Well, what can I say? Had Hibs gotten into top gear, that might have been a mauling! Some tweaks to the team, Paul rested, Daz back in, Whitts rested, Sir David back in, Porteous in for Barts in a back three, Stokesy for Boyler et viola.
Fluid, fast, crisp move after move, Neil Lennon’s Hibernian are joy to behold! Hibernian playing fitba the Hibernian way, ye cannae beat it. This super fit, skillful, hard as nails team really are looking good, the best bit being they never even tried to kick on, they simply dismantled a reasonable Err team. I even agree with $#@!einyurshoe McCall, for 10-15 minutes of the second half Err dominated. Efe was doing his hair, Big Porteous was squeezing his plooks, John was finishing his chicken and Guinness, Darren was practising his YLT signs and Stokes and Murray were trying to identify the smell of burning. When we started trying a bit, we pumped them sair.
I will go through the players in a moment, but I have to say I thought John McGinn, Simon Murray and Anthony Stokes were excellent as was the tireless McGeouch. The three centre halves and keeper were slack at times, but we look very, very solid through out the team. If you have not been along to see them, do so.
The Team
Rocky had a couple of wee boobs tonight, but nothing that cost a goal. Possibly caused in part by boredom!
David Gray, Club Captain and winning goal scorer on the 21st of May 2016 Scottish Cup final win had a good, attacking game and appeared to enjoy himself.
Darren McGregor was a class defender. He never gives the ball away, well very much.
Efe had a couple of Efe moments as Efe does. He also cleaned up and played fitba all night capped by a fine goal from a few yards out followed by a celebratory back flip forward and perfectly executed forward roll to collect the 10 points for all the judges.
Ryan Porteous plays like Paul Hanlon, runs like Paul Hanlon, looks like Paul Hanlon, supports the Hibs like Paul Hanlon and is as capable. What a find.
Lewis again played well in a more attacking, roving role. Linked well with McGinn, McGouch and Swanson.
John McGinn was simply Super I hear he has been doing weights all summer, by Sauzee it looks it. He now looks like a big, strong, highly skilled English Premiership midfielder. His passing was magnificent, at least ten inch perfect 20-30 yard passes to the excellent feet of Murray, Stokes and Gray. John was absolutely unplayable tonight.
Dylan McGeouch has been somewhat overshadowed by our big name signings recently. I thought he had his best game in a Hibs shirt tonight, very quietly efficient and very very skillful with it.
Then there was Danny Swanson. My son reckons there is no such thing as ‘trying too hard’. Maybe not, but Danny tries to do the right thing, its just not quite coming off for him yet. It will.
Stokesy started, Stokesy scored two, Stokesy looked fit, energetic and his passing and all round play was a joy to watch. He and Simon Murray instantly clicked and I cannae wait to watch this pair in action again. The smell of singed grass is still lingering in my nostrils.
Simon Murray is simply fantastic, he scores, he runs and runs and runs, he closes down, his positional play is excellent, his first touch better than most, his awareness is as good as any Hibs player I can remember since the heady days of Franck and Russell. Then there is the natural and instant bond between Simon and Tony. That is 9 Simon has scored now, its early August! Wow.
Just imagine if we had decided to up our game tonight.
The Subs
A double substitution with Boyler replacing Murray and Slivka replacing Swanson after an hour or so.
Boyler is like a new signing, he is direct, flips sides and very fast.
Slivka is skillful, graceful and a good football player. Played some lovely, dangerous passes into the box.
Matu replaced McGeouch after 75 minutes, was a real handful and slammed the ball home for his first goal for the club. He then almost scored his second and our sixth with a good header. I reckon he might become a cult hero.
Neil Lennon has built a team that are strong, direct, skillful and full of goals. To think they will get better has left me with a smile as wide as the gap between us and those mugs from Gorgie.
Err were ok, 599 noisy fans, that shut up after quickly realising they were lucky they had not been given a real doing. They will do well in their league.
The referee made a couple of strange decisions but was generally ok, which if fine.
7500 Hibs fans in a spartan crowd, the Since 1875 guys did there best to get an atmosphere going with little success. Get along and see this Hibs team people when you can, its worth it.
Man of the Match, well its not easy. Had Simon Murray not been hooked he would, yet again of got it from me, he is simply ‘braw’ as his wee pal Oor Wullie would say. Stokesy was given it by the match sponsors for his two goals and his all round play, and well deserved it would have been. Dylan was quietly great tonight too. But for me, the best fitba player on that pitch and easily one of the best in Scotland is Super John McGinn. The laddie on that form is simply unplayable. If John McGinn in not part of a top half English Premiership midfield in a years time and is still playing for Hibs, I will be flabergasted.
Brilliant John Boy, brilliant!!!
This Just back is dedicated to the two St Pat’s Branch lady members I met in the Hibs Club before the game. Enjoy!!
Hibernian Forever!
Mark


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