Hibernian 0-0 Glasgow City: Hibs retain SWPL Cup 4-2 on penalties

Hibernian celebrate
Hibs have beaten Glasgow City in two of the last four SWPL Cup finals

Hibernian lifted the Scottish Women's Premier League Cup for the fourth year running after a penalty-shootout victory over main rivals Glasgow City.

After a goalless draw at Airdrieonians' Penny Cars Stadium, Jenna Fife saved from Hayley Lauder and Clare Shine.

Cailin Michie fired home the winning spot kick as Hibs won a seventh domestic knockout cup in a row.

It was the second time in four years that City have lost the cup final to Hibs.

In a cagey 90 minutes, Shine had passed up the best of the chances for City, and the same player missed with a point-blank header in extra-time.

"We're still Hibs, we're still fighting and we can still compete" said forward Jamie-Lee Napier after lifting the cup. "This has given us a massive boost and we'll take this into the second half of the season."

Hibs have fallen five points behind City - who still have a game in hand - in the title race, while the loss of eight players since last summer has decimated their squad.

"We just wanted to go out and prove to everyone, especially after the defeat to Celtic at the weekend, that we can still compete and we're going to challenge for everything this season," said Napier.

"It obviously takes a lot of confidence to go up and take a penalty but the girls are confident and we had belief that we were going to win it and belief in Jenna that she could make the vital saves."

Underdogs prevail

They may have been winners of this trophy three years running, but Hibs arrived in Airdrie as underdogs.

While they were still searching for form, City had been relentless in front of goal, with 61 scored in just 11 games this season.

Hibs began on the back foot, but the normally reliable Shine drove into the box only to hit her shot against the goalkeeper's legs then spurned the rebound.

But City's early dominance faded, with a Nicola Docherty header wide the best they would muster for the rest of the half.

Instead, Hibs began to knock the ball about and find spaces. Rachael Small headed over from close range, while Napier twice broke through City's backline but could not pick out a team-mate.

The second half was a much livelier affair and there was controversy at both ends.

Small had the ball in the net for Hibs, but the referee penalised Amy Gallacher for a foul on the goalkeeper despite minimal contact. Then Docherty hit the deck in the box, but City's appeals for a penalty were ignored.

As Hibs began to tire, City upped the pace. Megan Foley and Shine took aim from distance before Jenna Clark headed wide from a corner.

By the time the extra 30 minutes arrived, space was opening up, but both goalkeepers watched a glut of chances fly over their crossbars.

Shine should have buried a free header but could not hit the target - and so it went to a shootout.

Lauder and Shine's efforts were tipped round the post by Fife before Michie sealed the win after Siobhan Hunter, Small and Shannon McGregor netted their spot-kicks.

Hibs winger Martin Boyle paid this tribute to partner Rachael Small
Hibs winger Martin Boyle paid this tribute to partner Rachael Small