Advertisements

Posts Tagged ‘ Livingston ’

Hibs move to within one point of Rangers in race for second place

hibs badge

Hibs moved to within one point of Rangers in the Championship with a comfortable 3-1 win over Livingston at the Energy Assets Arena tonight.

Head Coach Alan Stubbs made one change to the starting XI that lost to Falkirk in the Scottish Cup semi-final on Saturday with Martin Boyle replacing the suspended Scott Allan.

Former Hibs’ defender Brad Donaldson started for Livingston. Continue reading

Advertisements

Hibs Move Clear Of Rangers With Dramatic Livi Win

photo

Hibs moved five points clear of Rangers in dramatic fashion tonight with a 2-1 win over Livingston at Easter Road tonight.

Head Coach Alan Stubbs made four changes to the starting XI that beat Berwick Rangers on Sunday, with Keith Watson, Martin Boyle, Liam Craig and Franck Dja Djedje replacing David Gray, Scott Allan, Dylan McGeouch and Dominique Malonga.

The Easter Road side went into the game knowing that second place is now in their own hands following Rangers draw last night with Queen of the South which leaves them two points behind with a game in hand. Continue reading

Hibs Up To Fourth After Comfortable Win Over Livingston

hibs badge

Hibs recorded their biggest league win in over two years this afternoon by comprehensively beating Livingston 4-0 at the Energy Assets Arena.

Goals from Dominique Malonga, Danny Handling , Dylan McGeough and Paul Heffernan ensured the three points headed to Easter Road and as an added bonus, Alan Stubbs’ men are now in the play off position.

Stubbs was forced to play Callum Booth in the centre of the defence alongside Paul Hanlon after normal first choice Jordon Forster called off due to an injury. Continue reading

Goal From Keeper Oxley Secures Win For Hibs

photo (4)

A goal from Hibs’ goalkeeper Mark Oxley secured the three points for the Easter Road side this afternoon against Livingston in a hard fought encounter.

Head Coach Alan Stubbs made one enforced change to the line-up that lost narrowly to Rangers in midweek with veteran striker Paul Heffernan replacing the suspended Danny Handling. Continue reading

Hibs Sign James McPake On Two Year Deal

At last, the news that all Hibs fans have been waiting for, James McPake has signed a two year contract with the club, and will be starting pre-season training on Monday at East Mains.

The 28 year old centre half spent four months with the Easter Road club last season, after signing on loan from Coventry City during the January transfer window. He was immediately installed as captain against Rangers at Ibrox, but his day ended with a debatable red card as Hibs eventually lost 4-0.

After returning to the team, McPake recorded 15 appearances, captaining the team in every match, and displaying the leadership qualities which were much lacking in the squad. His performances made him a firm favourite amongst the supporters who have inundated forums demanding that the club pull out all the stops to get him back. His last match was the cup final defeat to Hearts, during which he scored the only Hibs goal and was one of the few players who received pass marks that day.

Rumours that he would attend yesterday’s home strip launch proved incorrect, leaving many fans worried that the proposed move may not take place, but their fears were unfounded as he put pen to paper earlier today.

McPake hails from Bellshill near Glasgow and started his professional career with Livingston, chalking up 100 appearances and scoring six goals. He was made club captain under former Hibs coach Mark Proctor, and the West Lothian club valued him highly, turning down bids from Plymouth Argyle and St Mirren.

In 2009 he moved south to Coventry City where he scored once in 38 starts before a serious back injury which required surgery curtailed his career.

After his successful loan spell with Hibs last season, McPake received an unexpected call up by former  Shamrock Rovers boss Michael O’NeiLl for Northern Ireland’s friendly against the Netherlands. Despite the 6-0 defeat, McPake’s performance at the heart of the defence received positive comments.

Hibs boss Pat Fenlon was delighted with the capture and told Hibs TV: “It’s absolutely fantastic that we’ve been able to bring James back to the club on a permanent basis. We have had to be patient and persistent but all the work has been worthwhile.

“Every team needs a strong leader and James is my captain – he leads by example and sets himself high standards.

“He made a really positive impact during his loan spell and moving forward he will play a major role in the on-going development of the club over the next few seasons.

“At the core of every successful team are strong-minded competitors and James will also help to bring on the younger players in the squad.

“With the arrivals of Tim and now James, we have started to make good progress towards rebuilding the squad and bringing in the right characters.

“There is much more to be done and we will keep working away trying to secure our other targets.”

McPake says he is delighted to be heading back to Easter Road, and shortly after signing, he posted a ‘Welcome to Edinburgh – this is home’ photograph via twitter, delighting his many followers.

McPake said: “It’s an honour to play for Hibs again. From day one, I felt at home at the club and I developed a special relationship with the supporters.

“I’m excited to be part of what will be a new-look Hibernian team and I’m looking forward to playing my part in bringing success back to this football club.”

McPake is Fenlon’s second close season signing following the capture of Irish defender Tim Clancy from Motherwell.

Murray would endure the pain of relegation for cup win

It’s the question that has been asked and answered a thousand times in the pubs around Easter Road since Hibs eased past Ayr United to secure a semi-final place against Aberdeen at Hampden. Would you accept relegation, if it guaranteed a win in the Scottish Cup final?

Opinions are divided with some adamant that SPL survival must be the club’s number one priority, whilst the more romantic of the faithful argue that a season in division one would be a small price to pay to get the 110 year albatross off their necks.

The directors who worry about the financial implications are amongst the former, but one player is in the other camp. Club captain Ian Murray has no doubts and would happily swap relegation for cup glory on May 19, to erase the pain of their century old hoodoo. The midfielder whose season has been blighted by injury is desperate to see his beloved Hibs reach their first final since 2001 when a Henrik Larsson inspired Celtic led by Martin O’Neill beat Alex McLeish’s Hibs side 3-0. Murray played in that game as a teenager and should he feature in this year’s final, he will emulate the feat of legendary winger Arthur Duncan who played in two finals in the seventies.

The former Rangers and Norwich player said: “Our SPL form is poor but I’d say every fan and most of the players would take relegation if it meant we would win the Scottish Cup. “From a financial point of view for the club, the directors would pull their hair out if that happened, but as a romantic thing for the fans, they would take the Cup. If we could get both it would be fantastic”

“Second bottom of the SPL is not great at all but we’d all take that with a Cup Final appearance. “It has been that long and there have been so many great Hibs teams which haven’t won it and to get to a semi or final is a special achievement. The fans talk about it more than players but I don’t buy into hoodoos.”

Murray was just a teenager when he received the shock nod from gaffer Alex McLeish for the big day. “I don’t remember much talk about the hoodoo going into the 2001 final because we had such a good team. We were just unfortunate to come up against an exceptional Celtic side. I firmly believe had we kept that team in place, we could have had a chance of winning the title. But in the final Russell Latapy had his problems beforehand and didn’t play, while Franck Sauzee did play but wasn’t fully fit. We did really well for the first 30 minutes and Marc Libra had a chance in an even start. But things worked against us, such as Lubo Moravcik going off injured and Jackie McNamara coming on to score.”

“Celtic won well in the end but I feel that if we had faced anyone else that season, we would have won it. The hype around the game was fantastic, though, and it was great to be there.

“It was my first taste of a cup final at Hampden and it was so special for me, so to get back there would be fantastic. Stuart Lovell had missed eight games and I had been playing instead of him.

“It was the Wednesday beforehand and the gaffer pulled me in. I thought it was for the inevitable, ‘We’re going with experience line.’ I was expecting the bombshell and was ready to take it on the chin and be happy at just being around the squad.

“But then he said he’d play me wide right and Stuart was the one who was unhappy with the manager. It was a huge occasion, especially as I didn’t expect to play. I didn’t even tell my mum and dad I was playing as news might have got out. It was a great occasion and although we lost, it is a great memory.

“You hear people talking about losing these games and throwing away their medals but I don’t buy into that. Getting all the way to a final is a great achievement and something you should savour. Let’s face it, if I get back this season it’ll be my first since 2001 so they don’t come around too often.”

The versatile midfielder, who is in his testimonial year at Easter Road, is not underestimating the task of beating Craig Brown’s Aberdeen, and he is desperate to be in the squad after recovering from a long term groin injury. Last week, he came through sixty minutes in a bounce game against St Mirren at the East Mains training centre.

“I’ve not played in many semi-finals in the Scottish Cup. In 2000 I was on the bench when Aberdeen beat us 2-1. I played against Livingston when we reached the final in 2001 but I was suspended when Dundee United beat us 2-1 in 2005”.

“I know the feeling of being left out but if I am lucky I’ll get on the bench and at least have a wee chance of playing.

“I imagine I’ll be part of the squad. Perhaps the fact I can play a few positions might work in my favour but it’ll depend on how I train. If that goes well, you never know.”

Murray also knows that victory could set up an all-Edinburgh final if Hearts can beat champions Celtic on Sunday, and despite the dreadful record in recent derbies, he believes that winning the cup against Hearts would be the ultimate dream for him and the long suffering fans.

Murray said: “I expect Celtic to win the other semi but we would rather play Hearts as they are sixth in the table. Hearts have had the upper hand against us recently and we know that losing to our main rivals would be heart-breaking.”

“But beating them would make it extra special; you could lose the next 20 derbies and it would still be brilliant!”

If Murray does become only the second Hibs player to feature in two cup finals, he will no doubt hope for a different ending. The luckless Duncan scored the winning goal in the 1979 final, but unfortunately it was at the wrong end, and his diving header gave Rangers an undeserved 3-2 victory in the second replay at Hampden.

Advertisements
Advertisements