Ladies share the spoils in opener

East Fife Ladies captain Lisa Fitzpatrick.
East Fife Ladies captain Lisa Fitzpatrick.
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East Fife WFC...........................3

East Fife WFC kicked of their league campaign against Hearts in the First Division.

Hearts were national Second Division champions last season, so East Fife were expecting a tough tie.

With Gibson suspended after her red card last weekend, Wylie away with work commitments, and Clark still out after breaking her wrist in training, East Fife handed first team debuts to U17s Walas and Nicholson.

Hearts started the game the stronger of the two sides, with East Fife taking the first ten minutes to settle in to the game.

There were no real chances to note, however, the Fifers soon started to build in confidence with Reilly achieving success down the left.

The Fifers took the lead after good play wide by Reilly and Skivington, with the clearance falling to Anderson on the edge of the box, who fired a low left footed shot through the legs of the defender and beyond the defender.

East Fife dominated the game with Skivington firing a fantastic left footed shot across goal and just wide of the target, Reilly attempting an overhead kick and taking the ball out of the path of an advancing Anderson, and McAllister sending a ball across the front of goal.

A mix up between Hamilton in the Fife goal and Pattison, saw Pattison fouling the Hearts player on the edge of the box.

The resulting free kick, was not the best effort ever, but it was fumbled by Hamilton and found its way in to the bottom corner.

The second half started similarly to the first with Hearts enjoying possession, however, Fife would go ahead once more.

The ball was played wide to Reilly, who took on three players, before placing a fantastic shot from 30 yards in to the top corner.

McAllister had the chance to put the Fifers 3-1 up and put the game beyond Hearts after being released one on one with the keeper, but blasted straight at the goalie, with Skivington screaming for a pass.

East Fife appeared to be holding out but with seventeen minutes left, the referee awarded a speculative free kick. Again Hamilton struggled with her judgement in the wind, and the ball sailed over the ‘keeper’s head.

Hearts took the lead for the first time in the game with ten minutes remaining after Hamilton again fumbled a weak shot, that was put behind for a corner. The corner was swung across, to the back post where Anderson cleared a header off the line, only for the Hearts striker to fire the clearance high in to the net.

With seven minutes remaining, Fife were now pushing for the equaliser, and it fell to an unlikely source. Having not scored a competitive goal for over 2000 minutes of football, Fife captain Lisa Fitzpatrick stepped on to a beautifully weighted pass from Skivington on the edge of the box, and lobbed the keeper.

Hamilton made a superb save at the feet of the Hearts striker with three minutes remaining to leave the final score at 3-3.

Fife captain Fitzpatrick said: “It was great to get a goal today, but more importantly, we have ensured that we did not start our First Division campaign with a loss.

“We felt we had chances to put the game beyond our hosts, and need to ensure we are taking these chances in future games.

“We will get back to training this week and work hard, to ensure we are ready for our next game.”

The next match is at King George V Park to Cumbernauld Colts on Sunday, March 17 at 2.00 p.m..