I must admit to being worried on my way to Easter Road tonight as there has been so much transfer speculation today, I was concerned about focus on getting the win. Beforehand Neil Lennon on BBC Sportsound increased my nerves as he spoke through the transfer movements and speculation. He then rightly questioned why we were even playing tonight when others are not. I was reassured however when towards the end of the interview, Neil spoke of the importance of a home win and I felt there was focus on the job in hand.
Inside Easter Road with all my family we cheered my wee nephew who was one of the many mascots for the night onto the pitch with captain Paul Hanlon and the rest of the team. It was a surprise line up with the inclusion of Florian Kamberi who signed yesterday on loan from Grasshopper until the end of the season.
I thought we started brightly and at a good pace. Early on Kamberi had some lovely deft touches. You could sense the crowd were encouraged by these and furthermore when he accurately directed a low hard drive towards the Motherwell goal that was cleared off the line. We then shortly afterwards hit the woodwork from Hanlon and Hibs were dominating proceedings. McGinn in midfield was dictating the play and looked like a guy with the weight of transfer speculation lifted. Kamberi then got his debut goal and he took it very well directing the ball high into the net. And boy didn’t he enjoy it as he ran towards the Hibs dugout. Hibs had absolutely dominated the first half and went in at half time deservedly ahead and would have perhaps felt their dominance should have put them more comfortably ahead.
Hibs again started the second half very well with Slivka off (didn’t notice any injury, was it tactical?) and Bartley on and we got the second goal our play deserved. Barker smashing the ball into the net following neat play down the wing in front of the West stand. And similar to Kamberi didn’t he enjoy his first goal for the club. Although of course he’s waited a little longer than Kamberi! The celebration though looked somewhat bizzare as after some delay he ran to pull out the corner flag and start waving it about….
I think we probably all felt at that point ‘Game over’ as we were by far the better team. Hugely frustratingly the referee was far far too lenient as Motherwell attempted to perpetually disrupt our game with incessant fouling. As all too typical of this season the referee offered our talented ball players absolutely no protection by waving play on when our players were clearly fouled.
I felt because of this lack of protection the flow of the game changed. We stopped doing all that we had been doing and let Motherwell back into it. Darren McGregor who had been at his usual brilliance was forced off with an injury. I must admit I thought the obvious replacement was swapping Darren directly with Ryan Porteous but Neil Lennon elected to put Ambrose in the centre and introduce Faycal Rherras at right back.
Many of us were probably thinking back to earlier in the season when we were 2-0 up at home against Motherwell only to drop two points. And when Motherwell pulled one back I must admit to being greatly concerned as the boys looked flat on their feet…. However, credit to the boys seeing the game out. It was a deserved three points.
Never really troubled. I just wish sometimes he’d dominate his six yard box a little more and come for balls that look to me his to take.
Commanding throughout. When he keeps it simple he’s a class act. His shot at goal in the second half just lacked power!
The guy is just everything you want in a centre half. Does he ever lose a high ball? He certainly never loses a 30:70 ball….
At fault for their goal when he should have booted it wherever? That aside a usual efficient Paul Hanlon performance.
He took an early sore one but the guy is a machine. Thought he played very well. Sometimes his final ball let’s him down but he’s won both the Scottish League Cup AND Scottish Cup with us. X’s2 Legend!
I think he’s still adjusting to our game. I thought he did ok in the first half but needs to impose himself more.
Not at his best I thought. But maybe that’s because his standards are so high? He’s such an intelligent player he does simple things that perhaps he doesn’t get credit for. Please please stay Dylan!
Back to his best. The only thing about McGinn that upset me tonight was the poor half hearted rendition of “We’ve got McGinn….”. Sing up!
I love this kid. I think he’s got loads of ability. He can go past players at will. If he increases his desire and finds a better final ball what an asset he will be. Great finish and give us more please.
I thought he was quiet tonight. I feel at times he’s brushed off the ball too easy. Given no protection by a useless referee.
Man of the match. Lovely touches. Intelligent feet and tremendous goal. Well done son. Keep it up and we will love you.
As always he does his job effectively.
Maybe nervous in his debut but I felt he never looked to take the positive option?
He just looks the real deal. Such composure. I hope we soon see more of him.
Who was he? Hopeless. Some really bizzare decisions.
Not a bad turn out on a school night but far too quiet.
And 7 points ahead Levein you Jambo pri**
Geebsie will be doing a Q and A at our next Branch meeting on Thursday 15th February at 7.30 in the Hibernian Supporters Association Club, Sunnyside.
Gordon ‘Geebsie’ Hunter played more than 400 games for Hibs over a thirteen year period, helped win the Skol League Cup and appeared in two other finals.
However, he will be always be remembered for one goal in particular, scored in front of delirious Hibs fans in the Gorgie Road end of Tynecastle on August 27 1994; a goal which ended the 22-game winless streak against the Hearts stretching back five years.
Due to ground refurbishment at Tynecastle, a smaller than usual number of tickets were allocated for the away supporters, which caused many Hibs fans desperate to be there when the run finally ended, to buy tickets amongst the home support.
This became apparent when the teams emerged, and the first half saw a constant stream of Hibs fans being removed from the Hearts end. Most, if not all were allowed to join their ‘colleagues’ behind Jim Leighton’s goal.
After a goalless first half, Hibs took the lead in 62 minutes. After being awarded a corner, Michael O’Neill sent a dangerous cross into the centre of the box and Dave Beaumont flicked the ball on for Gordon who arrived at the back post and fired an angled shot high into the net from ten yards. The Gorgie Road end erupted in a sea of green and white, but experience taught the fans that the game was far from over as the Hearts’ players were determined to keep their record going.
Stephen Frail and Mo Johnston were booked for fouls on Darren Jackson and Steven Tweed respectively, and then with 17 minutes remaining, Gary Mackay was sent off after his second booking of the afternoon for pushing Brian Hamilton on to the track as they fought for a ball near the dugouts.
Eventually, referee Les Mottram blew for full-time sparking unprecedented levels of celebration from the Hibs fans, with several running onto the park to congratulate the players, and a great weight had been lifted off the shoulders of everyone at the club, while Gordon gained immortality amongst the Easter Road faithful.
There was much more to Gordon’s career than that one goal however.
Brought up in Wallyford, Gordon made his name with Musselburgh Windsor, before signing for his boyhood favourites. At that time, Hibs had a number of quality youngsters coming through the ranks including Paul Kane, Mickey Weir, John Collins, Eddie May, Kevin McKee, and as part of their football education, the youngsters would take on the coaching staff including Jimmy O’Rourke and George Stewart.
Legend has it, manager Pat Stanton watched the young Gordon flying into tackles, and referring to the letters GH on his training kit, allegedly said; ” GH, more like GBH” and the name ‘Geebsie’ was born.
Soon after, Pat handed the youngster his first team debut as a 16-year-old in November 1983 in a 2-1 League Cup defeat to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park, alongside Willie Jamieson and experienced full-backs Alan Sneddon and Erich Schaedler in the back four. Ironically, Gordon Rae whom he would partner in the centre of the Hibs defence played centre forward that night.
Gordon played a further two games that season then seven the following campaign as the club changed managers with John Blackley taking over from Pat Stanton.
His career took off during season 85/86 when he made the number six jersey his own, and helped the club reach the League Cup Final, beating both halves of the Old Firm on the way. Celtic were dispatched on penalties after a memorable 4-4 draw at Easter Road in the quarter final then Rangers were beaten 2-1 over two legs in the semi-final.
Unfortunately, big Gordon Rae was suspended for the final, and the Hibs youngsters were no match for Alex Ferguson’s experienced Aberdeen side.
A poor start to the following season saw John Blackley replaced by Alex Miller, but if Gordon had any concerns about his place in the team, they were quickly proved to be unfounded as he was selected for Miller’s first game against Rangers at Easter Road which ended on a 0-0 draw.
Gordon remained a regular under Miller and scored his first goal in a 2-0 won over St Mirren at Easter Road in December 1988, playing his part in helping Hibs qualify for Europe where he featured in what many consider to the club’s finest away performance, beating Videoton 3-0 in Hungary.
Following the unsuccessful takeover bid by Wallace Mercer, Hibs started the 1991/2 season in style, reaching the Skol League Cup final after beating Walter Smith’s Rangers in a never to be forgotten game at Hampden thanks to a Keith Wright goal. Gordon and the defence then held firm against an onslaught from a Rangers team which included a forward line of Ally McCoist, Mark Hately and Maurice Johnstone.
A fine defensive performance in the final against Dunfermline resulted in another clean sheet, whilst Tommy McIntyre and Keith Wright scored the goals which brought the trophy back to Easter Road after an absence of 19 years.
Two years later, Gordon helped Hibs reach another League Cup Final, but the multi-million pound Rangers team put together by Walter Smith lifted the trophy after a closely fought contest at Parkhead where the teams were separated by an overhead kick from substitute Ally McCoist.
Gordon’s loyalty to his boyhood heroes was recognised in September 1996 when he was awarded a testimonial match against Gordon Strachan’s Coventry City at Easter Road, becoming only the 10th Hibs’ player to have ever been bestowed that honour.
Another change of manager saw Jim Duffy replace Alex Miller, but a poor run of form meant that Gordon’s testimonial year coincided with a relegation battle, which ended in a play-off against Airdrie.
Gordon’s last game for the club was the first leg at Easter Road, which Hibs won narrowly, despite his controversial first half red card which ruled him out of the return leg at Broadwood.
Thankfully, despite losing an early goal then conceding a penalty to a stuffy Airdrie side, Hibs fought back and a fantastic performance from Darren Jackson in particular saw Hibs retain their top flight status.
Freeing Gordon caused some raised eyebrows amongst the fans who could only speculate as to whether his presence in the team could have helped avoid the subsequent relegation which arrived at the end of the following season.
Next stop for Gordon was Australia with Canberra Cosmos then he briefly played in Iceland before returning to Scotland to feature in the colours of Dundee, Cowdenbeath and Hamilton.
Gordon continues to play several charity games each year with former Hibs teammates, remaining a popular figure amongst supporters.
With thanks to Hibernian Historical Trust