By Stephen Bark
Glasgow City recorded a routine 2-0 win against Hibernian at Meadowbank in their post-split match.
A first half strike from Bea Prades was added to by a second half penalty from Lauren Davidson as City extended their lead at the top of SWPL1 to nine points with nearest challengers Celtic not playing until Monday.
City made six changes to the team which defeated Kilmarnock in the Scottish Cup with Lee Gibson, Amy Muir, Linda Motlhalo, Davidson, Priscila Chinchilla and Anna Oscarsson coming in for Erin Clachers, Chloe Warrington, Kinga Kozak, Megan Foley, Lisa Forrest and Erin Greening.
It was the away side who threatened first after Emily Whelan was fouled 20 yards from goal. Davidson’s initial ball through was blocked but she reacted quickest to follow up only to see her shot saved.
A Mairead Fulton freekick five minutes later found Anna Oscarsson in the box but her header was well held by Hibs keeper Bene Haaland.
Davidson then won possession back for City high up the field and she drove forwards before cutting back for Motlhalo. The pass was just behind Motlhalo but she was able to set up Whelan whose effort was tipped over the bar. From the corner, the ball broke to Prades but she put her shot over.
City were rewarded for their early pressure after 24 minutes. Oscarsson’s ball across came off the arm of Leah Eddie but referee Alex Shepherd played advantage as it broke to Prades eight yards out and she slotted the ball past Haaland to give the away side the lead.
A delightful through pass from Jenna Clark split the Hibs defence in two to release Motlhalo but a good recovery tackle from Poppy Lawson blocked the shot which fell into Haaland’s arms.
With half time approaching, City earned an excellent opportunity to double their lead before the break. The ball was played through to Chinchilla and Haaland raced out to close her down. Chinchilla got to the ball first before being brought down by Haaland and the referee pointed to the spot.
Up stepped Davidson but Haaland guessed the right way and saved well but the ball fell kindly for Davidson who was quickly under pressure and her follow up was deflected wide.
In the second half, the home side started brightly but they couldn’t quite find an opportunity to trouble Lee Gibson’s goal.
At the other end, Chinchilla played through Prades who managed to find an angle but her shot was saved.
A lovely flowing move then saw Davidson set up Whelan but again Haaland came to the home side’s rescue.
Good interplay on the left saw Chinchilla played through in the box before she was scythed down by Liana Hinds who was booked for the challenge. There was no doubt over who would take the second penalty. Up stepped Davidson again and this time she fired the ball into the bottom corner far beyond the reach of Haaland.
Hibs threatened a consolation with a corner in stoppage time but City’s defence stood firm and saw out the result.
Glasgow City: Gibson, Muir, Walsh, Fulton, Prades (Lauder 82), Motlhalo, Whelan (Porter 90), Clark, Davidson, Chinchilla, Oscarsson (Foley 70). Subs not used: Clachers, Warrington, Grant, Gibb, Forrest, Martin.
Hibernian: Haaland, Leishman, Parry, Eddie, Hinds, McAlonie, Adams (Nunn 85), Notley (Hunter 85), Murray, Kuyken (Nor 66), Lawson (Morrison 74). Subs not used: Kosinska.
Glasgow City: Prades 24’, Davidson 77’
Hibernian: Hinds 76’
Referee: Alex Shepherd
Stadium: Meadowbank Stadium