A hard fought, strong Hibs performance and most importantly a win for us, taking us 9 points clear. Usual rules apply, I was one of 3000 very noisy Hibs fans inside Tannadice tonight and did not have the luxury of multiple angles, replays and second opinions that those of you who watched on the tellybox might have done, so bear with me, I have just done the near two hour drive doon the road on a dirty night.
Can I start by saying, we made it awfy hard for ourselves, other than a 10 minute initial charge by United, we were far superior, a better team playing better football, with more passion, ability and nouse. But as only Jason regularly scores goals (by foot heed or hand), we leave ourselves wide open to team getting daft goals. Not tonight right enough as Gray, Daz, Lalala lalala Efe Ambrose and Stevenson were having none of United’s pish.
The team started as I suggested it might in my thread on the bounce last night, it was what we needed to be honest, as I said, the keeper and defence were great, McGinn and Shinnie solid and skillful, Bartley and Boyle, frankly disappointing for me, and Holt and Bubble heed gave us good games.
The referee was card happy, and pretty poor with it, but frankly United are a punt, hit and hope shower and I think both St Mirren and Dunfermline have gave us better games recently?
Rocky was superb, not that he was given much of a test, but he commanded well and done everything he was asked to do.
I think David Gray, captain and winning goal scorer in the 2016 cup winning team is never as good with a winger in front of him, tonight I thought he was fine.
Darren McGregor is a class defender, more so second half.
Lalala Lalala Efe Ambrose strolled about that pitch tonight with his smoking jacket on, a glass for brandy in one hand, a cuban cigar in the other, passing balls about in his golden slippers and heedin’ the ball through a silken night cap. He was magnificent, a joy to behold. He has a song, its catchy, it had the Hibs ends rocking, so did he. Lalala Lalala Efe Ambrose……………….
Lewis was first class, he danced round United players, was firing crosses in, linked up well with Shinnie and Ambrose and looked to be really enjoying his game.
Marv was there to stop and stifle, I thought he struggled to do that first half, improved second half, but we missed him when he was replaced by Fyvie.
John McGinn got tore right in, indeed first half, I felt he was doing Marvin’s job better than Marvin.
Shinnie was great, I thought he played really well, his pass for Jason’s goal was inch perfect. If he mans up, I would like him to stay for our next adventure.
Boyle came in and out the game but gave us very little.
I though Big Holty was immense, good first half, excellent second, he put himself about, his touch was good and he linked the play up really well.
Jason scored a stoatir, but is a total dafty, getting booked for punching the ball away like a jessie then punching the ball into the net and getting sent off. Matched only by his boss being sent to the stand for complaining about it. Christ almighty guys.
Graham came on and ran about.
Fyvie came on for Bartley and caused nothing but trouble for us with stupid and badly executed passes and silly fouls.
Forster came on for the last five to keep us strong defensively, he stuck to his task.
I thought Neil and Gary set the team up right. Once we weathered an early storm we played United off the pitch. We were worthy winners, well done gaffer and gaffer ehhh light?
The referee was appalling, although correct to send the United man off for two yellows, and Jason off for the same, why was Gollom not sent off after being booked when he committed a deliberate handball to break up a Hibs attack? Useless bastard.
I thought United were dreadful, a hoofball, clueless team who I reckon would not beat Falkirk or Morton in the play offs. I am surprised Ray McKinnon had them play like that?
The Hibs support were magnificent, 3000 strong, we sang all game, we were the 12th man, and the backing of the team after our Saughton Silly Sausage McMuffin got sent off, carried the team over the line.
Man of the Match, well I thought we had some very good performances, Darren McGregor, of course, Lewis had a great game, Andrew Shinnie, he is getting better and better, Grant Holt, he to is like a fine wine, maturing with age after being allowed to breathe. However, for me there was one man who stood out and that was, LALALA LALALALAHHHHHHH EFE AMBROSE! Magnificent Efe, you were absolutely magnificent!
Mark is having a nice time in Barcelona to celebrate his recent burpday and asked me to fill in again on “Just Back” a week or so ago. I happily agreed to doing my 9th report of the season, hoping it would be a much hoped for Scottish Cup Quarter Final. Thankfully, due to an excellent outing against our neighours, Les Jongleurs, that came to pass…but the games since then resulted in me feeling less excited than I might have been going into proceedings this afternoon. Driving home from Paisley on Wednesday night, my laddie fell asleep before we’d even passed Glasgow Airport and I was left alone with Neil Lennon’s post match interview and my thoughts. It was a long journey home, made all the more tedious by ugly, odious Orc traffic blocking the highway, already under strain from unrelenting motorway upgrade roadworks. I had a long time to think, I rued the fact that so many key players have been injured, almost continuously, throughout the campaign. Important, talismanic, figures like Hanlon and McGeouch. Crucial star turns like McGinn. It most certainly has hampered our ability to stamp our boot on the throat of our opposition and squeeze down ruthlessly. It most certainly is a product of being in this unforgiving league for a third season – our players booted up and down the park week in, week out, as teams try to thwart our superior wage bill and related ability. I rued the fact that, in the twilight of his career, Grant Holt really can’t be expected to play two games a week in back to back weeks…and can see Lennon prioritising certain games over others, in order to use him sparingly and wisely – only there is nobody else capable of playing the foil to Jason and it had shown all too painfully on Wednesday night. Holty may not score as many as people would have liked but his contribution in letting others play, taking the game long, or simply to the opposition is only too obvious when he is missing. It was a depressing drive home and I was angry with most of the players. Especially the ones who did not even bother to acknowledge the near 1000 strong support at the end of the game on Wednesday night. It was a real indication of which of our players have balls…aye, that’ll be you, Lewis and Darren.
So, on to today with a little more trepidation than would have been comfortable. Trepidation that seemed to, earlier in the week, have transferred itself onto the prospective attendance figures. It’s a shame that the defence of our trophy suddenly seemed to be less appealing to so many. However, this afternoon, more than had been apparent via “dot count” turned up and there was a healthy enough crowd for the team to take the field in front ot. Ayr had not lost to us at Easter Road on two occasions already this season and perhaps this also had a bearing in people’s minds. I preferred to hope and believe it would be third time lucky. This morning, en route to Musselburgh, I spotted a giant billboard with John McGinn bang smack in the middle, advertising a local supermarket. It had to be an omen…didn’t it?
With Darren out through suspension, Fonts out for a couple of months after sustaining an injury in a poor tackle last week, Hanlon still recovering slowly, it was a relief to see the imposing frame of Jordon Forster line up alongside Big Iffy. I really had not fancied us having to take the field of play with a centre half partnership that had never played together before. David Gray had been simply awful on Wednesday night – his worst outing in a Hibs strip – but he kept his place in the side, with Mr Reliable at left back, as usual.
Super had been Average last Saturday and no very good on Wednesday night. The Saints fans had taunted him with the chant “You’re just a shite Steve McGinn”. Many were advocating a rest for him but we have been in no position to afford him that luxury – in case folks hadn’t noticed, Dylan McGeouch has been absent more often than Daniel Sturridge this season…and the rest of the midfield have been anything but super of late, the Gunts game aside. We could only hope Super could be, well, super…
Bartley, Shinnie and Boyle made up the remainder of the midfield, with the latter a very lucky boy to still be in the starting line up. Holty and Jason, the obvious starts up top.
The Scottish Cup sat resplendent in all her glory at the side of the pitch as the two teams came out. It was as visible as possible reminder of what was at stake – as if we didn’t already know that! We started brightly, as per last Saturday, with Shinnie, Boyle and McGinn probing from the off.
John McGinn (the absolutely Super version) opened the scoring when he curled a superb right footed shot past Fleming from the edge of the area after only seven minutes.And it didn’t take very long before Jason Cummings bagged the second from the penalty spot after Martin Boyle had been floored in the area, having cut in from the right hand flank. 11 minutes on the clock and Hibs are happily 2-0 ahead…however, we were in a similar situation last Saturday night and nobody was taking anything for granted. Nor should they have…not long after, narky Gary Harkins played in McGuffie, who from all of 25 yards belted a cracking shot past Rocky, who had no chance with the effort. He should have been closed down better, no doubt, but that was possibly the goal of the round (if we don’t get enough votes in for Super). Hibs settled after this and never looked likely to lose a second that might have caused a ripple of further uncertainty to filter through the support and we got to half time with the scoreline 2-1 to the champions…and a well deserved applause for the side from three stands.
The first half had ended with as straightforward and awful sending off as you can imagine. With Super being super once again and bearing down on the Ayr penalty area, he was taken out in Aussie rules fashion by McKenna, who knew to walk before the referee even got the red card from his pocket. The dismissal, unfortunately, in many ways killed the game. The tempo dropped, Ayr retreated to two banks of four with one up top. They were hoping to hit us on the break with long balls over the top but Iffy showed a level of composure for the entire second period, mopping things up when they did get over the top, strolling through the remaining forty five without breaking sweat. It was enough to prompt a song in appreciation of his efforts and, should he continue in the same vein for the remainder of his time with us, I am certain we will all be “Na, na ,na, na, na. na, na-ing” for the remainder of the season. Keatings would be brought in to freshen things up with about 20 mins to go and he made an instant and telling difference, scoring an excellent (but rare) header that went in off the underside of the crossbar from a David Gray cross. It was a final blow for Ayr, secured a win for the Hibees and assured us a place in the semi-finals. Our third Scottish Cup semi final running and our fifth in six seasons. And to think 2012 “killed us as a club”, eh? 😉
Hibs are going to Hampden and the annual scramble, disputes and frenetic activity around getting a ticket can begin…but only after we take care of league business, starting on Friday night.
To the team…
Rocky – not a huge amount to do but an immeasurable improvement on the performance those of us who went to Paisley witnessed on Wednesday
Sir D of G – better than Wednesday, a solid outing
Fozzy – glad to see him back. The physical presence of Harkins would have been a worry if we’d gone with the much smaller and less experienced Crane. He’ll be sore tonight.
Iffy is a Hibee – strolled through the game, especially the second half. It was a master class in composure.
Lewis – bombed up and down all day, another one who upped their game from Wednesday
Super – aye SUPER. He was back. If not to his absolute Superdooper best, nonetheless Super. Welcome back, son.
Bartman – he’s better when teams come at us, he gets a nose bleed in the final third of the park but he works his erse off. He did so again, today. Better, again.
Boyle – I said at the start he was lucky to start today. He definitely did way better than midweek, made a goal in getting the penalty and generally a pain for the opposition, instead of us. That’s more like it, Boyler.
Shinniesta – Man of the Match from William Hill. I have to say, I can’t argue with that. He is, as the guy behind us says every feckin’ second week, an enigma.
Holty – battered and bashed his way through this one. It’s more what we miss when he does not play that makes him so important than any specifics today. Rest up big man, we need you to batter some Arabs next weekend.
Jason – took his penalty well, offside far too often for my liking. He played, he scored. It’s what strikers are paid to do. Big game coming up. We know what he will give us then.
Keats – what a fine cameo from Keats. Great wee rare header of a goal saw some over-excited celebrations from the entire team. Well done, Keatsy. You were what we needed at exactly the right time. Good lad.
Graham – didn’t do much, on very late
Fyvie – on for Bartman, again late in the day and no time for any impact.
Ref – we’ve had better, we’ve seen worse. At least he did what so many haven’t this season and punished the hammer throwers who have delivered us of so many injured players all season
Lennon – still top of the league, into the semi finals of OUR cup. He’ll be satisfied. The haters are always gonna hate. I just want him to deliver. We’re nearly at the business end. Over to you, Lenny, to bring it home over the course of the next month.
Garry O’Connor – did the half time draw in a flash suit. Wags all round asking if it was from Harvey Nicks
Man of the Match – nice to have a few contenders instead of simply going for the least worst. Super, as said previously, was indeed Super. Efe had a walk in the park. However, I will concur with the sponsors and go for the man they call Shinniesta. An enigma, yes. But a worthy recipient this afternoon. And an apt nickname, given where 1875 is today.
The fans – well played all who turned up. Along with ST holders, you should be at the front of the queue for tickets for Hampden. Did I just say “tickets for Hampden”? I think I did. All aboard the Hibernian rollercoaster – the Hibees are indeed going to Hampden. AGAIN. Happy weekend in Barcelona, 1875. You’ve a semi final to come back to. Happy weekend, all. (And get yerselves up to Dundee, if you can).
Can you imagine if we had actually upped a gear there, we gave the miscreants a doing and it could have been much much more. After a false start with Mrs Humphries laddering her tights after two minutes, the tactical masterstroke of introducing Shinniesta so early was the turning point, after a full two minutes of fitba Hibs decided to give the Dumbos a right good tanking. A great keeper, a solid defence, a masterclass in midfield and the best performance I have seen of the Holt and Cummings pairing. Neil, you got it spot on, players you gave your all, fans you filled the stadium and silenced the Jambos. WE ALL ARE HIBERNIAN FC TONIGHT!
We started with two wide players, Marv slotting in in front of Daz and Fonts, John more of a play maker, Holt causing absolute carnage and Jase’s game coming together in a manner we had hoped we might one day see, he scored, he laid off, he protected the ball, he passed, he ran the raggety erse of the maroon balloons, he was a terror, the terror of the Hearts.
Cathro was punch drunk (he had a can of Topdeck shandy after detention today), Granny McPhee had his hair in his eyes and the Jambo players bickered with each other as the silent section in the Dunbar End offered the odd boo and an auld song or two that barely raised a chorus. They took their captain Bobby Bathroom off at halftime, making Jamie Walkers sisters pants captain second half, captaining a supposed football team and one time war winner.
As I sip a cold Peroni, considering my thoughts on the teams performance, can I just say, I am a very Happy Hibby tonight, along with thousand of others! I like Wednesdays now.
I thought Marciano had very little to do, but had a couple of confident clearances and a fantastic parry at the end of the game.
David Gray, winning goalscorer and captain of Hibernian when they won the Scottish Cup on the 21st of May 2016 had a smashing game tonight, best he has played in a long while.
Tonight something strange occurred in my football life, Darren McGregor was only average, still hard as nails, still HIBS through and through, but he had a tough shift against the 77 who has mare names than Jimmy Savilles note book.
Fonts had a great first half, but wobbled second half, when he started to try and be Pique not Liam. Did well though.
Mixed opinions in my wee group about Lewis, I thought he done well, others thought he was a bit out of sorts. Who cares, he was in a winning team over that shower of shite.
Big Marv was solid, he was hard, he got us going with his bone shuddering challenges. He did tire, but had a cracking game.
SJM was superb in glimpses, easily lost the ball at other times. He done well enough though, and helped create our third goal.
Although Humphrey started he was off in two shakes of Cathros school blazer. Shinnie replaced him and gave us his best game in a Hibernian jersey, Ok him and SJM are casual and lose the ball too much, but Shinnie talking a Jambo on, playing a simple pass and getting tore right in tonight was a joy to watch. His pass for Jases goal was inch perfect, his goal was wonderful, what a peach, drifting through their defence before unleashing a pearler…..brilliant.
Boyler tries awfy hard, can regularly beat a man but should have done so much more. Needs some upper body work.
Now, Grant Holt. Well I have never taken to him. Tonight I finally did. I thought he had been decent at the Guntery, tonight he was superb. He ran those Gorgie barstewards ragged, he harried, shoved, pushed, kicked and got right in their faces. It worked, their defence was frazzled. Add to that fine touches and knock ons, a wonderful strike home for Jason’s great pass, tonight I wished he was 10 years younger, imagine that in a Hibernian shirt. Well played Grant, have a lie doon pal.
Jason tonight had for me his best performance for Hibernian. As one who defends the laddie, I have watched him develop this season. Yes he is a goal scorer, that is his job, one he does with aplomb, especially against his old employers, the ones that sacked him, the dafties. His touch, his link up play, his shooting, his all round game has improved so much. I thought he was unplayable at times tonight, I know the defenders did. His pass for Holts goal was sublime too, this laddie is going places, with a big cheesy smile plastered across that daft laddie mug of his. Jase, the Broomhouse Pirlo, I salute you son. Have a muffin on me.
Graham came on for Holt and showed why Holt is picked ahead of him. Graham scores goals but does little else, Holt is the opposite.
Fraser came on for a cream crackered Jason Cummings and shored us up well, even for the few minutes he was on he got himself right into them.
I thought Neil Lennon and Gary Parker got it spot on, given the original game plan was changed so early. They had those laddies pumped up, the Jambos were never going to beat us with Neil in charge. He hates them as much as us. Thanks guys, that was much appreciated.
I though the supposed best ref in Scotland was poor tonight, no hesiation in booking Shinnie and McGinn, but he used the invisible yellows the gunts kept waving when Walker kept diving and 77 and 4 in bloodied stool coloured shirts kicked and shoved all game. No a good day at the office for the man who refereed that glorious day in May.
Man of the match at the game was given to John McGinn, I am guessing plucked oot the hat by the sponsors guide dug? For me the contenders were Holt, Marv and Shinniesta, however the winner was for me, Jason Cummings, I thought he was magnificent.
Better shoot off, on the 6.45 to Leeds in the morning, trust me to no be in the office the day after we beat that lot, I see a conference call sing song coming the morn at some point, if anyone can find any guntoids under a desk!
Finally, a special thank you to fellow bouncer Robert Barone, cannae beat a joyous manly hug and a beardy kiss on the forehead when Shinniesta scores a pearler against the filth.
See you all on Saturday.
I am sure most of you will have heard Neil Lennon’s post match interview, he was raging and quite rightly so, Hibs did not start playing until 60 minutes, not because Humphrey came on, more we seemed to wake up when Raith made 3 subs at once. That is not good enough, Neil doesn’t think its good enough, nor do we. Couple of things on that, 1, the fans pay to get into matches Neil, we have more to grumble about than you and you picked the team, 2 , it took you over an hour to make the most obvious change, the narrow diamond wisnae working, Raith’s midfield were running over the top of us, as you watched on. For the second week in a row, Fraser Fyvie and James Keatings have looked lost in the positions they are playing. John McGinn also had to work hard to get involved. The game was crying out for wingers, we have two on the bench, we didnae see them until it was frankly too late.
Team shape is everything in football, Neil talked about respecting the opposition, I don’t think he respected them much. He started the game the way he wanted Hibs to play and ignored Rovers shape completely until they scored and Keats got injured. Mvoto had Cummings in his pocket, it was crying out for Holt to mix it up, we brought him on with five minutes to go, right after Graham had won his fist header of any merit. I also think we piss about way too much, Marciano does not distribute a ball as well or as quickly as Laidlaw, Fontaine takes an eternity to blooter it to no one in particular, Lewis today took a touch and went backwards too much, Jason’s touch was woeful first half, Fyvie found a Hibs player with only one or two passes, McGinn played some lovely football in spurts, but I think the position he is being asked to play doesn’t suit him. Keats clearly disnae know what to do n that role, he barely brought anything to the game. We did start to play after Jasons wonderful free kick, but it was powderpuff, and I reckon we came into it as the balloon Hughes made three subs at the same time and Raith wobbled after it. Not good enough Hibs, no where near acceptable, in front of over 2500 Hibernian fans who pay good money to see more craft, guile and effort than was on show today. I have to say we have 3 or 4 lightweights in our team, jessies, poly bags, shirkers, call them what you will but they need to toughen up.
Your rant was admirable Neil, but you pick the team, you can make the changes to the team and shape, you left it too late. Change it when it is going wrong or not working.
I thought Rocky had no chance at the goal, but he was poor in his distribution and I wasn’t impressed.
Gray was fine, up and down that line, but no opportunity to get the ball in the box, although he stuck in a couple good headers that the two/ three strikers done nothing about it.
Darren was Darren, he has to be at the moment.
Fontaine did ok, but he hoofs the ball aimlessly and for me he should have got his head on the ball and scored a flying header, he didnae as he never scores with his head which begs the question why does he go up for corners?
Stevenson has a reasonable game most weeks, but it often goes wrong in Kirkcaldy, it didn’t today, I thought he did fine, a couple of very nice bits of football.
We needed Marv today, the Raith midfield was robust, aka hard and no feart to foul, not that the baldy prick of a ref noticed. He got booked, when Raith players didn’t for similar fouls.
John McGinn showed snippets of brilliance but clearly disnae like that narrow diamond, when he sits on the left, but he got more into the game when Boyle came on and John moved more into the middle.
Fraser Fyvie rarely found a Hibs player with a pass all game, he was generally brutal. Another one who does not play as well when we shape up like this. What a waste of a good player.
I like Keats, he tries, but he was rotten today, he just never got going. Even a number of his dead balls were poor. The third of four midfielders who are less affective when we play that narrow diamond. Pity, Keats gives a shite, but is another lightweight, easily bullied by Hughes’ hard men. Picked up a head injury and walked round the track after being replaced by Boyle looking like Benny Brazil.
I argue that Graham disnae get enough time to prove himself. He was given that time today and simply didn’t take his chance. Frankly I felt that Holt would have given the Raith defence more of their own medicine, we left it too late to find out whether that was the case.
Jason scored a wonderful free kick, but had a hard shift up against the excellent Mvoto who was all over him. Not that Jason didn’t try, he just had a torrid time against the big fellae.
Humphrey came on for Fyvie and has the odd burst of wingerness, but really didnae set the heather on fire. I am not impressed.
Boyle came on for Keats and was direct but is a jessie.
Holt came on too late, replacing Graham, with no time really to noise up the Raith back four. Pity, I am not his biggest fan, but I do think we needed him up there today, Neil, you waited until 5 minutes to go.
Neil’s rant on the radio was eloquent and full of passion. Pity he only blamed the players as he got the shape wrong and didnae sort it until we fell behind. He picks the team, he needs to admit his own mistakes, and correct them promptly. Like the attitude though, you sounded like a frustrated Hibs fan, that will do for me.
I was an admirer of Raith Rovers old Chairman, Turnbull Hutton, he stood up to the Huns when bigger clubs including our own representative didn’t. I liked their green away kit. It was all spoiled when they signed that fannies Skacel and Locke. I never liked Hughes but he went up in my estimation by not bringing on the snidey big nosed prick on. I thought Raith looked like a John Hughes team, hard, robust and ugly, much like Yogi. But they matched us for an hour. Hibs could do a lot worse than signing the big number 5, Mvoto, what a good, no nonsense defender. He had a couple of our players keeking their drawers today.
I thought the referee was appalling, Raith kicked, fouled and tugged with impunity. He booked one of them. Marv was booked for being black, Keats for having a beard and Graham for scratching his arse in an intimidating manner. He denied us two penalties. Only TV coverage will confirm if he was right, both looked penalties from my seat?
Hibs were pretty poor today, so much so we had no really player who shone, sadly I have had to say that too many times this season. One or two never stopped trying, Daz as ever, McGinn in wee bursts, but today I give it to Jase, his wonder goal got us a point, the laddie will be one of the reasons we get promoted (if we do), he scores goals. No one else looks likely.
Next its the Jambos, the horrible, bloodied turd wearing representatives of the establishment. The library dwelling puddle drinkers will no doubt be digging out a song or two they can sing at Easter Road on Wednesday. They may even sing one? We need to put them to the sword, batter them, blooter them and beat them to a pulp. Get the feel good factor back.
Get behind the team, doing so gives us a 12th man, doing so will help us over the line.
Its not often you leave the fitba thinking we won when we didnae, but Hibernian today won the battle, had we scored that elusive goal, we would have beaten the Gorgie gash. Not only did we match them, we bettered them. Ok Rocky had a couple of great saves, the Jambos did have 10 minutes first half and the same second, otherwise it was Hibs, Hibs, all the way.
The Hibernian support were magnificent, it was like a noisy Hibs home game, joined by Liam Henderson deep in the Hibs end. The Jambo songbook is reduced to some shite about Europe, some 5-1 squeaks and two songs to the tune of the Auld Orange Flute and the Billy Boys. Hibs on the other hand, sang about Runaround Sue and ramming 1902, Earth Wind and Fire’s September about the magnificent Darren McGregor and Boney M’s Daddy Cool in honour of Captain David Gray. That is the difference, we support our team, they obsess about us.
Usual rules apply, I was lucky enough to get a seat in that dump with Shrink, remember you guys who saw the game on the box had the benefit of better angles and replays. I was not surprised about today’s line up, Marciano’s great saves underlined his selection and Fontaine’s poor game last week saw him replaced by Forster, which had me worried with his favoured right foot, it showed a little in the game, but not enough to matter. I often suggest Fyvie and Marv cannae play together, it proved true today with Marvin being magnificent and Fraser having a distinctly average game on the right of midfield. Holt up with Cummings was expected, I thought they worked well together and both might have scored.
So we survive to fight another day, we deserved to, we are better than them, we play football, not hoofball, our pitch is far better, theirs is a tattie field. Well played Hibs you deserved that, I feel like we won as I write this, we beat them 0-0 .
Marciano had a couple of magnificent saves. Isn’t it nice to have two good keepers in the squad, what a difference.
I thought Captain David had a great game today, a couple of fantastic tackles that hammered the Jambo players and he drove on well after sussing their left back was poor. David scored the winner in last years final, he will not let this trophy go lightly.
Darren McGregor played like a good Hibs man should, he took no prisoners, he was immense. He never gives the ball away.
Forster did well, although a couple of times he struggled to get the ball to his better foot. I was a bit surprised he pulled up with what looked like a hamstring pull on the hour.
Lewis Stevenson had a great game today, like captain David, he nailed the Jambos often and hard. He got up and down that line well and had an all round smashing game.
Marvin Bartley sat in the hole in front of the back four. Marvin was absolutely magnificent, he played like a man possessed, he clattered, battered, tackled, barged, push, pulled and kicked them. What a performance from the Big Fellae.
Fraser Fyvie had a poor game by his standards, really didnae get his game right until late on in the match. I don’t think he plays as well on the right side of midfield.
SJM drifted in and out of the game, brilliant in bits, losing the ball to often other times. Again I think John is better through the middle driving at teams.
Keats played top of the diamond and had plenty of the ball and worked really hard. His one shot was more like something seen across the road at Murrayfield or off the boot of a gorgie hoofballer.
Holt takes stick, he is not ever going to be to many Hibs fans favourites, however I thought he did a power of work today and noised up their 77 all game, no enough for that freak Gollum right enough. Might have scored both just before halftime and had he been faster onto Jasons great cross second.
Jason got tore in, he loves winding the Jambos up, it works. He did make chances and sent over a fine ball for Holt to go close. He will score against them at the Holy Ground, I am sure of it.
Fonts came on for the injured Forster and had a fantastic half hour, well played Fonts.
Graham came on for Holt late in the game and led the line well enough, won a couple of headers.
I though Lenny and Gary set us up well, a to beat the pitch and to beat them, we almost did, we were the better team and with some luck and more shooting on target we might have all been getting steaming after beating them . I think the Management team have enough about them to put the Jambos out in ten days time.
I thought the Gorgie Gash were Gorgie Gash. Sorry, they are not very good and the football reminded me of the type of football their ‘real’ manager used to encourage when in charge of them and Scotland.
Whilst Gollum has had worse games in charge, he refused to talk to the Jambo players after they committed foul upon foul, the number 4 fouled all day long and I don’t think he seen a card. The foul on Gray at the end by the guy the band name, The Four Tops I think, might have been a straight red from my seat?
Man of the match for me was Marvin Bartley, he was brilliant. So was Darren, Captain David and Lewis, but Marv was simply a joy to watch as he clattered into the bloodied turds.
Next up, Raith, we had 3200 plus fans at the horrible Pink Bus Shelter today, lets see at least that in Fife next week as we look to seal the League up.
Well played Hibernian, well supported Hibernians, very proud of you today.
We are Hibernian FC.
The name Joe Tortolano is one which always gets Hibernian supporters talking – with Joe there seemed to be no happy medium in that you either loved him or hated him – but what could never be questioned is the 100% commitment Joe gave to the Hibernian cause every time he pulled on the famous green and white shirt. Joe remains to this day a committed Hibernian man – 11 years at the club will do that to you….
A Stirling lad by birth, Joe arrived at Easter Road in August 1985 on a free transfer from West Bromwich Albion. When Joe arrived at the club he had a reputation as being an out and out left winger who could chip in with a goal or two. The then Hibs manager Alex Miller though had his own ideas about how and where certain players should play and it wasn’t long before Joe was converted from a flying left winger into a left back, although with his natural attacking instincts Joe was still always keen to push forward at every given opportunity. “Where I played didn’t really matter to me” said Joe. “I’ll use the old football cliché of players being willing to play anywhere to get a start. That was definitely the case with me.”
While retaining many great memories of his time at Easter Road, Joe highlighted two moments which instantly stand out for him during his time at Hibernian. The first was a rare headed goal which he scored against Hearts in an early nineties Edinburgh Derby. Further to that, Joe was delighted when we told him that we had actually found a picture of him scoring that particular goal. “I’ve been trying to find a picture of that goal for years! Scoring for Hibs against Hearts is a special moment for any Hibs player.”
The second memory which he recalls with fondness was the Hibs fans chant of Joe, Joe, Super Joe; Super Tortolano! “It’s not every player that gets their own song and with me being very much a player who thrived on confidence, that song really lifted me when the fans sang it. It made me feel ten feet tall and made me feel as though I was a valuable member of the team. It took me a long time to win over some of the Hibs fans but to hear them singing that song signalled to me that hopefully they realised that I always gave 100% for the shirt.”
We couldn’t talk to this Hibs cult hero though without touching on another incident for which he will be remembered, and it’s fair to say that it’s not one he’s particularly proud of. The incident referred to is of course ‘that’ tackle on Manchester United’s Gordon Strachan during Gordon Rae’s testimonial match here at Easter Road in October 1988 for which he was ordered off: “Wee Gordon was just too quick for me and nothing more than that,” recalls Joe. “It was a bad tackle I caught him with but there was genuinely no malice intended in it. I felt the referee that evening spoiled what should have been a great occasion by sending me off. While fully accepting that I couldn’t really complain about it, if he’d applied a degree of common sense, he could have maybe asked for me to be substituted immediately and at least left it as an even sided game. I think the fans and big Gordon Rae were a wee bit short changed that night because of the referee’s lack of common sense.”
To be fair though to Gordon Strachan, he appeared to bear no grudge towards Joe for the tackle. Joe told us “He was back at Easter Road a few years later with Coventry City for I think Gordon Hunter’s testimonial although he turned out for Hibs that evening. When he saw me he smiled and said “Alright Tortolano – I’m glad I’m playing on your side tonight!”
In his time at Easter Road, Joe made a creditable 222 appearances for the club scoring 13 goals. In 1996, Joe left the club much to his disappointment. “It was a sore one for me finally leaving Easter Road after 11 years,” he told us, “I’d only just turned thirty and I honestly felt I could still have done a decent job for Hibs for at least a couple of seasons more. That’s football though and when you have to leave you have to leave.” After leaving Hibs, Joe went on to have spells at Falkirk, Clyde, hometown team Stirling Albion and East Stirling before hanging up his boots in 2000.
Joe then spent some time on the coaching staff at Cowdenbeath during Keith Wright’s spell as manager,” I’m also a member of the Hibernian Former Player’s Association which was started by my old team mate Paul Kane, and that allows me to keep in touch with some of my former colleagues. People don’t realise how much you get bitten by this club when you’ve been part of it, although I was born in Stirling, I’m a Hibs fan through and through!
Err came, they scored, they nicked a point. We allowed it with a pathetic first half showing, a poor team set up and a lacklustre performance from some of our better players led to finishing a poor week in our Clubs history.
We were awful first half, lots of possession but was pedestrian. Pissing about disnae work, it disnae impress. The two winger idea didnae work, frankly Humphrey didnae work as an idea and he did nowt but pass it back, McGinn and Fyvie were a shadow of their normal selves, Fontaine was rotten, a bombscare who, along with the keeper were at fault for Err’s only shot on target going in. Shinnie took a bit of stick, but other than being a jessie, he actually looked like he had a bit of craft about him. I excuse Keats, that cannae have been easy getting no service. Err were tough and wee bitty dirty, with the exception of Darren and Lewis, we weren’t.
14,000 Hibs fans and 300 Err fans watched a poor game, although I don’t think Err sat in as much as some other teams, they had a good game plan, one that pissed Hibs fans right off, but it worked. We resorted to 5 strikers on the pitch to grab a point.
Laidlaw annoyed me today a bit, his distribution was poor, all too often he gave it to Lewis or Liam, who pissed about with it and or lost it. He was poor at the goal, that was a saveable tap in.
Gray did very little first half, we took the hapless Humphrey off and Gray had an excellent second half. Might have scored a couple.
Darren McGregor was a bit edgy early first half, but went on to have a very good game. Hard as Nails.
Fontaine scares me, he has become a liability. For a centre half, he simply cannae heed a ball and his defending is poor. Nice wee touch on occasion though. Not good enough.
Lewis Stevenson is up and down that line all game, we know his final ball is poor, its a pity as gets himself into positions and is solid in the challenge.
SJM had as quiet, nervous and pretty poor game as I have seen him in a Hibernian shirt. Lets hope John is saving ‘super’ for the Charity Bumpers next week.
Fraser Fyvie is a key to how Hibernian play. He was poor today, so were Hibs, that tells us everything you need to know. Stevie Wonders Guide Dug gave him the man of the match.
As I said above, Shinnie took some criticism from the stand, unfairly I think. He was the most creative of our midfielders and if he grew a pair of hee haws and stopped being a jessie, he would be an important player in our team.
Humphrey was rotten, I think he might just be a dud, prove me wrong, act like Mr Humphrey, no Mrs Slocombes pussy.
Boyle drifted in and out the game. He was decent when given a ball down the left on his ‘wrong ‘ foot, he was missing on the right when they switched, regularly.
Keats had the horrible role for waiting for service from his two wingers, it wisnae happening. He also waited for service from a midfield that on paper looks the biz, he got nowt. Keep going Keats, you are the best dead ball man in the team.
Holt came on for the useless Humphrey at half time. I am no his biggest fan, decent guy but past it for me, but today he was good, the two best passes of the game, involved in the goal and unlucky not to have scored with his header at the end. I think he is one to change a game as a sub.
Cummings replaced Shinnie on the hour and scored the goal. Normally I might moan he should start but Keatings deserves his place. Jase does what he does best and scores goals.
Graham come on for Boyle and done nowt.
I think the management team got it wrong today, I even read about us playing with wingers before the game. Ian McCall may have played for the Huns and should be considered a dafty for that, he isnae. He worked us out and Lenny and Gaz the Portly took too long to change it, although the changes got us a point. Too much team tinkering for me. Must do better, even though I expect you are as pissed of a the administration at Hibs as I am.
Crawford Allan was piss poor, he should have been at Murrayfield with all the other Crawford’s, Findlays, Campbells and other sports fans with names that are back tae front.
Err, the moment I saw you, I swerr. Its one of those teams I cannae warm to, I like Paul Cairney, I have been in Ian McCall’s company in Dnipro, he is alright but as a Club I cannae stand them for nae apparent reason. They gave us a game today and deserved their point, well done, fitba with a bit of bite.
Positives, renewed my membership of St Patricks, my oldest moving up to the adult St Pats membership, earning his first free ten pound token at the Hibs Club bar, as Big G said today, where did the time go and a pint of Guinness for me and Big G please. I also had a blether with Baldy Foghorn from the darkside, we have more in common than we don’t and there a good Hibby’s out there who look after their own. You know who you are.
Man of the Match was not Fraser Fyvie, sorry. It was Darren McGregor who was Hibernian’s best player by a country mile. Hard as Nails.
Next week its the establishment club against the peoples club. The Ginger Bairn who manages the club who couldnae pay their paper bill or charities owed, will have his Championship Manager upgrade on his laptop as his assistant Granny McPhee does his best impression of Graham Rix against the Hibs masterminds Lennon and Parker. I ken who I would back in a bar brawl or a game of chess. Lets burst their plooks, give that trampy looking fud McPhee a f***ing hosing and ram that laptop right up the Gorgie gonads. The pitch will make the game, that tattie field disnae suit us, I hear it disnae suit them, lets play them off it Hibernian.
F*** the Hearts.
On a cold day, me and Shrink headed down to Dumfries through pretty heavy snow. By the time we got there and had learned the principles of dewpoints on bison slabs in the flats off McDonald Road from my enthusiastic joiner brother, the snow had been replaced with rain. A few welcome pints with South West Hibby and his son Nathan in the less than hospitable Robert the Bruce Pub and off we went to the fitba.
Its a skittery plastic pitch, where the ball bounces like someone has been sitting on it. They gave us a game. With few changes from last week, other than Captain Dave back, and Humphreys out for Fyvie. We lined up 4 4 2. Danny Carmichael started for Queens looking like the 12 year old he looked like in a Hibs shirt, with the dangerous Dobbie and expert nippy fouler Rankin in their ranks.
I thought we started slowly and looked fragile, Darren was giving passes away left right and centre, Fontaine was like Bambi on AstroTurf, the midfield was disjointed (With one notable exception through out), Holt was duff and Jason alone. Once we bedded in though, we took control of the game, Fonts and Daz looked solid, the lean looking Dobbie was well contained, Shinnie had a decent first half, McGinn an excellent second, Keats fleeted in and out but was keen and Fraser Fyvie never stopped and never put a foot wrong. We played with flat back four which allowed David and Lewis to defend well but rarely got forward first half. Jason never stopped wanting the ball and Holt just got in the way. Laidlaw was, as ever, steady and strong. However, one immaculate training ground corner from our best dead ball man, James Keatings, a cleverly taken shot with the inside of Super John’s foot, a fortuitous wee deflection gave us the goal that won us the game.
The Doonhamers are much improved and dare I say it, although they have Dobbie, it looks like they need a striker. Other teams will drop points down there.
Laidlaw never out a hand or foot wrong all game, he blocked, jumped, caught and snatched everything he needed to.
David Gray, captain of Hibernian on the day he scored the winning goal in the 2016 Scottish Cup Final had a good steady game with some thumping challenges on young Danny Carmichael.
Darren rather unusually let half a dozed passes go astray early in the game. He went on to be the class defender we know he is.
Fontaine too started poorly and was caught once or twice with the ball after pissing about too much. Even second half he removed his brain and went on a mazy that dragged him miles out of position when a 10 yard pass to Lewis was on. He did however do an excellent job of containing Dobbie, and might want to check both his own and Daz’s back pockets to check if Steven Dobbie is still in either tonight?
I thought Lewis was excellent today, first half as defender, second as both a defender and playing some nice football down Hibs left.
Fraser Fyvie was magnificent today, he was Hibs. His 90 minutes of hard work, tackling, dropping back, pushing forward were great to watch. I have called Dylan the metronome of our team, it may just be Fraser has stolen that mantle.
Andrew Shinnie had a very decent first half, less so in the second. He is a player of that I have no doubt, but he needs to ‘man up’.
Super John McGinn had an indifferent first half, but was magnificent second. A great goal scored and he drives and drives at teams, it must be knackering playing against him. Thanks John, watching you in you pomp is worth the entrance money, coupled with the fitba of Fraser Fyvie, 16 quid to get in is a bargain.
Keats set up the goal with a pristine corner to John McGinn. As I say often, I have grown to really like James Keatings play for Hibs. He tries hard to be creative, is direct and is very clever with dead balls. Keep it goings on.
Holt was rotten, the only things of value were when he tracked back once, didnae commit a foul and won the ball instead, and then wasted a few seconds fannying around with the Hibs fans when being subbed. Its like playing with 10 men.
I heard the ‘odd’ Hibby moaning at Jase. It cannae be easy up there beside Grant Huddie. Jason made space, tried to get in on goal and never stopped playng fitba. They took him off before his aforementioned co-striker.
Boyler replaced Jase with 15 or so to go. I don’t mind Squirrel being introduced as he runs, is direct and is enthusiastic in his play. He is a good lad is Martin, a super sub.
Forster replaced Keats with 5 or so to go, no reflection on the good Keatings performance but an acceptable move by the management team to see the game out.
Graham replaced Holt at the same time as Forster came on. Nae time to do much. Holt has walked from the centre circle to the Hibs fans opposite side of the ground from the tunnel and dugouts, gesturing his hands to represent 9. He knew he was going off and was time wasting. Not the Hibernian way in my eyes.
Overall, I think Lenny and Gary got the set up right, it was a difficult game on a greasy, bobbly, unpredictable pitch against a team with 2 or 3 good players. I felt we had room to play more football than we did and that a more direct approach with 11 players, not 10 and Holt would have seen Queens off more comfortably. The 3 at the back decision for the last five was clever and worked as we were under a bit of pressure.
The referee was distinctly average, I have seen him do worse when reffing Hibs games.
Queens are ok, they gave us a game, played football and have some decent players. We have no played them twice doon hame, lest hope its a long time before we have to do so again, although I may still visit Dumfries to sup beer with our excellent hosts, Stevie and Nathan.
The Hibernian support impressed today, we filled one stand and there were 100’s standing behind the goals in the pouring rain. As I keep saying, each and everyone there should be guaranteed a ticket at the Guntery in a few weeks. Make it happen Hibs.
Man of the Match was easy, Fraser Fyvie was magnificent today. Well played Fraser, a proper player.
Thanks to Shrink for the birl doon the road, thanks to Stevie and Nathan for the good company, and thanks Hibs for the win, eight points clear.
Next week, home to Ayr, see you all behind the goals.