#SWPL CUP FINAL Post Match Reaction: ‘Penalties not a lottery’

SWPL Cup Final between Hiberniain Ladies and Glasgow City FC. (Photo: Lorraine Hill)

Hibernian and Glasgow City managers, along with Hibs forward Jamie-Lee Napier, spoke after the Scottish Women’s Premier League Cup Final on friday evening was decided on penalties.

Hibernian head coach Grant Scott had predicted that this clash between two Scottish rivals would be top drawer and with a high-tempo 90 minutes, full throttle extra-time and a gripping penalty shoot-out, it certainly kept the record crowd on the edge of their seats.

Both Hibs and Glasgow City enjoyed chances, but in the end, the Edinburgh side won it from the spot, keeper Jenna Fife the heroine in the pouring rain as she denied Hayley Lauder and Clare Shine before Cailin Michie scored the decisive winner. Hibs, who needed to bounce back from a 3-0 loss to Celtic in the SWPL1 ahead of this tie, have now won this cup competition four times on the trot. Here’s what Grant Scott and striker Jamie-Lee Napier had to say for Hibs, alongside Scott Booth’s verdict for City…

Hibs boss Grant Scott on the match:

Photo: Lorraine Hill

“I thought it was a typical game between us two. Really tight, really competitive and either team could have won it over probably the 90, the 120 and penalties [which are] not a lottery, there’s an element of skill in there, but fortunately Jenna [Fife] made some critical saves and we win the tie so it’s great.”

On his defenders:

“The defence were excellent today, we got ourselves a bit messed up on Sunday [against Celtic], we didn’t keep our discipline and our shape and probably the influence of Joelle [Murray] coming back in was a massive influence, for want of another word, on the whole thing. But I thought [they were] outstanding the back four, Jenna included.”

On keeping a clean sheet for the entire competition:

“Honestly, I’ve been asked the question several times around cup competitions, why are we like we are but I can’t really answer it. That’s a tough cup to win, it’s the top 16 teams in the country. I’m delighted for them.”

On what it means to win another cup:

“We are still up to fight for the league and there’s plenty of football to play and we might get a wee lift from this but we are fighting on all fronts. We want to win the cups and we want to do well in the league so we’ll keep fighting for as long as we can.”

On winning on penalties:

“It’s horrendous. We would take a 1-0 with a ricochet off somebody. It’s just one of those things, I feel a bit for City, they put a hell of a lot into that game and it’s not the best of ways but no-one has ever come up with a better way of deciding these matches. It is what it is, so I’m pleased all round.”

On choosing the penalty takers:

“Five volunteers believe it or not.”

Hibs forward Jamie-Lee Napier on the victory:

Jamie-Lee Napier. (Photo: SWF)

“I’m just buzzing. It was a really tough game, coming into it we knew it was going to be tough, Glasgow City are a great side. But we showed great fight and character throughout the game and we are just lucky enough to get the win and everyone is buzzing.”

On chasing the winning goal:

“The team were working so hard, I felt that a goal was coming, but if it wasn’t I had full belief in the team that we could still go out and get the win. The girls played class throughout the full game so I thought the win was coming and we deserved it.”

On the impact that the cup win can have on their season:

“It was massive for us to win to just show everyone that we’re still in it, still fighting, we’re still Hibs, the team that can go out and win stuff. Yeah, massive win for us and we’ll take that into the next run of games.”

Scott Booth on the result:

“It’s a really tough one to take because the players in the dressing room, I think they see it as a missed opportunity. We felt like we controlled large parts of the game, had the majority of possession and had also some good opportunities around their box and we just lacked that composure, that final pass on a number of occasions. For me, that was the difference.”

On losing on penalties:

“It’s really hard because it’s a really fine line, but it’s got to be a lesson that you’ve got to learn. When you feel that you have the upper hand in cup finals you really have to take the opportunities and chances when they come and I just felt we didn’t quite do that. We defended really well at times, I thought we had some good movement and passing at times but as a whole, there wasn’t that clear cut chance that we should have been able to make. Credit to Hibs, they dug in there and when it gets to pens you know it can be anybody’s game.”

By Catherine Etoe @lionsonhershirt