Sorry for the slight delay in the writeup, went to spend Easter Sunday efty with my Family, its important we all do. Yesterday also saw us say goodbye to one of the Hibernian family, one of The Family, Bradley Welsh. Well done the fans of both clubs in showing their appreciation for Brad.
Usual rules apply for telly watchers, no reruns, differing angles or analysis from my seat in the West Lower, if I get anything wrong, feel free to correct me.
The sun was beating down pre match, more Costa Del Sol than Coast O Forth, as I drove through the toon from West Lothian, its great seeing wee bursts of green Hibs tops at bus stops all through town, the Hibees really are back in their droves. The team nowadays just about picks itself, although our bench finally looked a bit more experienced, Celtc, well we knew they would give us a game. Heck’s unbeaten run to hold onto, potentially beating Lennon’s Celtc, it looked like it might just be a cracker.
We set up with our usual defensive six, Mallan & Omeonga in the middle, Horgan right, Flo left, Sparky though the middle. We went at Celtc from the get go and might have taken the lead a few times in the first 10-15 minutes. Celtc then bedded in and starting going at us. It was a real rough and tumble game, plenty good football, lots of feigning of injuries by Celtc players who should be better than that, plenty robust tackles from Hibernian players, often earning yellow cards where none was necessary.
I have a theory that Heck likes to play to hold teams for 60 minutes, that is not to say hold them at 0 0, it might be 2 3 zip for Hibs but its the last 30 minutes we seem to up the pace and go at teams as the opposition tire? Caltc are the toughest nut to crack, in McGregor, Forrest, Brown and Rogic they have some good players, almost as good as the Hibernian players yesterday, but not quite good enough.
So to our team…..
Ofir was magnificent, not one, not two, not three but four wonder saves. Rocky had his best game in a Hibs shirt. That last 10 minutes earned him man of the match. Mrs Marciano, your mans a Keeper!
Sir David Gray, scorer of that goal, on that day on the 21st of May 2016 when he captained Hibernian to that Scottish Cup win. Well Sir David had his second best game in a Hibernian jersey yesterday, he was superb, up and down that line, linking well, driving us on. His tackle on Scott Brown had the 3 Hibs stands roaring like we had scored a 92nd minute winner v the Huns in a cup final. If Rocky had not had his superman suit on yesterday, Sir David was getting Man of the Match from me.
Darren McGregor has had a new lease of life under the Heck, every week he gives his all, robust, strong, a leader, I wish he was 10 years younger.
Paul Hanlon too has been immense under Heck, he made one small mistake the whole game yesterday, otherwise a flawless performance.
Lewis was Lewis, he never let whatever Celtc threw at him bother him, he gets up, brushes himself down and goes again.
Mark Milligan was the wee chink in our armour yesterday, I felt he was slow, both physically and mentally, he slowed our play down, too many backward or inaccurate passes, he looked tired.
Stevie Mallan I thought came on to a smashing game, especially second half. His challenge on Lustig was perfect, only the Scandanavian cheats rolling about getting him booked.
Stephane Omeonga was a buzzbomb, he gave Brown a torrid time and covered every blade of grass. Excellent player, I hope we can extend his loan or even sign him?
Daryll Horgan had his moments, some excellent moves, othertimes he looks like he needs a lie down.
Flo disnae enjoy playing left wing, its obvious. Only thing he done was push the Celtc player and get himself needlessly booked.
Marc McNulty’s movement is excellent, ok he is on a wee barren run but he does look like he will score when a chance comes along. I hope he too stays, imaging him feeding off Scott Allan’s passes? Took a sore one near the end, hope he will be ok for the Puddle Drinkers game.
Double Subs after 70 minutes saw Slivka replace Milligan and Shaw replace Kamberi. I thought Slivka had a good twenty minutes, he got tore in. Oillie for me isnt goo enough, still skinny as a rake, still indecisive in front of goal. If he wants to make it at Hibs he needs loaned out for a season, toughen himself up and beef up.
10 minutes or so of cameo from Tam Agyepong, he never really got into the game for me.
Heck and Robbie pretty much matched up to the champions elect. I know Heck says he has fallen in love a wee bit in love with his players, we have fallen a wee bit in love with you Heck, keep it going.
Celtc look like champions, although they play like Lennon’s champions, not Rodgers. Thank goodness Rogic, their best player for me, only gets 15 minutes at the moment, he drove them on last 10 and only Rocky’s brilliance saved us.
The referee booked 5 Hibs players and no Celtc players, work that one out.
The fans were noisy yesterday, both sets. When I say both sets, I means the Since 1875 fans were giving it laldy from the Famous Five, and the punters mostly gathered in Section 43 of the East also gave it plenty, pity they didnae sing the same song at the same time at any point. The Celtc fans, who all seem to join in with their songs at the same time were very noisy too. It made for a great atmosphere.
Man of the Match had to be Rocky and his wonder saves, but he was run close by a brilliant performance for Sir David Gray.
Next up is the gunts, bring it on. HOOOOOOFFFFFF!!!!
Finally, this Just Back is dedicated to the life and work of a fine HIbernian. Bradley John Welsh, I salute you. Rest in Peace Brother.