Hibernian 1 Inverness Caledonian Blooterers 1
Usual rules, it was on the telly, if you were not at the game and saw it on the box, no doubt you had a better view, reruns etc. They started well, we had the best of either side of half time, they ended better. They fouled a lot, an awful lot, they hoofed a lot, an awful lot, but they did squeeze in the odd bit football. The referee was sh@&%, aren’t they all? A better ref would have issued more yellow cards, leading to red cards. We are still in the Cup and have a decent chance of getting through to a semi against Dundee Hibernian, but our League campaign needs it like a hole in the heid, especially a midweek replay right after a Cup Final.
McGeouch was back, is he made of chocolate or are the doctors and physios all getting it wrong, he did very little before going off, it’s a worry. John McGinn and Liam Henderson, worked together ably supported by Thomson tight behind them, with Gray, McGregor, Fontaine and Stevenson in from of Oxley. Stokes and Keatings were picked to lead the line. We went to a back three when we lost McGeoch and I thought it worked well, Gray and Stevenson belted down the line, Gunnarsson and McGregor in particular enjoyed their tussles, and James Keatings looked like the player I thought we had signed.
I felt that Stubbs delayed the changes yet again, ok he had to take McGeouch off early but to wait until the 80th minute plus to bring on Dagnall for Keatings was keech, as was the lack of pace from Boyle, or target man in Farid, both of who may have made a difference?
Still we didnae lose before the Cup Final, Ross County did and if we play like we did in parts today, I think we can win the trophy.
Mark Oxley didn’t do too much wrong, couldnae stop the goal, but does take too long to release the ball.
Gray did pretty well as a winger and put in some meaty challenges in the meaty challenge type of game it was.
Darren McGregor was immense after a couple of early mistakes, he went on to have a great battle with ICT Heifers up front.
Liam Fontaine had a very decent game today, he was tested by the strong front two and did well.
Stevenson had a good game going forward, another player who loves a meaty challenge and he got right tore in.
Thomson was quietly excellent today, a tidy player, who can pass and challenge. Given he was often up against that 6 ft 8 freak show artist who went doon easier than a pint on a hot day.
McGeouch did little before hobbling off injured again. If the laddie is no ready, dinnae play him, we are just setting him back even more.
McGinn, like his pal Henderson had a tough shift today and I felt both laddies done well, given the robust style of play Hughes has his team play. John’s magic in the defensive corner second half is why he is called Super John McGinn.
Henderson along with McGinn, worked hard in difficult circumstances. He looked overwhelmed occasionally but never stopped creating and tying.
I have been very critical of James Keatings, and rightly so, he has been very poor. Today we saw what we thought we signed. OK he disnae win many balls but he has a fitba brain, took his goal well, was willing to shoot and gave a good all round performance. Well played son.
I thought Stokes had a very good first half and beginning of the second and was involved in our goal. He faded badly though and just doesn’t give us enough yet.
Gunnarsson came on for McGeouch, we went to a back three and I thought he had a smashing game on the right of the three.
Dagnall came on for Keatings with a few minutes to go and had no time to do very much.
Inverness, brought 800 fans down today, the most I have ever seen from them. Their team are like watching the Jambos wi Hun strips on. Big blootering, hoofballers with direct stoats into channels and big clogging players who fouled or fell doon easy if they dinnae win the ball. They do break out into a game of football irregularly. Their game reminded me of watching cloggers like Hearts, Airdrie and Rangers back in the 1970’s. It reminded me of how John Hughes played when he was a Hibs. It’s no pretty.
The referee was either a cheat or incompetent. I have no doubt on this occasion he was a Jambo cheat. How he missed some of the fouls committed and why he did not book and send off a couple of the hoofballers is beyond me.
My man of the match today for Hibs was not John McGinn as selected by the sponsors. It wasn’t James Keatings either, although it might have been. For me the stand out was Darren McGregor, he got right in about them.
See you all at Hampden next week guys, Hibs for the Cup and Glory Glory!!