Accies played a Hibs Select today with a squad comprising various players across the SWPL, SWFL and U17 squads with all the newcomers and youngsters making a positive first impression. Sarah Crilly, Megan Walker and Carolina Richardson got on the scoresheet for Accies whilst Kirsty McLaughlin got 3 and Caroline Kerr a solo effort for the Hibees.
Whilst the result will go down as a "loss" Coach Gary Doctor was quick to extol the virtues of the Accies side, in particular young Kim Black who played the full 90 minutes and set a particularly high standard.
"We were really glad to get a game today, and thank you to Hibs for hosting us. The most important thing however was to get everyone at least 60 minutes game time against a really competitive and capable opponent and get the mentality re-attuned to competitive football for the second half of the season. We were all delighted with the application across the board but special mention to our payers from the reserves and U17s who all played really well."
Accies did start sluggishly and an extremely dubious decision to allow McLauglin to continue her run from a blatant offside position saw Hibs take an early lead. Accies conceded another soon after when in fact they should have probably scored themselves but a slack turnover allowed McLaughlin to finish very well from the edge of the box.
Midway through the first 30-min period Megan Walker combined well with the mercurial Cara McBrearty to fashion a shooting opportunity for herself but it was blocked by Hibees who countered with a clever long pass that Terri Donnelly did well to intercept.
Accies skipper Jen King was combining well down the left with McBrearty and Jacqui Seagrave who was drifting across from a central position and Accies almost got on the scoresheet when McBrearty showed for a pass from King and bamboozled the full back with a beautiful flick inside to then turn and drive using Walker as a decoy. The move petered out but Cara had shown her class.
Hibs maintained the 2-0 lead but Accies got back into the game when Sarah Crilly combined with McBearty and Walker to drive through the centre and finish low with her left foot to get on the scoresheet. Hibs again went long and scored through Caroline Kerr but not before Elaine Fleming pulled off a couple of tidy saves from long range efforts.
The second 30 saw four changes for Accies as Ruadh Houston, Laura Lyttle, Carolina Richardson and Amy Bulloch appeared for Susan Lang, Megan Walker, Lindzi Bayne and Jacqui Seagrave. This period saw a few chances created for both sides and a rocket of a shot from Hibs Hollie Thomson come back off Elaine Flemings crossbar whilst at the other end a Kirsten McGuire free kick went begging. No goals in this 30 however, so status quo of 3-1 as the final 30 kicked off.
Hibs opened the scoring first through McLaughlin but Megan Walker responded with a 20 yard effort of her own as the game went more end to end. Carolina Richardson began to assert some dominance with the support of Jen King down the left hand side and indeed made a beautiful run through the centre of the pitch and bore down on goal and was about to pull the trigger when fouled by the Hibs defender. In a competitive game this would have been a "no questions" red card but the ref rightly awarded just the free kick, the context of the game required no further action.
From the Free Kick Jacqui Seagrave shot past the post but only minutes later Richardson stepped in from the left and sent one over the bar. Minutes later she received another pass from Amy Bulloch and repeated her move to step in and lashed the ball home from 25 yards.
Accies were pushing for an equaliser but with no injury time played the ref blew at 4-3. Objective achieved in terms of getting everyone game time and a really pleasing show from the combined squad across three teams.