central park
Does it ever not rain at Central Park?

 

Just returned to 2014 via Cowdenbeath, which appears happily esconsed in 1958. The stadium is a disgrace, charging £18 to stand with no overhead cover in constant torrential rain in that shithole is a bigger disgrace. I don’t think I have seen a stadium where the whole view is restricted, regardless of where you stand, that’s right stand, there were no seats for the over 2000 Hibs fans in the 2500 crowd.

To the football, we won, again and we played pretty well first half against a poor team. Goals from Paul Hanlon and Jason Cummings, and a great first half from Scott Allan saw us through in the end although we looked a bit ropey after the poorly named John Robertson pulled one back for them. I am soaked to the skin, through three layers of winter jacket, heavy jumper and long sleeved T -shirt, drookit.

The team…

Oxley – I said during the game that he is an average goalie, his first half performance suggests I am right. Seemed to fall awkwardly and didn’t appear second half.

Gray – I say this most weeks, he should be captain, he overlaps well, always get tore right in and as ever had a good game. Best full back we have signed since David Murphy. Fine work to set Cummings up for his goal. Overlapped well all game.

Fontaine – Did fine today, although I am of the opinion he thinks he has more time on the ball than he does and he needs to attack headers more.

Hanlon – Paul has been paying attention at his ‘Man – Up’ classes this week and played very well, scored a finely taken goal (with his feet!) and whilst he can over hit a pass a bit to much, done well today. Keep eating the spinach son.

Stevenson – A few tubes behind me moaned all game about Louis. I have no idea why, he patrols that whole left side on his own and does a good, steady job of it. He was asleep at their goal as their player sneaked in behind him to head home right enough.

Robertson – He gives the ball away to much, from both passes and challenges. As the one holding midfielder first half, he did ok, was worse when Craig dropped in beside him second.

Craig – Not my favourite Hibs player, but at least I don’t hate him anymore. He had a decent first half, going forward with the ball and working well enough with Stevenson on the left, had a decent crack and might have scored. Second half he was asked to play the holding role beside Robertson. He doesn’t know how to/ can’t do it.

Handling – He makes himself available (sometimes) and has a decent touch (sometimes) but for me he does not give enough.

Scott Allan – He was magnificent first half, driving, taking men on, playing great passes, agile, clever, simply good to see in a Hibs strip. Second half it took him a while to get going after Stubbs foolishly changed the shape. As good a player as I have seen at Hibs in a long time.

Malonga – Worked hard first half, and had a decent enough game.

Cummings – Is it me or does he flatter to deceive? He took his goal well, drilling it home from 12 yards, and is direct. I am just not sure?

Subs

Kleton Perntreou – The young Albanian came on for Oxley at half time and after a shaky first ten did fine.

Kennedy – On for Handling and did nothing, the wee tight pitch was simply not a game for a winger Stubbs, you got that one wrong, the laddie barely kicked a ball in his 25 minutes.

Harris – Came on for Malonga last five or so and did as he was asked.

Management team – I like what you are doing guys, after an initial 10 minute shaky start first half we played snippets of the mystical Hibernian way, passing football, plenty movement, worked to get the ball back, took our chances and looked like we would go on to win comfortably. Second half, you changed it and got it wrong. Dropping back to two holding midfielders and switching Scott Allan’s position was wrong. Scott Robertson does not play well beside Liam Craig, I actually don’t blame Craig, he is not a holding midfielder, and it shows. We lost 20 minutes of Scott Allan by making that switch, dinnae do it Stubbsy, just dinnae do it. We are best going at teams, we let them right back in and they are pretty shit. Still…Stubbsy… Stubbsy.

Cowdenbeath – I am old school, I hate any team that play in red, white and blue, looking like a Rangers team of circa 1990 with the ex Rangers Chairman, and confirmed bigot as your Chairman. Your ground is not fit for purpose and you charge too much for a disgrace of a facility. The steak bridie and lentil soup from Stephens Bakery on the high street were heart warmingly braw though.

Ref – Just another in a long line of average referees we see when in the diddy leagues.

The Hibernian Support – Not a stadium to make any atmosphere in, but over 2000 Hibs fans turned out in heavy rain to support the team. The team are starting to deserve us too. Well done each and every one of us who were there.

All in all, a decent enough win in miserable weather with some good performances, especially first half.

Man of the match for me is difficult, I like Gray, I though Scott Allan was brilliant in wee patches but for all round decent play, excluding the odd over hit pass, I reckon Paul Hanlon deserves the accolade today. Well played Paul.

Now for a warming glass of vino tinto or two.

 

Mark

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