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Butcher’s Current Employers Dispose Of Future Charges

 

Terry Butcher taking his seat at Easter Road

Terry Butcher taking his seat at Easter Road

The appearance of Terry Butcher in the West Stand along with former Hibs’ keeper Jim McArthur was the main talking point for the Hibs’ fans in what was a dismal performance against Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Easter Road today.

Interim Manager Jimmy Nicholl made just one change from the side that lost to Motherwell last weekend with James Collins replacing the suspended Liam Craig.

Skipper James McPake was once again available for selection after a one match ban following his sending off against Hearts in the League Cup quarter final, but he had to be content with a place on the substitutes bench where he was joined by youngster Jason Cummings.

Hibs started well and Alan Maybury spurned the chance to give his team the lead when he sliced his shot wide from a good position following a well-constructed move before Inverness took the lead in their first attack.

Ryan McGivern was adjudged to have bundled over Graham Shinnie in the box and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty which Nick Ross converted despite a brave effort by Ben Williams who managed to get a hand on the ball.

Three minutes later Graeme Shinnie’s inch perfect pass found Billy McKay who rounded Williams before slotting the ball into the net despite the efforts of Ryan McGivern.

With the Hibs defence in disarray, Aaron Doran broke clear on the right and sent a dangerous ball into the box which Alan Maybury managed to intercept and divert the ball onto the post before Williams was able to gather it with Billy McKay ready to pounce.

The 401 inverness fans were in good voice, singing ‘Butcher Butcher what’s the score’ while the Hibs fans responded with ‘Terry Butcher’s Green and White Army.’

On 25 minutes Hibs were awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area and although Kevin Thomson got his effort over the wall and on target, it did not trouble goalkeeper Dean Brill.

Williams then produced a good save from McKay at his near post before Doran dragged an effort just wide of post as the highlanders dominated possession.

Hibs fought back however and on the half-hour mark Jordan Forster headed just wide from a Thomson corner kick then just before half time, Hibs should have had a penalty when Brill appeared to punch Forster whilst trying to clear the ball, but the referee ignored the claim.

Jimmy Nicholl made a double substitution at the break with Rowan Vine replacing McGivern and Abdellah Zoubir replacing Tom Taiwo.

Hibs almost pulled one back just after the break when Thomson’s inswinging free kick was missed by everyone inside the packed penalty area and flew inches wide of the far post.

Hibs then introduced Jason Cummings on the hour mark for his first team debut as the home side tried desperately to get back into the game.

Inverness had a strong claim for another penalty when Maybury appeared to trip Ross with nine minutes remaining however referee Bobby Madden waved play on, then looked to have added a third in time added on, but a superb block from Paul Hanlon kept the score at 2-0.

After the game a philosophical Jimmy Nicholl said: “For a team that haven’t been taking their chances in the last two or three games, the last thing we needed was to be two down after 20 minutes, so it was always going to be difficult. All we were hoping for in the second half was to show a bit of character and a bit of commitment to see if we could turn things around. There is not much more that you can ask. If they had made it 2-1 would that have made a difference to the game and the outcome? I don’t know, but they are just lacking a wee bit of belief and a bit of confidence and to be two down after 20 minutes against a good team and an organised team who go about their job properly, it was always going to be difficult.”

When asked whether he thought that this would be his last game, Nicholl replied “God aye. I cleared my desk yesterday and took my boots in case somebody else nabs them. I expect things to happen over the weekend but until I get a phone call I’ll have to be in on Monday morning.”

Hibs: Williams, McGivern (Vine 46′), Hanlon, Robertson, Collins (Cummings 61′), Stevenson, Maybury, Taiwo (Zoubir 46′), Forster, Heffernan, Thomson. Substitutes not used: Murdoch, Cairney, Tudur Jones, McPake.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle: Brill, Shinnie, Warren, Meekings, McKay, Draper, Foran, Dorran, Ross, Watkins (Polwarth 89′), Tremarco. Substitutes not used: Esson, Raven, Devine, Greenhalgh, Pepper, Agdestein

Referee: Bobby Madden.

Attendance: 8,750.

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