Hibs held on to their 2-1 lead to remain champions of the Capital Cup and secure yet another three points as they beat Hearts at Easter Road.
It was a tale of two halves with the opening 45 minutes providing little for the fans to get excited about. However that would all change following the break with Jorian Baucum scoring her 12th and 13th goals for the Hibees this season.
Katie Lockwood brought one back for the opposition, which was quickly responded by a chorus of boos, but the homeside prevailed and Grant Scott now sees his side sitting fourth in the Scottish Women’s Premier League.
Speaking exclusively to Edinburgh Evening News, the Hibs boss said of his players’ change in pace: “We felt the first half we hadn’t really imposed ourselves on the game. We’d kept the ball well but we hadn’t really moved ourselves and basically mapped out the plays we’ve been doing a lot in the recent games.
“It was more about reasserting those things at half time, encouraging the players to keep doing what they’re doing, what’s worked for us.”
Scott had several headache inducing squad decisions ahead of this fixture with the likes of Tegan Bowie and Eilidh Adams starting on the bench. While Bowie is arguably one of the Hibees best players this season, Adams is coming off the back of two hattricks.
When asked about his squad choice, which saw Rosie Livingstone start in place of Bowie, the Hibees gaffer said: “I think with Rosie it’s a straight fight at the moment for that position. Rosie’s covered in that position when Tegan’s been out in the last few games, they’ve both done equally well so it’s always a tough one. Rosie’s performing well, she’s done well again today.
“She gives us that threat of cutting inside. Tegan’s very left-side and will traditionally go outside of a full-back so we felt that with Emma Brownlie at right-back, she’s a strong player, so with the dynamic of Rosie who can go outside or inside and obviously leading up to that first goal she cut in and had a great shot which was difficult for the keeper to hold.
“That dynamic she can give, she’s high energy, she’s fast, so she thoroughly warranted her start today.”
The boss did also admit that Tegan Bowie was carrying a slight injury that, while not so severe she couldn’t play, there was enough of a concern for her to start from the bench.
It was ultimately a team performance but there will be two names hitting the headlines for their work. Leah Eddie, Hibs captain, was celebrating her 100th cap for Hibs today and was able to mark it with a phenomenal show in central defence and her boss was full of praise
“Leah is such a consistent performer”, Scott said. “She’s been so unlucky as a young player to come through a couple of serious knee injuries but we’re now grateful and seeing the best of her.
“She’s a great reader of the game, she’s strong on both sides, in the air but she’s very very composed on the ball and she helps us play out. We’re very, very fortunate to have her and hopefully she’s here for a long time.”
Baucum, of course, makes the second headline as she continues her goal-scoring run. It was a quiet first half for the American but she made up for that in exceptional manner following the break.
The 27-year-old joined Hibs from Damainese this summer and has fast become one of Scott’s key figures on the pitch.
Speaking about her transfer, Baucum’s boss admitted: “We’d done a lot of research on Jorian. We thought she was going to be the player she’s turning into.
"I think in the first part of the season she found it quite difficult to adjust to the league and probably the climate more than anything!
“I had a tough call leaving Eilidh Adams out who’s on the back of another hat-trick. That’s what I get paid to do, make these calls so it’s very difficult to do but Jorian is playing well and happy she’s got the goals today.
“We’ve said to the players, it’s probably been the toughest week decision-wise, a few lost hours of sleep this week!
“But it takes a squad to produce that sort of performance so everyone is included in the celebration for sure”
It was one of the rare times Hibs Women are able to play at Easter Road and with over 5,300 spectators in the crowd it certainly makes for a different environment than Meadowbank.
When asked about the potential nerves that arise on these bigger occasions, Scott said: “Part of my role was to remove the peripheral things around the game. There’s no secret about it, it’s a distraction for sure but it’s a welcome distraction.”
“But when they go across that line for 90 mins they have to try and block out as much as they can.
You can feel the extra energy throughout the week for sure! But it’s a good nervous thing because when the crowd’s with you they can give you that extra energy.”