Tonight was the night Hibernian showed they meant business and what a night to pick. As our great friend Gordon McKinley states every week, those three goals were simply destined to be, that clean sheet was written in the stars, that win was for Shaun, his strength, courage and bravery inspires us every day. It appeared to rub off in the men in green shirts, they were magnificent.
Over 18,700 fans packed the Holy Ground tonight, the biggest football crowd in the capital this season (so far!), all 18,700 fans, of the original Hibernians and the Dundee version raised the roof in memory of both Shaun Woodburn and our brother, Shaun McKinley. Well done both sets of fans, you were fantastic!
Hibernian roared out of the traps and we had masterclasses across the pitch, especially McGregor, Hanlon, Boyle, McGeouch and born again Marvin Bartley. That is not to say Laidlaw was not smashing, he was, Captain David and wee Lewis had their best games in weeks, Mr Humphrey had a great first half, Commons fleeted in and out with moments of magic, Jason scored two fine goals and we played the best brand of football this season has seen.
United were simply blown away, Hibs battered them, they did kick, they did hoof, they did try and play football, but we washed over them in a tidal wave of green. They have some good players, they are just not as good as Hibernian in their pomp.
So to the players, usual rules apply, the game was on BBC Heederum Hoderum, those that could not be there, had the luxury of reruns and Hibs loook better in the Gaelic, so bare with me.
Laidlaw did a good comfortable job, topped off with a wonder save to keep a clean sheet, just as Big G expected and much to the scunner of bookies around the greater Edinburgh area.
Captain David Gray, winning goalscorer in the Scottish Cup Final 2016 fair enjoyed his night, with Humphrey in front of him, covering for him and generally being guid at fitba, Sir David got down to what he does best, defending.
Darren McGregor was magnificent, hard as nails, cut him in half he is emerald green right through.
Paul Hanlon was also magnificent, class on the grass good in the air, cut him in half, he too is emerald green right through.
Lewis, like el capitano, he fair enjoyed having the Boyler have the game of his life in front of him, like Dave, Lewis just needed to defend, he did so, well.
Marvin Bartley had the best game he has had in a Hibs shirt, he was magnificent. I think he is at his best against teams that want to play football, I wish (and hope) he played like that every game. Fantastic performance and many of you know, I do not say that lightly.
Dylan McGeouch is a magician, what a lovely fitba player he is. His footwork and craft are the magic in that part of our midfield.
Kris Commons was good in bits, missing in others, imagine we win 3 0 against the second placed challengers when a player as good as Commons might have done a bit more. I hope he stays though, he is going to get better and better!
Chris Humphrey had a magnificent debut for Hibs. His direct runs and marvellous first touch was a joy to behold. A great pal of mine suggested at half time that she had not been as excited about watching a wide Hibs player since the great David Murphy, she was right, Mr Humphrey left the United left back, Mrs Slocombes Pussy, for dead all first half before hitting a wall second and going off to a standing ovation. Made of an easy night Sir Dave too.
Martin Boyle, much like Marv, had his best game in a Hibs shirt, he was superb down that left side. If only he could decide whether to beat the man and cross or shoot. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Martin tonight, as Sir Shrink says, Martin is a proper Hibs player. Its great to see Hibernian playing with wingers, brilliant to watch and proper fitba, dare I say it, the Hibernian way. As I watched on, I dreamt I was watching Arthur Duncan or Crunchie McAllister at times.
Jason scored 2, might have had 5. Jason scores goals, that is what we pay him for, he must have loved the service from his wingers and almost surreally Big Marvin.
Well tonight was the epitome of the Hibernian feel good factor and what could possibly improve such a fine performance from the team. Well there is only one thing that can, yes, its the return of our favourite son, the Blessed John McGinn. A gentleman, a hero, a brilliant football player who plays fitba with a joy that shines through, the guy just loves playing the game, he plays with a smile. A steely, am really good but just a normal fellae type of smile, but a smile. I have had a man crush of John for years, it doesn’t lessen. He came on for the tiring Kris Commons with 12 to go and played fitba like he has been grounded for weeks. First kick he won with a crunching challenge before weaving by the stagnant United defence to score a goal much like the first one Anthony Stokes scored against the Huns that wonderful day in May. And boy did he enjoy it. Everyone, appreciate John in a Hibs shirt, this laddie is going to the very top. Others just don’t understand.
Keats replaced Humphrey near the end, I expect to give Humphrey the standing ovation he earned. Its a shame for Keats getting injured when he did, he has alot to offer, I like him.
Brian Graham came on again to allow Jase to receive his standing ovation for the last few minutes.
Neil Lennon and Gary Parker proved many of us wrong tonight, me included, that was a tactical masterclass, he won the chess game against the very smart and admirable Ray McKinnon. To see Hibs set up the way they did, play the high tempo, pressing high up the pitch game with wingers is great to see and a joy to watch. 10 out of 10 guys, that will fill those stands every second week.
United were pumped tonight, Hibs destroyed them, their defence looked poor, although the 8 and 10 gave good accounts of themselves and they played football most of the game. Special mention to the 2300 United fans, especially at the 30th and 34th minutes applause, that is what football is about guys, thanks each and every one of you for joining in. United, like Hibs, need to be in the top league, I hope they come up via the play offs. If Mr Lennon does move on at some point in the after securing the Scottish Cup and Premiership Trophies for Hibs, we could do worse than consider Ray McKinnon.
Willie Gollum looks like Willow Fud and is a hopeless referee.
Man of the Match, well are you sitting down? Even driving home I was thinking I would give it to Martin Boyle, I Loved his 90 minutes tonight, but lets be honest, who am I kidding, Marvin Bartley was absolutely, thoroughly and completely magnificent tonight, he was Hibs man of the match and will sleep well tonight. Well played Marvin, you can be a friend of mine.
Great support tonight, muted at various points in the game but roared them on from one hour onwards. Keep coming along every week guys, we are all Hibernian FC.
Finally, this Just Back is dedicated to life and times of our brother and fellow Hibernian Shaun McKinley and his family.
We are all here for you guys.