Dean Gibson hails Hibernian game plan as they hold SWPL 1 leaders Glasgow City
Glasgow City 0-0 Hibernian: Champions' lead cut to three points after stalemate
Hibernian’s game plan worked better than Glasgow City’s said head coach Dean Gibson as his side drew 0-0 with the Champions at Broadwood.
With a small crowd allowed back as covid-19 restrictions begin to ease, both teams cancelled each other out as City’s lead at the top of SWPL 1 was reduced to three points.
And Gibson, who in midweek had predicted his side were close to taking points off the top three in the division, was delighted with his side’s efforts.
“I thought the girls were excellent,” Gibson told Anyone’s Game.
“I thought our game plan worked better than theirs. They didn’t really look like hurting us. We looked like hurting them on the counter attack pretty much the whole game.
“I think there’s been other games where we’ve looked dangerous on the counter in spells, but I thought we looked dangerous on the counter attack for the whole game today. I keep saying it; it’s just that little bit of quality in the final third we need to tidy up and if we could’ve done that today we would’ve got three points.”
The result sees Glasgow City remain at the top of the table; three points clear of second placed Celtic with three games to play after Fran Alonso’s side beat Rangers 2-1.
Despite the draw, Hibs dropped to fifth after Spartans beat Forfar Farmington 3-0.
Hibs goalkeeper Emily Mutch was called into action within two minutes of kick off to save a Priscila Chinchilla chance after a mistake at the back allowed the Costa Rican international a sight of goal.
Leah Eddie then had a header blocked, before City countered and Mutch had to react quickly to collect the ball before Ode Fulutidulu could pull the trigger.
The game was very scrappy and even. Hibs won a succession of corners but couldn’t test goalkeeper Lee Alexander. The ball just wasn’t sticking with either side's attackers in the final third with the clinical edge lacking in the first quarter of the match. That was summed up in the 25th minute when a Mairead Fulton corner went straight out of play.
The match was halted for a few minutes after Zaneta Wyne went down injured, and the American had to be replaced in the 33rd minutes by former Hibee Cailin Michie.
Hayley Lauder and Lauren Davidson had efforts go just by the post with half time approaching but the theme of no cutting edge continued.
The second half began in a similar manner to the first. Fulton struck over from the edge of the box as both sides didn’t keep a hold of possession for long as the rain poured down.
Chinchilla unleashed a powerful dipping effort from distance on the hour mark, but Mutch was equal to it to deny the in-form playmaker. Jenna Clark then had a header saved too.
Eilidh Adams came close to putting the visitors in front as she found herself free in the middle, but the ball took a big deflection on the way to her and the chance was averted. And Hibs were piling on the pressure with 20 minutes to play.
Wojcik and Clark had opportunities for City but couldn’t convert them. Twice Amy Gallacher lacked belief to keep going when she found herself the furthest girl in green forward.
With 90 minutes on the clock, Clark headed a Chinchilla free kick wide then Lauder fired a gilt-edge chance over the bar in what was the last significant action of an exciting game that just lacked an all-important goal.
Anyone’s Game Player of the Match
The Anyone’s Game player of the match goes to Hibs goalkeeper Emily Mutch. The award could have went to any of the Hibs back line. However, in a game against the league leaders you need your goalkeeper to produce when asked and that's exactly what Mutch did any time City threatened her goal. There were a few occasions where some goalkeepers would’ve parried the ball out but Mutch’s handling was superb.
Jenna Clark for Glasgow City also strolled through the game and was a rock when required, always willing to play the ball out from the back.