Hibernian became the first Scottish side to win a major domestic title since 2011 as they scored a last-gasp winner to beat Glasgow City at Ainslie Park. Despite Hibs dominating the first stages, it was City who took the lead when Julie Fleeting scored from a corner. But, the Edinburgh side soon equalised after Kirsty Smith won a penalty. Whilst Lizzie Arnot saw her spot-kick saved, Lucy Graham reacted quickly to score the rebound.
The second half was more of a tense affair, with both sides hitting the woodwork on numerous times. And as it looked like the tie was going into extra-time, Hibs scored their last-gasp winner as Arnot kept the ball in, and her driven cross took a deflection off Gemma Fay and into the net.
The opening exchanges of the cup final saw Hibernian get the ball into dangerous positions, without fully being able to take advantage.
And it would take until the 16th minute for Hibs to trouble Glasgow City’s keeper Gemma Fay when Lizzie Arnot’s cross picked out Sarah Ewens, but she couldn’t get a strong enough contact to trouble Fay.
Hibs had a glorious chance soon after, once again coming from an Arnot cross, but at the crucial moment, Lucy Graham slipped.
They came even closer when Emma Brownlie’s corner was cleared to Lisa Robertson whose powerful 25-yard shot was only kept out by Fay’s wonder save.
City slowly started to get into the game and started to threaten with Hayley Lauder seeing her shot saved by Hibs’ keeper Jenna Fife, and Erin Cuthbert breaking into the box and shooting agonisingly wide of the far post.
And then Glasgow City took the lead. Leanne Ross’ corner was flicked on by Savannah McCarthy towards Julie Fleeting who controlled the ball and scored with her second touch.
City went looking for their second and came close with Lauder seeing her curled shot superbly tipped behind by Fife.
But, just as City were looking at their most dangerous, Hibernian won a penalty when Kirsty Smith was taken out by McCarthy’s sliding tackle. Arnot took the spot-kick, but placed it too close to Fay who parried the ball back towards her – Arnot air-kicked but Lucy Graham was there to blast the ball into the net.
Once again, Hibernian started the second half strongly without testing Fay.
And it turned out City would have the first chance of the half. Lauder played Ross down the right who cut into the box, and from a dangerous place, she curled the ball wide of the far post.
Just after the hour mark, Hibs nearly scored a spectacular goal. Fay’s clearance went straight to Graham who tried to lob the keeper, but her effort landed on the roof of the net.
Glasgow City came agonising close to taking the lead. Ross played a corner short to Cuthbert who broke into the box before passing to Lauder whose shot hit the near post. The ball was then recycled back to Fiona Brown whose curling shot was superbly saved by Fife.
Fife came to Hibernian’s rescue once again when Ross’ corner fell to McCarthy whose shot was denied by the keeper’s wonder save.
But in the final ten minutes, Hibernian started to regain the initiative with Rachel McLauchlan’s shot just going over.
They came even closer when Ewens won a free-kick on the edge of the City box. Emma Brownlie’s free-kick was curled around the wall and the ball smashed off the crossbar, with Arnot heading the rebound wide.
In the second minute of stoppage time, Glasgow City won a corner and may have been thinking about scoring the winner – but it turned out that from it, they would lose the cup final. The corner was headed clear by Brownlie, and Robertson launched the ball into the City half. Sarah Crilly tried to allow the ball to run out from a throw-in, but Arnot stole the ball on the line and fired a cross towards Ewens – but it took a deflection off Fay and into the net.
Try as they may, City could not find a dramatic equaliser as Hibernian lifted their first trophy since 2011 and ended City’s stranglehold.
Player of the Match
Lizzie Arnot – Hibernian
Chris Roberts – Hibernian Head Coach
“It’s just an amazing feeling for this group of players to win that after the knock-backs we’ve had in the cups…I’m so proud for the girls.”
Lizzie Arnot – Hibernian’s winning goal-scorer
On the goal “I did see Sarah (Ewens) and I was like I needed to get a cross in and hopefully she’d get a knick on it. I just remember Gemma (Fay) diving and the ball in the back of the net”