Ok the last five Hibs games have given us five often exciting excellent wins in a row, tonight was less so, but we did have plenty chances and were made to work for it by a decent Livingston team.
We plodded through the first half, Livi had a few chances, we fluffed far more. James Keatings kept his place in a front three with Jase and Boyle with huff puff Dom of to the Congo to drink Um Bongo. Fontaine came back in to pair with McGregor and Dylan was back on the bench after his injury. It was suggested Paul Hanlon was injured, he wasn’t in the squad.
Less than 8000 was not great, but it was a cold damp night and 130 fans from Livingston disnae help. We need to look at pricing on School nights.
James Keatings scored 2 tonight, making it five in two games, both clever goals, one after a lovely reverse pass by John McGinn, the second a sweet strike from 18 yards., Jase had enough simple chances to score a hatrick, he fluffed it, that happens. Paul Hanlon not playing weakens us, Darren McGregor was ok after a dodgy start, Fontaine looked wobbly all game. Fraser Fyvie never got going at all, Liam Henderson drifted in and out of the game. Then there is the magnificent specimen of a ball player, John McGinn, but most of you know what I think of John, what a player.
Mark Oxley is our most improved player this season, had no chance at the goal and made a couple of good saves. I wasn’t a fan, I am now.
David Gray was decent, he had to be as young Longridge, number 3 at Livi looks a player.
Darren McGregor was back in and to be honest he flapped a little for the first 20 again, but went on to have a decent game, although he is better when playing beside Paul Hanlon.
Liam Fontaine came in for Hanlon and I felt he looked shaky the whole match, he too is better when playing beside Paul Hanlon.
Lewis Stevenson was decent again, he does the simple stuff.
Fraser Fyvie was as poor tonight as he has been good the last few matches. He never got going, that is allowed and we have a squad to accommodate that, pity we didnae swap him instead of giving him a poor 90 minutes.
John McGinn was as graceful and skilful as every other week, his wonderful run and pass for our first goal is what John is about. John makes watching Hibs good, even on poor nights.
Liam Henderson put a clear chance over the bar, he is good at that, drifted in and out the game too much for me.
Boyle came in for Malonga and done nothing of note for sixty minutes, he disnae suit the top of a diamond, and just has not kicked on for me since that good game at Falkirk where he hurt himself.
James Keatings used be a Jambo but he is alright now and with another two goals for Hibernian tonight, he has brought a new dimension to Hibs, no fear, plenty work, happy to take a man on and shoot. The gunts loss is our gain I think.
Jason did an awful lot right tonight, his movement, runs, work rate, heading and passing have improved, his shooting was pants though. He will be annoyed as he didn’t score tonight, he should have had at least a hatrick.
McGeouch came on for Boyle, it was the substitution Alan got right, he upped the pace and oozed class. Straight back in n Saturday I think?
Bartley came on for Henderson and did fine, Marv is a monster of player, but I am not sure slowing the game down did us any favours, a better change might have been for Fyvie, which is easier to say in retrospect.
We then brought on young Islam for Jase, I wouldn’t have bothered he never does much and looks like he isnae that fussy either. Better giving Big Farid a run out.
I didnae enjoy tonight quite as much as recently, but then Mark Burchill confused Hibs, he put his team out to play fitba and they did give us some problems. I think the shoring the defence up tactic with 20 to go disnae work especial without the calming influence of Paul Hanlon. It was panic stations near the end when it really shouldnae have been.
Craig Thomson is a big nosed Hearst bastard.
Livingston are one of the better football teams I have seen play Hibs this season. I have lived in Livingston longer than they have existed and I have shown their team nothing but disdain, but young Burchill has his team playing fitba, and should be applauded for it. Longridge the number 3 was watched on and off by Hibs whilst at Stranraer last season, you can see why. I think he is worth a punt, a decent attacking left back who stood out for them.
My man of the match was either John McGinn or James Keatings, James two goals seal the deal for me. I like him, good player.
Ohhhh, James Keatings, you used to be a jambo, but you’re all right now.
That will do, next stop, the 1G at Alloa.