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Hearts and Rangers get point across in tough draw

Hearts Women's U19s 0

Rangers Women's U19s 0

  • Sunday, 02 September 2018
  • Broughton High School, Edinburgh
  • Under 19´s
  • U19 National Performance League

Hearts and Rangers were even in Edinburgh in a goalless match that saw plenty of the midfield, occasional bite, and few chances.

Bar an early Hearts shot drifting left, the opening exchanges were mild. Hope for the hosts came in the skilled touches and turns of Jennifer Margaret Dodds and the presence of strike partner Emma McFadyen, while Rangers’ effort to locate their opponent’s vulnerability by rotating the ball through midfield was admirable. Yet by the 15th minute there had been no further strikes at goal as both defences pushed play into the middle 30 metres of the park.

A thaw in that defensive dominance began to appear as the half evolved, with Hearts the first to threaten just before the 20 minute mark. McFadyen floated a lob wide right after miscommunication in the Rangers back line, and a minute later a challenge between Dodds and Rangers keeper Chloe Rae required a clearance from behind the Glaswegians’ number one. With Hearts pushing forward, Rangers went long, and Leah Mulrine almost reached captain Ellie Macdonald’s lofted pass.

Nonetheless, it was the home side for whom the chances were beginning to fall, and when Dodds emerged from some touchline tackling in the 27th minute she was free of the fullback on the right and able to cross. McFadyen’s header went past Rae but also the post.

Rangers’ ship steadied and the half subsequently fell into another midfield battle. The first signs of needle crept in as space diminished, and it was unsurprising that the final chance of the half came from pressing rather than passing, with Rangers almost undoing themselves from their own goal kick but McFadyen hitting wide.

  • Half Time:
  • Hearts Women's U19s
  • 0-0
  • Rangers Women's U19s

The breeze that arose just after half time was mirrored in the increased pace with which both teams closed down their opponents after the break. Three touches became a luxury in the midfield engine rooms and both teams recognised hard work was a likely deciding factor. Captains Kazya Stevens and Macdonald, both focal centre midfielders, roamed and tackled.

Again, opportunities were initially scarce. A snap shot from Rangers’ Lee Wright went wide, and a driven free kick by Hearts’ Claire Delworth found no takers. Both coaches went to their benches for inspiration. The referee twice went to her pocket to reprimand.

The 70th minute saw one of Hearts’ changes nearly pay off. Fullback Eilidh Begg was sprung free on an overlap down the left side, and pulled the ball back to substitute Emma Yorkston. The striker angled her foot, aiming beyond Rae’s left hand, only to see the keeper dive to make the first save of the match, parrying the ball to safety.

Rangers responded with their own first effort on target, as a corner caused a scramble that eventually fell to Sarah Stewart. Her shot was on target but denied by a foot amongst a mass of bodies. She was to have no better luck five minutes from time when, briefly left clear on the left hand side of the box, she was denied by the covering defence sliding across. On a day in which defensive organisation and resolution defined the game, it was a fitting end to a final chance.

  • Full Time:
  • Hearts Women's U19s
  • 0-0
  • Rangers Women's U19s

Lineups

Hearts Women's U19s
Rangers Women's U19s
1. Claire Whittaker
2. Tegan McLean
3. Eilidh Begg
4. Jamie-Lee Bain
5. Claire Delworth
6. Emma Yorkston
7. Lucy Horn
8. Kazya Stevens (c)
9. Lauren Hall
10. Jennifer Margaret Dodds
11. Emma McFadyen
12. Amy Denholm
15. Eve Mooney
17. Jayden Simmons
1. Chloe Rae
2. Lisa Kirwan
3. Rachel Poneskis
5. Amy Whitters
6. Dion Young
7. Leah Mulrine
8. Ellie Macdonald (c)
10. Lee Wright
12. Stephanie Dorans
14. Rebekah Cooper
15. Niamh Provan
16. Cody Kilday
19. Sarah Stewart
Star Player
Hearts Women's U19s
Rangers Women's U19s
Kazya Stevens: While Hearts’ defence was collectively the best component, Stevens was the team’s key individual. Losing midfield would have lost the game for either team, so it was vital she made herself felt. Also showed a few sweet pivots in an area with little space for playmaking.
Ellie Macdonald: Almost ditto to the work of Kazya Stevens. Macdonald was the leader of this young Rangers team, not only through captaincy but also getting work done in the middle. A strong player on the ball, and a ball-winner off it.
Magic Moment
Hearts Women's U19s
Rangers Women's U19s
Twice Eilidh Begg was released down the left wing. The second produced the game’s closest moment to a goal, but the move in the first half - Stevens, inside to Lauren Hall, then setting Begg free - was the slickest move of the match.
Lisa Kirwan, the Rangers right back, was the best player on the pitch at creating time on the ball through positioning and keeping her eyes up. A solo wander forward in the second half, finally cleared by a Hearts centreback for a corner, showed a player who understood where the spaces were.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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