Tag Archives: Easter Road

Efe little thing is gonna be alright 🕺🏾

It’s another Saturday and it’s another visit to Easter Road.  How would it play out? No one knew.  It’s Hibs, it’s anyone’s guess.

I had thought about doing this blog as a vlog, something I am keen to try out, but I have a case of the hiccups that’s driving me insane.  I’ve tried the drinking the glass of water from the other side thing, didn’t work.  Held my breath, didn’t work so here we hiccing go.

Some changes in the side this week due to international duties being undertaken by Ofir Marciano and John McGinn and injury.  Darren McGregor was captain for the day and Dylan McGeouch and Ross Laidlaw made starts.  Paul Hanlon is back and was on the bench.  Good news indeed.

I should probably mention at some point that we were playing Falkirk and it was a bit of a crucial game.

Out bounded Hibs, led by McGregor.  A minutes silence for those who passed in the attack at Westminster on Wednesday then kick off.

What followed was 45 minutes of sheer…confusion.  Well, from a fans point of view anyway.  Sometimes it’s like we forget why we’re on the pitch.  The team seem almost shocked to be there and just flap about and hope Lady Luck is on their side.

Falkirk on the other hand…what a bunch of dirty tactics their manager has instilled in them and it won’t get them anywhere.  I am always of the view that football is a contact sport and I think that refs give away too many soft fouls but it’s an absolute disgrace to watch a team run out prepped to be dirty.  They had the odd spell of football but to watch professional football players make tackles they know are known as “leg-breakers” on other professional footballers is disgusting.  Proud of yourself Houston? Should you manage to get your team into the SPL for next season you’ll have to teach them how to play football again.

Back to football though.  Hibs do put us through the mill and that first half was just odd but not unexpected.  Watching it I did kind of think it had draw written all over it.  As a Hibby though, I did expect Falkirk to sneak a win and for my inner Neil Lennon to be drawn out.

Some of our passes were dismal.  Also, why do we keep sending high balls to Jason Cummings?  He’s not got the height and the opposition ALWAYS have someone who towers over him marking him.  Jason needs the ball to his feet, not his head.  At. His. Feet.

Well done to all the Hibernian and Falkirk fans on the 44th minute.

The referee blissfully blew for half time.  The referee, I might add, must have been picked off the street before the game because he seemingly didn’t know the rules most of the time.  It’s almost as if they grabbed someone and said ‘do you fit this top and shorts? Yes? Then come with me!’.

I’m willing to bet the officials in the Championship wish that we had fourth officials for all games (not just TV and Cup) so they could take the brunt of our Lenny’s rage.  The linesman that draws the near side must surely cringe and wish themselves somewhere else.  The trouble is, officials, Lenny is usually right.  He may go overboard at times but his complaints are generally justified.

We’ve gotten under Neil Lennon’s skin, I think I have written about that before but I believe it to be true.  There is something about us that does that to people.  Pat Fenlon and Alan Stubbs are recent converts and now Lennon joins them.  They feel the passion and the love we have for our club and they feed off it almost.  I sit a few seats away from a past Hibernian player who now comes to most every home game.  I spoke to him after the game today and he was just so chuffed with the game, with Hibs fight.  It beamed off him.  That is what we do.

In the first half Jason was taunted by the Falkirk support when he went to take corners but what do Hibs fans do? They outnoise the taunts and this was met with applause from Jason himself when coming to take a corner at where South meets West.  I don’t know why opposition fans bother, their taunts gee him up.

Anyway, half time saw the CIS League Cup 2007 legends getting airing, apart from Lewy of course, who was getting a “Lennon half time talk”.  Brilliant to see most of the lads together again.  Forever in our hearts.  My favourite of them all is Rob Jones for his incredible Rob Jones Shoves.  He managed them with panache and without being caught by the officials for the most part.

Onto the second half.  Frustrated Hibees getting upset.  Dunfermline beating Morton 1-0 at Morton.  Could Dunfermline hold on? Would Morton come back and win?

Well, Dundee United weren’t part of todays drama as they were off in the Irn Bru Cup Final against St Mirren.  They won it and though they are now out of the title race (bar a miracle), but still in the play off place race, well done to them for putting a trophy in their cabinet.  I know it seems daft to say they are out the title race because they still could but it’s unlikely.

The beginning of the second half was pretty much how the first half ended.  Falkirk only know dirty tricks, Hibs fans frustrated at the poor passes, the hoofballs and the just not shooting.  Keatings had replaced Shinnie at half time and brought a new air into the game but it just wasn’t to be, not immediately.

I find it hard to believe that Craig Sibbald is only 21.  Firstly, that hair cut, but secondly because his pace is awful.  So is his acting.  I think Falkirk should release him to Coronation Street.

After shouting ‘this is f***ing mince’ I would be put in my place by a certain cool cat, Mr Efe Ambrose.  His 75th minute goal opened the scoring at Easter Road and activated his beautiful celebration.

Oh how we celebrated.  Oh how a brilliant Hibs fan in the West ran towards the Falkirk fans with his strip over his head and how we LOVED that.  The Fear giving him abuse that we laughed at.  Amazing guy.  If anyone know who he is, let me know! I’d like to speak with him.

While Falkirk scored within two minutes after the goal.  Ahem 1-1.

Hibs business returns to normal.  We’ve got it all to do again.  This was going to be a draw, we’d not be that much ahead.  How dreadful.  How Hibs.

What a magical time 90+2 is for us and for Keats who smashed in a winning goal on his standing foot.  You, sir, are amazing.  A 2-1 win, ten points clear and we can only throw it away.

We’re not going to do that, we’re too good.

GGTTH

All pictures credit to Cameron Allan.

Thanks to the Club and the Hibs Announcer on Saturday for your help. 

Consistenly inconsistent, but that league title is ours

If there’s one thing you can be entirely sure of with Hibs it’s that they’ll be inconsistent.  It’s the only thing they are consistent with.  Not that it’s a new thing.  Most Hibees will have seen this and may feel the same.  What the hell happens to us?

At least once a season, usually about this time of year, we have a spell where we just…I don’t know.  Do you ever get that weird feeling when your sugar levels drop and a lethargy over comes you? That seems to be what happens with Hibs.  Something similar anyway.  It’s like a lethargy shrouds us and we just lose it.

Saturday was a prime example of it.  The ground felt weird the moment I walked in.  There was an odd atmosphere.  I put it down to having been up since six for work and being tired.  It just felt strange, like we were all expecting something stupid to happen but not mentioning it to each other.

The elderly gentleman who sits beside me asked me what I thought the score would be and I responded that I didn’t even want to take a wild guess at that.  After a week of backing donkeys at Cheltenham (one came in 19th!) I was in no place to be trying to guess what the score was going to be on Saturday.

About four minutes into the game I already knew what we were going to be doing for the entire match.  Dumbarton were parking their bus and we just do not know how to deal with that.  What will we do? Well, let’s have a team flap.

The first half was AWFUL.  Absolutely nothing good going on there at all.  Of course, referee awards penalty to Dumbarton and who takes it? Of course, Christian Nade.  He scores and they go in at half time 1-0 ahead.  Hibs go in ready for a tongue lashing.

I was glad it was half time because previously, a half time team shout from Neil Lennon usually bucks us up a bit.

Nope.

At times I thought they had 22 men on the park because every one of our players seemed to be double-marked.  Then, in a melee in the goalmouth Dumbarton scored again, but thankfully for us it was their own goal and it levelled the match.  Thank you Daniel Harvie, you put us back in the game.

So it seemed we had silenced the Dumbarton tambourine.  For a little while anyway.  A mere five minutes later Thomson shot from outside the box and BAM, they were 2-1 up.

The crowd were not happy.  Every misjudged pass, every stretched out passing play was questioned by the crowd and rightly so.  Why are we making six thousand passes before the ball even gets considered for the box?

Then Keats has a penalty saved.  Holty brought down in the box.  Yes, a penalty saved.  Could the day get any worse?

Just before the 80 minute mark there was a tussle between Jordon Forster and, who else, Christian Nade.  The incident ended up (somehow) in the technical area where, witnessed by everyone there, Nade punched Forster.  The only people in the region who didn’t see it were the linesman, who was standing looking at it, and the referee.

I’d had a fairly quiet match up until then but I was on my feet at that.  Should have been a straight red for Nade but referee consulted with linesman and both Nade and Forster got a yellow.  No, no way.  A punch is violent conduct, isn’t it? Dumbarton hooked Nade immediately.

Thankfully Martin Boyle sneaked us an enqualiser in the 83rd, aided by a mistake from keeper Alan Martin, and I will allow that the team did try very hard to keep the attack on for the remaining few minutes and Dumbarton’s shaky keeper could have been easily beat had we been able to properly have a shot on goal.  A couple of corners, a few chances but it finished 2-2 and that was that.

All is not lost though.  Other scores actually went our way (for a change).  Raith (when did they slip down to 7th?) beat Dundee Utd 2-1 and Morton beat Falkirk 1-0 putting them on level points with tomato heads team.  We still have a seven point advantage on Falkirk (and Morton) who have played all their games so far, we have one in hand and Morton have two.

We really, really, REALLY, can only throw this away now.  If we don’t win automatic promotion then…

I don’t believe we will chuck it in any way.  Hopefully the players gave themselves a fright because Saturday was a horror show.  Ever been asleep and had a nightmare that you couldn’t get yourself out of? That was how this match was.  One of those dreams where you only have your underpants on? Yep that too.  Just a disaster.

Hibs played on Saturday as if the league was already won and all they had to do was turn up.  Well, Hibs, that’s not the case.  As fans, we have put in all of our efforts this season.  I single out this season because the season ticket sales soared.  The away support have been terrific, travelling everywhere in numbers and often being treated to some poor displays but never losing the faith.  The home support has been huge.  We have been noisy and we have supported the team.  The singing section looks like it’ll move to the FF stand to increase fan participation in singing.  That’s a huge move for the singing section who have been doing a fantastic job this season.

No one has lost the faith.  It’s just taken a bashing at the moment.  We need that team, our team, to stand up, admit they were awful and prove to us that it’s not going to be how they are now.

We have Falkirk this coming Saturday.  We have Jason back for it but Marciano and McGinn away.  I’m not worried about losing Marciano, Laidlaw did fine when he was out before, but I would ask Strachan to give us back McGinn if he has no interest in playing him on the Sunday.  What international experience is he gaining sitting in the stands? Yes, proud of him for getting the call up but if Strachan has no use for him then we do and we’ll happily take him back for the Saturday game.  I’m happy our boys get selected but overall I am club before country.  I will support Neil Lennon if he asks for McGinn to come back.

Sports Channels

Please, please, please stop apologising for when supporters say swear words.  I know you are trying to avoid complaints but, basically, when you have competitive sport you’re going to get some choice words.  People watching football on the TV are more than likely aware of this.  Basically you are apologising for fan enthusiasm.  Stop it.  Stop it.  If you need to, at the start of the game tell us that there may be some choice wording but don’t apologise for it.  It’s patronising the emotion that fans feel for their clubs, most of the time.

Back to Hibs

Personally, I would have had the squad in for an 8 am training session on Sunday.  Or earlier.  The weather is crap, it ruins their Saturday night (not a fan of that but there is good reason) and it means the manager is serious.

Otherwise, it’s time to get serious.  One week to get ready to welcoming Falkirk here.  If we fail in that endeavour then we need to question who we are.

In saying all that.  None of us are going to stop supporting you, Hibs.  Just get the finger oot and finish what we’ve started.  We love you 😀

GGTTH

Thank you to our very own Callum Kane who provided inspiration for the blog and for the title 🙂

 

 

 

Red cards and handbags at Tannadice but Hibs win, the league is ours

In all honesty I have no idea where to start with this blog.  After watching Dundee Utd v Hibs I am under no illusions who is the better team (Hibs – natch) but what a game.  What a refereeing disaster.

I’ll admit to nerves going into this game.  Hibs Cup performances of late have been off the park but our leagues games have not been great.  Scrappy, perhaps.

The hope was that Hibs would channel their inner cup into the league on Friday evening and, to be fair, they did.  Cannot argue with that.  Hibs ran out at Tannadice with a win in mind.  Team selection was perfect, for me, and good that Darren McGregor was back in there after his cup suspension last weekend.

Referee Don Robertson started off well but finally lost it.  He started off the game more or less good but as it got more aggressive he lost control.  He was let down by his assistants as well, which doesn’t help.  He booked David Gray after missing a blatant yellow on Grant Holt seconds before.  Despite being up with play! He should have given a red card to Dundee United’s Mark Durnan for an elbow to David Gray’s face but despite looking straight at it he failed to pick up on it, and neither did his assistant. Most officials know that David Gray doesn’t go down easily and for him to have travelled before going down says a lot.  In my very humble opinion that was a straight red.

It wasn’t a great performance from Hibs but it was enough.  The gap has opened but we still can’t be complacent because…well, because we are Hibs.  We don’t do easy.  The word Easy doesn’t exist at Hibs or East Mains.  It’s the way it is.  We laaav the challenge really. 😉 We respond to it really.  We’ve some to do but we’ll do it.  We will.

Now Jason.  First yellow for dissent.  Silly really.   Was the ref, Don Robertson, right to give it? Alright, he bounced the ball off the ground and mouthed a bit but would a more experieneced referee just have cautioned him?

Second yellow.  Jason did something that looked like a Superman into the goal and sadly his hand reached the ball before his head.  No idea what was going through his head there.  It’s a Jason thing but if he’d only kept his hand down his nut was connecting with the ball.  It might not have went in but he’d not have went in either!

Jason though.  He has his mad moments.  There is no doubt that Neil Lennon will have told him how, exactly, he feels about that red card.  In covering his card suspension we have Keats and there is no problem for me with Holt and McGinn and, to be fair, the rest of the team clicking in.

As much as many went ‘wtf’ at the red card, Jason scored the goal that won us the game.  It’s difficult to be angry at the lad for long.  He’s playing superb football under Lennon and growing a lot as a footballer.

I wouldn’t say we’re on form in the league but we’ve won this game.  We’ve taken them and won 1-0 so that is a lovely three points for us.  The league is ours to lose! And by God we’ll try haha!

In reality I can’t see Hibs losing the league after defeating Dundee United.  It would take a monumental lack of interest and we don’t have this. Dumbarton at home next on the 18th and then Falkirk on the 25th also at home.  Then Morton at home on the 29th in the rescheduled fixture.  Three  must wins to give us something breathing space.  Falkirk still fancy their chances as do Morton (away there on April 8th).  It would be lovely to be able to go into the Scottish Cup semi final with the league in the bag.

SPFL

Hopefully Efe Ambrose has proven himself to Hibs fans.  The coolest man on the pitch at Tannadice and did his job nicely.  He’s not had any “mishaps” (so far) and I think he’s been a great addition to the team. What’s the meme? Efe little thing is gonna be alright.

I’ve noticed there seems to be something of a seethe going on about Neil Lennon’s connections to Celtic.  The seethe comes from other teams fans.  Not Hibs fans.  Forgive me if I am wrong but part of being a manager/head coach is having connections and Lennon will have many through his time as a player and a manager.  So, yes, if we’ve got injury problems it makes sense to use those connections and bring in decent players.  Doesn’t it? Perhaps the seethe is having a manager whose only connection is his laptop? Who knows? Or a new manager who seems a bit partial to your great rivals?

Anyway, back to Hibs.  It’s in our hands now.  Our fans are a different class at the moment and that is undoubtedly helping the team.  We’re asking them to do a job and they are doing it and we’re doing ours.

GGTTH

 

 

 

 

Ploughing the Tynecastle field, Hibs, Hibs woah oh oh oh oh oh

Another cup run, another fifth round meeting with Hearts at Tynecastle, another draw, another replay at Easter Road.  Another seethe from Hearts fans who can only come at us with “celebrating a draw”.

Watching on TV Sunday it was clear that Hibs fans were backing our team.  The best I have heard in a while.  The whole away end singing and backing the team.  That’s the difference.  That’s what we do.  It’s hardly “celebrating a draw” to support your team to the 90th minute. Continue reading

Feeling Good at Easter Road

Saturday

Finally thawed out enough to try typing so here’s my thoughts on Saturday’s game at Easter Road versus Queen of the South.

Queen of the South have not had the start to the season they would have preferred and are currently floating about in the middle of the table with five wins, five losses and three draws.  On paper it should be an easy win but Hibs never take anything for granted and ran out onto the pitch to make sure the three points were ours. Continue reading

Sorry Saturday at Easter Road

First of all, before I continue with this blog, I am a huge Hibernian supporter.  Big, huge.  I stick with them through thick and thin and that’s why I’ll be with them this season, next season, the season after and beyond.  If they don’t go up this season I will be mightily disappointed and angry but I’ll support them even more.  We could drop leagues and I will support them forever more. I love the club and they have got me through some very hard times.  As supporters we can do that and we also have the right to express our opinions on what is going on with the club good or bad and we are no more a supporter or less of a supporter for doing that.  We pay our money and we have our expectations and when the club doesn’t live up to our expectations we have a right to an opinion on that.  As a group of supporters we will agree with each other on the path the club is taking and we will disagree and that is fine but no one’s opinion is pointless. Continue reading

Heatwave at Easter Road

I write this blog slouched on the sofa after another week on the rollercoaster that belongs to Hibernian.  I didn’t go over to Fife on Wednesday as I was under the weather but I kept track of the game on Twitter and the radio.  To be fair, I wasn’t exactly unsurprised by the result because nothing really surprises me when it comes to Hibs but I was annoyed and disappointed.

Continue reading

All aboard the Hibernian rollercoaster!

It’s a new week and a new Hibernian riddle.  Well, not really.  We’re used to it but there we go, exciting game and a WIN (yes, it’s true) against Rangers last Wednesday night at the Leith San Siro and then a game to cure insomnia on Saturday against Morton in Greenock.

Not to forget the POTY awards on Sunday evening.  I can’t remember who I voted for in each category but I’m sure it was all the lads that won.  If it wasn’t then…meh.

Number 1 Easter Road

Toot toot! Number 1 tae Easter Road

Last Wednesday I was running late for the game.  Bit ridiculous really since I was off that day and should have all the time in the world to prepare but you know…time to catch up on other stuff, bit of research and all that and of course, get to Easter Road at a reasonable time.  Noooooo.  I will point out that my bus got caught in traffic.  You’d think that sitting in the West Stand I would get a limo provided but apparently this doesn’t come as part of the season ticket.  Bit ridiculous but I’ll let it slide.

And so, as the bus, the No 1, signalled left to turn onto Easter Road I spotted them.  The deluge of Rangers supporters descending on Easter Road (the street).  Their buses had obviously been delayed somewhere along the line which meant that, yes, I was going to fall in step with the fans as they marched towards their south stand seats.

Getting off at the second stop in Easter Road I surveyed the situation.  I could travel via the non-Rangers route of Albion Road therefore adding time to the journey or I could do what I always do, nip through Bothwell Street and over the bridge into Albion Terrace and back onto Albion Road from there.  This would involve being amongst a hundred or so Rangers supporters.  That was fine.  I am stubborn and have no fear (apart from peas) so I wasn’t about to let the Rangers supporters put me off my normal route.

To be fair to them, they never said a wrong word to me about being Hibs.  They sang their songs, they waved their flags and in fact a few of them shared a laugh with me about getting caught up with them.  Therefore proving that not all their fans are monsters.  This is something we know, of course.

Upon arrival at my gate I peeled off from them to find two policemen looking at me.

“I’ve no idea how I ended up among that lot!” I joked with them.

Only one of them got the humour and replied that he’d wondered that as it was like they parted as I arrived at the gate.  Funny moment.  And why not?

kitten

Gunnarsson gets a start?!

So, into the game.  I nearly had kittens earlier when I saw the team line up and Niklas Gunnarsson had a start.  This guy has had a tough time in getting into the teams first eleven but here he was and deservedly so.  And he would prove this as the game went on.  Mr Wallace, previously free on that wing now had a challenge.  Good.

Jason Cummings, partially redeemed Villian of the Scottish Cup Semi Final of the Saturday before with his missed dink penalty during the match but winning penalty in the shootout, scored in the fifth minute against Rangers.  Jason loves an early goal but especially against Rangers and he didn’t disappoint.  Superb.

Foderingham had a goalkeepers nightmare that allowed for us to go 2-0 up. However we had our own as well and the game ended 3-2 for us.  It was a game that had controversy as do all games now but needs discussed at a later date.  Officials are not up to the job and this needs to be acknowledged and I doubt it will be with the SFA not wanting to know.

One of my favourite calls at the moment is “just because he goes down doesn’t mean it’s a foul!”.  Football is a contact sport, collisions will result in someone falling, it doesn’t mean that a foul has been committed but refs are blowing their whistles too quickly – some of them are – or are responding to the ever popular claim by player.  This annoys me a lot, the claiming and not paying attention to the game.  If the ref is going to blow his whistle then he will blow his whistle and he should NEVER be influenced by the players.  He might get a word in his ear from a linesman, which is fine, but if they are reacting to players claims then that is wrong.  I’m not saying this does happen but it sometimes looks like it.

White male caucasian young adult on bed with head on pillow with eyes wide open staring off into space at the camera. Afraid of the dark.

I can’t sleep.  I should watch the highlights of our game with Morton.

Anyway, back to Hibs.  Saturday at Morton was one of those games we should have won and done so comfortably but after hammering Rangers we had something of a sleep in Greenock.  A shame because a win would have put us on the front foot going into Tuesday’s game against Dumbarton.

It was freezing in Easter Road on Tuesday, the weather is all over the place.  I dodged a couple of hail showers.  Anyway, back went on the several layers of clothing, so called my Winter Football Clothing.  The week before I sat in Easter Road with a hoodie on.  And trousers of course.  This week it was the thermal tights, big woolly jumper and three in one jacket.  And the white Nikes, of course.  I had chips at half time, it was so cold they were freezing by the time I finished them.

Tuesday night wasn’t about the weather though, it was about the game.  Mr Stubbs made a few changes from the Morton game.  John, McGinn, Martin Boyle and James Keatings all made starts along with hero of the moment Conrad Logan.  It proved to be a successful move as Keats scored a hatrick and Stokes put the cherry on the cake to make it four nil the final score.

There was, of course, controversy over Keats third goal as it was given as an own goal but match referee, Don Robertson, reviewed this and awarded the well deserved hatrick to Keats the following day.

Hibs went into Tuesday’s game aiming to cut the goal difference with Falkirk and with four goals that’s just what we did.  Leaves us with a task on Sunday but we’re up for it.

Conrad Logan also did do his bit in the game as well.  While not facing the same pressure as he did at the semi-final he made a cracking one-on-one save as Dumbarton’s Calum Waters thundered towards him.  It was crucial not lose goals on Tuesday and the big felly made sure we didn’t.  I didn’t realise how noisy he is though.  Oxley likes a shout or two, Logan is constant.  It’s not a negative thing, it means he is watching the game and keeping players informed all the time.  Can’t be a bad thing, can it?

So the league finishes on Sunday with kick-off at 12:30pm so that the pointless game between St Mirren and Rangers can be shown on TV.  Terrible to be sitting at lunch time on a Sunday to watch the last game of the regular season.  I’m a traditionalist me, Saturday at 3pm.  Though I do like the weekday floodlit games.  Sunday at half twelve, nah.

It is what it is though and we have to win the game by a good margin.  We want to firmly take second place.

There’s a small part of me that’s glad we’re in the play-offs.  Naturally I would have preferred to be automatically promoted but that didn’t happen and when I think about it because we’re in the final of the Scottish Cup it’s possibly going to help us.  While Rangers face three weeks without a comepetitve match we, instead, have those matches.  Finishing second would be perfect.  Rangers went off the boil the moment they won the league and being beat 1-0 by Livi shows that.  They’re not preserving energy, they’ve just stopped.  With a three week lay off and only a bounce game with Spurs to give them proper match time it’s going to be tough for the bread man to keep them focussed.

Alan Stubbs has a different problem.  He needs to make sure we’re not tired and we’re fired up for the final.  We will be.  I don’t think it will be a problem and I’m glad we’ve no time off because that hasn’t done us well this season.  We seem to be better when the pressure is on.

Season ticket

Go on, buy one!

Season tickets are on sale at the moment though the early bird option has gone.  Now, though, there is the chance to purchase a ticket using a different payment plan with four payments.  Worth it if you’re wanting a ticket for Hampden as the first wave goes to season ticket holders.  Of course, it means you’ll be able to stroll into the ground for each league home match next season and have access to Behind the Goals before matches.  You get to have your own seat for cup games and first choice for tickets for big games not at Easter Road.  The best thing about a season ticket is confirming your support for Hibernian.  There can be nothing better than that.

So there we are.  A waiting game until Sunday and to see where we place.  Fingers crossed it’s second but if not we’ll battle for promotion and we’ll battle to bring the Scottish Cup back to Easter Road.  Never say never.

From two-nil to Conrad Logan, a week with Hibs

Here we go.  Time to try and figure out Hibs again.  As if there’s any solving that enigma.  Hibs fans have been through every emotion this season and it’s not over.

We're back

If only

Sitting in Easter Road on Tuesday night I thought “we’re back”.  We played exceptionally well for the most part and, of course Jason scored via a Falkirk lapse and then a penalty later in the game.  It was Jason’s 100th game for the club and it was fitting that he should get the two goals for the win.  Because it was going to be going to be a win, surely, with 85 minutes gone and 2-0 and with Hibs playing like they hadn’t in a few weeks.

I personally don’t believe Mark Oxley is to blame really or even any of the rest of the players, I think Falkirk simply got lucky and thankfully they didn’t get any luckier.  We snatched a draw out of the jaws of victory.  To be optimistic, at least we got one point instead of none.  Though we should have had three.

However, it was what it was.  The Falkirk fans had a good old sing-song leaving Easter Road with a good old rendition of “Two Nil and you F***ed it Up!”.  We can hardly complain about anyone else singing it as it was recently in our repertoire but still, it was bloody annoying to hear it being sung by another set of fans against us.  As they headed away from Easter Road a small part of me hoped their buses broke down on the way home or their trains were delayed…

Leaving Tuesday behind, where it belongs, we went into the weekend not on league duty but Scottish Cup duty.  A semi-final against Dundee United who we’d already seen off 3-0 in the League Cup earlier in the season.

Sfa

Dinosaurs, we know who they are

Hampden bound, yet again.  I know the SFA like to have the Scottish Cup semi’s in Hampden but there was a case this weekend that some semi-finals could be held at another neutral ground, say Tynecastle.  A very empty Hampden is an eerie place to be.  Whereas Tynecastle would have been a sell-out with an electric atmosphere.  Much like Hibs’ League Cup semi-final against St Johnstone. Not that the atmosphere was bad at Hampden, but it might have been better at a sell out ground.  These things need considered.  If not by the dinosaurs then by the clubs.

Anyway, semi-final time.  Twelve-fifteen kick-off.  Arrrrrgh! Who decides these things? Well, TV companies but you know what I mean.  Back in the day if you read 12:15 as a kick-off time it meant someone had made a typing error.

So, Hibs started out well.  Dundee United looked like they were in for a pasting.  Well, that’s what we hoped.  We were all over them and then our dreams were answered.  Just before the half hour mark a Coll Donaldson hand ball gifted Hibs a penalty.  Jason stepped up.  Sure footed these days, this was a cert.

Only it wasn’t as Jason attempted a Panenka style dink that he hoped would drop over the goalkeeper but instead dinked over the bar.

Antonin-Panenka-001

King of the Dink

Now, Alan Stubbs has said he could have strangled Jason after that but for the fans it was a hero to zero situation.  What was going through the lads mind? He’s been accused of thinking only of himself and not the club but I don’t think that’s the case.  He’s grown as a player and a person under the guidance of Alan Stubbs and I’m sure a few other people.  I personally didn’t think he was only thinking of himself, I just thought he made a naive mistake.  The time for practising those shots is at East Mains not in a Scottish Cup semi-final.  However, if he’d scored it he’d have been a hero.  Such is the fickleness of football.

Instead though, that honour went to Mr Conrad Logan.  Signed in March on a two month deal he was really unheard of after the signing.  Otso Virtanen remained the back up goalie in our matches with no hint of Logan replacing him.

Oxley, thanks to losing a contact lens, found himself with a suspension from the semi-final (work that out SFA) so Mr Stubbs had a problem coming into Saturday’s game.  Play the faithful back up keeper, young, not that much experience.  Or play the out of shape player who hadn’t played for sixteen months and came to Hibs as a free agent after being released by high-flying Leicester City last season when they weren’t so high-flying.

Logan has had lots of loan spells throughout his time with Leicester.  He’s never really made his mark on the game down south so a spell up north in Scotland wasn’t a bad choice for the now thirty-year old (twenty-nine on his Hibs debut). Keen on getting time between the pipes he came to Hibs for a short contract.  Out of shape and a long way from ideal fitness it might have came as something of a surprise that he was picked over Virtanen for the semi-final at Hampden.

What a choice though.  Many, and I include myself, thought “what the f***?” when the lad walked out the tunnel and I was wrong to think that.  A few extra pounds doesn’t cloud an excellent goalkeeping mind and that is what Conrad Logan has.  His mind is sharp and he reads the game so very, very well.

He made three excellent saves during the ninety minutes but his shining time would come in the penalty shoot-out.  While Jason scored the winning penalty to take Hibs through to the final (and almost deleting his error) Conrad Logan made two excellent saves that denied Dundee United penalties and gave Hibs the advantage.

Safe hands

Safe hands

In doing that Conrad Logan made himself a legend after one match.  Clearly showing Stubbs that he can do the job between the pipes when he’s far from fit.  One wonders what he might be like when fit.  Unbeatable? Hopefully.  Logan knows his mind and we have to hope that this a performance he can pull off again and again and that he’s not a one hit wonder.  He’s given us every indication that he’s the real deal and, I’m sorry Ox I am a fan, but I’d put Logan in the net on Wednesday against Rangers.  It’s not a slight on the regular keeper, he’s good, but Logan deserves his chance.

Stubbs was vindicated in his choice of keeper as Conrad the Cat read Dundee United’s shots and then saved the penalites.  Logan became an instant hero for Hibs fans and as much as we celebrated Jason scoring the winning penalty we were celebrating the big lad on his skill and altheticism.  It isn’t wrong to say that The Cat won us the game.

So what now for Hibs? We have Rangers at Easter Road on Wednesday in what could be a rehearsal for the final but is actually crucial for us in the league.  It’s a must win really and we have to take the chance and hump the Rangers.  Hopefully we’ll finally realise that Wallace on the left wing is a haunt and take him out.  If not, we’ll struggle.

However, I remain, as ever, optimistic so come Wednesday night I’ll be in Easter Road at kick-off with all the hope I always have.  Enjoy the game.

And of course, we’re Hampden bound again.  GGTTH