Hearts powerless to resist champions at Petershill Park

Brenna Lovera shields the ball from Carly Girasoli. Image Credit: Colin Poultney/SWPL
Brenna Lovera shields the ball from Carly Girasoli. Image Credit: Colin Poultney/SWPL

It was a tough game for the visitors as the Glaswegians secured the top spot before their Champions League tie on Wednesday night. Goalkeeper Charlotte Parker-Smith attempted to keep the score level throughout with some stunning saves from an attack littered with internationals. However, it wasn’t to be for Hearts as they still search for their first win against the top three.

“Glasgow City probably deserved to win especially based on the first 45 minutes,” assistant manager Sean Burt told the Edinburgh Evening News. “They probably could have had the game out of sight, which was disappointing for us. However, in the second half, it was nip and tuck with a couple of half chances in the first 20 minutes. Arguably should have crossed from a cross but nobody was there to tap it in. Over the 90 minutes, City did enough to get the three points.”

The hosts started on top with both Lauren Davidson and Brenna Lovera forcing good stops from Parker-Smith. The goalkeeper was called into action again midway through the half as she pulled off a magnificent triple save to keep the scores level. After saving a one-on-one effort, Parker-Smith recovered brilliantly with the help of her backline to stop any rebound from hitting the net. However, the hosts continued to pry for the opener as Davidson went close again as her close range header skimmed the top of the bar from a corner. Hearts had chances themselves, as Aimee Anderson had the best opportunity to put her side ahead after she sent her effort over the bar with 10 minutes to go. Yet, a minute later, the hosts found the opener. After hitting the bar from distance, Lovera quickly took control of the second ball with her effort cannoning back off Parker-Smith only to ricochet off Carly Girsoli and into the net. Right on half-time, Hearts thought they had the equaliser right on half time as Girasoli placed the ball into the net after Ciara Grant’s long ball but she was adjudged to be offside.

Hearts were almost gifted a goal in the second half as Georgia Timms managed to intercept Lee Gibson’s wayward pass but the goalkeeper managed to recover well to save the striker’s effort from distance. Davidson should have put Glasgow City two in front midway through the half and probably would have done if not for another brilliant reaction save from Parker-Smith. The second finally came for the hosts with 15 minutes to go. Hearts were unable to clear their lines after some heavy pressure before Kinga Kozak smashed the ball into the roof of the net to ensure a 2-0 victory for the current champions.

“It’s small margins, that’s always the case when you are playing the top three,” Burt added. “When they started to miss opportunities you think maybe it can be our night. Anderson had her chance and then Girasoli ended up putting the ball in the net which was offside. It is small margins and we are disappointed. First half City could have had three or four. In the second half we addressed a few things and were unlucky to not score.”