Posts Tagged ‘ Leigh Griffiths ’

Busy Transfer Window For Pat Fenlon



It’s been a busy summer period for Pat Fenlon, with an incredible 26 players leaving or arriving at the club.

Of last year’s squad, fans’ favourite Leigh Griffiths returned to parent club Wolverhampton Wanderers where he has since signed a contract extension after making an impressive start to the season, whilst striking partner Eoin Doyle has joined Chesterfield. Continue reading

Brave Hibs lose another Scottish Cup Final

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Two first half goals from Gary Hooper and a late Joe Ledley strike secured the double for Celtic although Hibs put on a brave performance and left the field to cheers from their own fans.

 Pat Fenlon’s aim to become the first manager since Dan McMichael on 26 April 1902 to bring the Scottish Cup back to Easter Road got off to a bad start with the news that influential skipper James McPake would miss the game with a back injury.

 Pre match scares over Scotland’s Player of the Year Leigh Griffiths who had reportedly suffered a calf injury were lifted when the on-form striker ran out with his team-mates to warm up, earning a fantastic reception from the large travelling support.

 Since that famous day, 111 years ago, Hibs have only beaten Celtic once in the Cup, a 4-3 victory in the quarter-final in 1985, and have lost to them in four finals, the last being twelve years ago, when Martin O’Neill’s side beat Alex McLeish’s side 3-0.

Hibs went into the game as massive outsiders, with bookmakers quoting 15/2 for the Easter Road side to win the trophy. Continue reading

Wotherspoon Header Seals Hibs’ Third Straight Win

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Hibs go into next week’s Scottish Cup Final against Celtic on the back of three straight victories after substitute David Wotherspoon headed a sensational winner with 12 minutes left against relegated Dundee at Easter Road.

Pat Fenlon made no fewer than seven changes to the team that beat Kilmarnock 3-1 in midweek, including man of the moment Leigh Griffiths and keeper Ben Williams.

James McPake and Tim Clancy missed the game due to injury, but Fenlon hopes both will be available for the final.
The game went ahead after a late pitch inspection following a downpour of rain during the morning.

Both sets of fans were in good voice, celebrating the possible demise of Hearts which could see Dundee retain their SPL status, and the Dundee supporters continually cheered former player Leigh Griffiths who was clearly a favourite with them.

Griffiths was the first to strike with a first time volley from the edge of the box which went narrowly wide before Ross Caldwell found Alex Harris who quickly slipped it through the legs of Kyle Benedictus before bursting into the penalty area only for Declan Gallagher to slide in and clear the ball for a corner.

Griffiths sent in a dangerous corner kick which Jordon Forster headed over as Hibs dominated possession.

Simonsen then did well to block a Griffiths’ effort, then Gallagher appeared to block his follow up shot with his arm, but the referee waved play on.

Dundee, who had failed to create a chance in the first half, started the second period brightly and should have done better when Lewis Toshney robbed Ryan McGivern of possession before attempting a one-two with John Baird, but Forster read the danger and slid in to clear the danger.

Hibs soon retained their domination and both Caldwell and Griffiths went close before a terrific run from Harris sliced open the Dundee defence. The youngster found Lewis Stevenson with an inch perfect pass, but the midfielder hammered the ball over the bar from 15 yards.

Dundee introduced Ryan Conroy for Mark Kerr and he almost made an immediate impact with a well hit volley which went inches past the post.

Hibs eventually grabbed the lead in the 78th minute when McGivern found Stevenson on the left wing. Stevenson then sent a dangerous cross into the box which David Wotherspoon met perfectly from 15 yards and headed the ball powerfully into the corner of the net.

After the game a delighted Pat Fenlon said: “We can just focus on the cup final now completely between now and next weekend and make sure we’re prepared. We’re definitely going into it with a lot of confidence. We’re playing well and looking forward to it.”

“I saw the conditions and had a little worry alright but anything can happen in training or games. We asked them to keep it going and make sure we finished in that seventh spot. There was some great football played, some really good passing, crosses into the box and chances. Just a pity we didn’t score a couple more.”

“The team’s been playing well over the last few weeks which gives me a bit of a headache, but I’d rather have that than not have enough players going into it. When you get to a cup final there are always big decisions to make.The one thing we didn’t do last year was perform and that’s something we need to make sure, that we give our supporters a performance.”

Hibs: Williams, McGivern, Hanlon, Claros, Griffiths (Doyle 72′), Stevenson, Maybury, Taiwo (Robertson 82′), Caldwell, Harris (Wotherspoon 74′), Forster. Substitutes not used: Murdoch, Deegan, Done, Handling.

Dundee: Simonsen, Irvine, Lockwood, McBride, J. Baird, Benedictus, Gallagher (Finnigan 72′), McAlister, Toshney (Riley 62′), M. Kerr (Conroy 56′), Harkins. Substitutes not used: A. Baird, Conroy, Stewart, Nish, C. Kerr.
Referee: Brian Colvin.
Attendance: 9,522.

Hibs Move To Seventh With 3-1 Win Over Kilmarnock

Pat Fenlon’s make-shift team moved to seventh place in the SPL and ensured that they will be above city rivals Hearts at the end of the season with a fine 3-1 won over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

A first half goal from Scott Robertson and two late goals from Chesterfield bound Eoin Doyle secured the three points in the rearranged game, and the performances of the fringe players will have given Fenlon something to think about ahead of the Scottish Cup Final against Celtic on 26th May.

Fenlon made seven changes to the side that took the three points from Sunday’s Edinburgh Derby.

Goalkeeper Sean Murdoch was handed his first start for the club and teenage defender Jordon Forster retained his place in the centre of the back four whilst top goal scorer Leigh Griffiths dropped out completely.

Before kick-off there was a minute’s applause for Kilmarnock supporter James Haswell who collapsed during the original fixture and later died in hospital.

Hibs started brightly and took the lead in the 10th minutes when David Wotherspoon’s free kick was flicked on by Forster to Scott Robertson who knocked the ball into the net before he collided with Kilmarnock keeper Cameron Bell.

Hibs thought that they had doubled their lead when Robertson latched onto an Alan Maybury cross and hammered the ball into the far corner of the net only to have his effort chalked off for handball.

Just before the break, Eoin Doyle was unlucky with a header from a David Wotherspoon cross which went narrowly past the post.

Kilmarnock started the second half in determined fashion and Murdoch did well to save an Ashcroft header before Jeroen Tesselaar went close from the edge of the box.

A few minutes later Kilmarnock equalised with an Ashcroft header despite the attempts of Wotherspoon on the line.
Kilmarnock almost grabbed the lead when Borja Perez struck the post and Paul Heffernan hooked the rebound over the crossbar, but Hibs fought back and had the ball in the net but Doyle’s header was flagged offside.

The former Sligo Rovers striker had another opportunity on 74 minutes when Alex Harris picked him out just inside the penalty area but his header went just past the post.

With time running out, Hibs grabbed the lead as Harris sent a fantastic low cross into the danger area which Doyle knocked into the net.

In time added on, Ryan McGivern won a header in the box from a corner and the ball found Doyle who hammered in a half volley from 12 yards to secure the points.

Kilmarnock: Bell, Tesselaar, Barbour (Fowler 33′), Ashcroft, O’Hara, Clingan, Ibrahim (Perez 55′), Slater (Sheridan 70′), Heffernan, McKenzie, Johnstone. Substitutes not used: Jaakkola, Hay, Gross, Boyd.

Hibs: Murdoch, Hanlon, Maybury, Forster, Deegan (McGivern 73′), Wotherspoon (Harris 63′), Stevenson, Robertson, Thomson (Horribine 63′), Doyle, Handling. Substitutes not used: Grant, Donaldson, Done, Caldwell.

Referee: Craig Charleston.
Attendance: 3,198.

Leigh Griffiths Named Clydesdale Bank Player Of The Year

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Within the space of 24 hours, Leigh Griffiths scored his 100th career goal which helped Hibs beat Hearts at Tynecastle for the first time since May 2009, was named Hibs’ Player of the Year at the clubs end of season dinner, won the club’s Goal of the Season for his stunning right foot volley against Dundee United in November AND won the Clydesdale Bank Player of the Year.

 The 22 year old now hopes to cap an excellent season with a Scottish Cup Winners medal against Celtic on Sunday 26th May, but before that he is determined to help Hibs grab two victories against Kilmarnock on Wednesday night then Dundee this weekend.

 After the Cup Final however, Leigh’s future is still in doubt. His parent club Wolves have indicated that they wanted to take advantage of the one year option and that would mean that he would start next season in the third tier of English football after the Midlands’ Club were relegated at the end of the season.
To make matter even more uncertain, last season’s manager Dean Saunders was sacked and the club are currently looking for a replacement.

 Manager Pat Fenlon insists that Hibs are doing everything within their power to keep the lifelong Hibs fan at Easter Road; however he concedes that that final decision is out-with the club’s control.

 After the ceremony, Leigh said: “It’s down to consistency, even when the team’s not been playing well, I’ve still managed to score goals. I’ve been working on the training park on my link up play and my touches and other things I can add to my game and thankfully it has paid off. I didn’t even know it was my 100th goal, but it was not a bad way to get it. We want to get as much momentum as we can, going into the cup final. There are two important league games to go, we want to get six points and finish in seventh place.

 I’ve spoken to Wolves but I just want to concentrate on the here and now. There’s a lot to play for, and a lot to be decided as well.

Hibs Come From Behind To Win Edinburgh Derby

A last minute goal from teenage striker Ross Caldwell ended Hibs dismal run of SPL games without a win over city rivals Hearts, and ensures the bragging rights over the summer.

The result means that Hibs leapfrog Hearts into 9th position and creates a little piece of history as this is the first time in twelve years that Hearts have failed to win at least one derby game throughout a season.

Manager Pat Fenlon made six changes to the side that started last weekend’s abandoned match with Kilmarnock, and youngster Jordon Forster was handed his debut to replace injured captain James McPake. Ross Caldwell who has an impressive derby record in the Under 20s started only his second game in the green and white jersey.

Hibs started brightly in the wet conditions, but it was Hearts who were first to threaten when an 11th minute corner kick caused problems in the defence with the ball twice cleared from the line , first from Lewis Stevenson and then Alan Maybury from Barr and Michael Ngoo respectively.

Hibs fought back and Alex Harris’ first time effort was well saved at his near post by MacDonald in the Hearts’ goal as Pat Fenlon’s men started to dominate possession.

In the 22nd minute Hibs should have been awarded a penalty kick when Kevin Thomson was brought down by Ryan Stevenson, however referee Steven McLean waved play on to the fury of the Hibs midfielder and the travelling support.

MacDonald then did well to push away a shot from Caldwell after a great pass by Jorge Claros, before Hearts opened the scoring against the run of play, just before the break. Hearts were awarded a corner kick in controversial circumstances when Thomson turned the ball behind after appearing to have been fouled by Hamill. Jamie Walker sent a dangerous ball into the six yard box and Ngoo’s header was cleared from the line by Tom Taiwo, but Darren Barr was able to scoop the loose ball into the net.

In the 47th minute, Alex Harris was brought down 25 yards from goal, and Leigh Griffiths curled an inch perfect free kick into the top right hand corner of the Hearts net to give Hibs a well-deserved equaliser.

Hibs almost took the lead moments later when Harris beat Kevin McHattie on the right wing before firing a low cross along the face of goal which Griffiths just missed.

With Hibs playing the better football, Hearts always looked dangerous at set pieces as both sides pressed for a winner.
With seven minutes remaining Walker was booked for an outrageous dive inside the penalty box as Jordan Forster prepared to tackle him.

In the 89th minute, Hibs grabbed a sensational winner when Griffiths chased down to block a Hamill clearance, and the ball fell to Scott Robertson who found Caldwell 15 yards from goal. The youngster took his time before curling a fantastic effort into the top right hand corner of the Hearts’ net to the delight of the fans in the Roseburn Stand.

Caldwell had another chance in time added on but McDonald saved his shot.

After the game Pat Fenlon said: “It’s probably the best derby there’s been (this season).There was a lot of football played in it and I thought we were very, very good today. I said to them at half-time to go and win the game, not to go out and just try a get a point, and we did that. Young Alex [Harris] was different class. Ross [Caldwell] scored a goal to finish and he has a great record here at under- age level. Jordon Forster was different class at centre-half because he’s come up against two big lumps today and he’s dealt with them really well.”

“They’ve taken a lot of flak for a long time particularly after the cup final last year. We haven’t won here for a while. It’s the first time in 11 or 12 years we’ve gone unbeaten against Hearts in a season, so they’re entitled to enjoy it. We’ve had our nose rubbed in it a bit over the last few years so it’s payback for them.”

Hearts: MacDonald, Barr, Webster, McHattie, Hamill, Stevenson, Taouil (D. Smith 80′), Walker, Holt (g. Smith 91′), Sutton, Ngoo (Carrick 73′). Substitutes not used: Ridgers, McKay, McGowan, King.

Hibs: Williams, Hanlon, Maybury, Forster, Claros, Stevenson, Taiwo, Harris, Thomson (Robertson 80′), Griffiths, Caldwell. Substitutes not used: Murdoch, Donaldson, Deegan, Wotherspoon, Doyle, Handling.

Referee: Steven McLean.
Attendance: 15,994.

Leigh Griffiths Wins Young Player of the Year Award

Leigh Griffiths PFA

Hibernian striker Leigh Griffiths won the Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year at an awards ceremony in Glasgow last night.

The 22 year old who is currently on loan from Wolves has scored an impressive 27 goals this season and hopes to reach the 30 goal mark, with four games remaining.

This weekend, Leigh visits Tynecastle for the final derby of the season, hoping to overtake Hearts in the SPL, then the game against Kilmarnock which was abandoned yesterday in tragic circumstances will be replayed nest week before the final league game of the season against relegated Dundee at Easter Road. With the SPL out of the way, all thoughts will turn to Hampden for the Scottish Cup Final against Celtic.

Griffiths joins illustrious company, by becoming the fourth Hibs player to win the award, following in the footsteps of John Collins, Kenny Miller and Derek Riordan.
He was also on the shortlist for Player of the Year however Motherwell centre forward Michael Higdon won that award.

Afterwards, Leigh revealed that he will be discussing his future with Wolves manager Dean Saunders this week, and the Hibs fans are hoping that he could return to Easter Road next season following Wolves’ relegation at the weekend.

Leigh will be hoping that Hibs do better in the Cup Final than the great Eddie Turnbull’s team did 41 years ago today when they lost 6-1 to Jock Stein’s Celtic on 6 May 1972.