard free-kick, Walkingshaw went for goal but her effort went over.
Byrnony Ross made two great interventions to prevent Hearts. Firstly, she made a great last ditch tackle on Ashley Carse, and then reacted to block Michaela Mcalonie’s shot.
Carse’s through-ball nearly picked out Stewart in the box, but the Hutchie keeper was quickly out to clear.
In the 88th minute, Hutchie were reduced to ten players when their Number 7 was shown two quick yellow cards.
The last chance fell to Hearts when Brogan Anderson shot from the edge of the Hutchie box, but her curled shot just went over.