Glasgow City 2-0 Hibernian: Hosts lay down title marker to move further ahead at the top

An Emma Brownlie own goal and a Sarah Crilly header saw Glasgow City beat their SWPL 1 title rivals Hibernian to move six points clear at the top.

Glasgow City 2-0 Hibernian: Hosts lay down title marker to move further ahead at the top
It was a well-fought battle between these two on Sunday. (Photo: BBC Sport)
Glasgow City
2 0
Glasgow City: Fay; Ross, McCulloch, McCarthy, Docherty; McMurchie, Love; Littlejohn (Crilly, min. 65), Cuthbert (Shine, min.86), Brown (Hay, min.90); Fleeting.
Hibernian: Fife; Williamson (Heron, min.46), Brownlie, Murray, Smith; Graham, Robertson, Richards (Hunter, min.75); McLauchlan (Grant, min.89), Harrison, Arnot.
SCORE: 1-0, min. 23, Brownlie og. 2-0, min. 67, Crilly.
REFEREE: Lorraine Clark (SCO). Booked: Williamson (min. 19), McCulloch (min. 52).
INCIDENTS: SWPL 1 game between the SWPL champions, Glasgow City, and the 2015 runners-up, Hibernian. The match was played at New Douglas Park.

Glasgow City placed down a title marker as they beat their rivals Hibernian 2-0. The match was heavily anticipated and perhaps that led to a nervy opening.

But the game came to life when Fiona Brown drilled the ball across the six-yard box, and Hibs' Emma Brownlie diverted the ball into her own net.

And it was Brown who assisted their second mid-way through the second half when she picked out Sarah Crilly who made no mistake with her header.

The result sees City extend their lead at the top of the SWPL 1 to six points, whilst Hibs drop down to third.

City open the scoring after nervy opening

The opening twenty minutes was full of moments where both sides got into dangerous attacking positions but just couldn't pick out the final player.

But as the game went on, City was starting to get a foothold in the game and soon took the lead. A delightful cross-field ball picked out Brown, she beat her marker and drove the ball across the six-yard box, and the unlucky Emma Brownlie diverted the ball into her own net.

They could have doubled their lead soon after as Erin Cuthbert beat broke into the box, but her shot was well saved by Jenna Fife at the near post.

A clever City corner caught out the Hibs defence but they reacted in time to divert Brown's shot wide.

And then Brown played Cuthbert into the Hibs box, but under pressure from Brownlie's sliding tackle, shot wide.

Hibernian start to threaten

Six minutes before half-time, Hibs finally created a chance. City's keeper Gemma Fay came and missed Lisa Robertson's free-kick, the ball fell to Brownlie who saw her shot deflected wide by alert City defending.

City could have extended their lead early on in the second half. Leanne Ross played a corner short to Cuthbert whose cross picked out Julie Fleeting but she couldn't stab the ball home. Ruesha Littlejohn then had her shot blocked, before Cuthbert scuffed her shot wide.

Hibs nearly had an opening when Lizzie Arnot played Sarah Ewens into the City box, but when she tried to move the ball onto her right foot, her touch was too heavy which allowed City to clear.

Then Ewens should have done better when Abigail Harrison's cross picked out Ewens, but she mistimed her jump and headed over.

Hibernian's best chance came in the 63rd minute. Arnot's corner was  diverted goalwards by Glasgow City's captain Ross, but in the resulting scramble, no Hibs player could divert the ball over the line and eventually City could clear.

City double their lead

But two minutes later, City made it 2-0. Brown's outstanding cross picked out Sarah Crilly and her header found the bottom-left corner.

Only a superb save stopped City from making it 3-0. A City corner was cleared only as far as Cuthbert whose long-range shot flew towards the top corner, only to be denied by Fife's flying save.

Late on, tenacious play from Brown drew a mistake from Brownlie, but her shot was saved by Fife – denying the City forward the goal her performance deserved.