Pennant scores as Hibs trialist
Jermaine Pennant, the former Arsenal and Liverpool winger, played as trialist for Hibernian last night and scored the second goal as the Easter Road side beat Dunfermline Athletic 4-0 in a pre-season friendly at East End Park.
Pennant, 34, is a free agent following his release by Bury and has been training with Hibs whose manager Neil Lennon said: “We want to have a good look at him. He is 34 but still has a few years in him. He has had an exceptional career. He has a good personality but it is early days before we make any decision.”
Former Arsenal and Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant was among the scorers as Hibernian scored four unanswered goals against Dunfermline in their first pre-season outing
Summer recruit Danny Swanson, Martin Boyle and Olly Shaw were also on target on a satisfying evening for head coach Neil Lennon.
The sight of Pennant’s name as a trialist in the Hibs line-up was the main topic of conversation among the large band of travelling fans who made the short journey across to Fife.
The 34-year-old, who spent the second half of last season at Bury, played on the right flank, having recently joined the squad for training at their East Mains base.
Swanson lined up on the opposite side as the dyed-inthe-wool Hibs fan made his long-awaited first outing.
Lennon also used the match to give a run-out to several youngsters, with Ryan Porteous, Calum Craine and Shaw all starting.
Hibs were, of course, bereft of last season’s top scorer, Jason Cummings, the striker having made the switch to Nottingham Forest last month.
The game started like a typical pre-season affair, a slow tempo with little action at either end, but the Pars did their best to liven it up, David Hopkirk twice going close with a half-volley and a header.
The visitors had lacked penetration in the final third during a nondescript opening to the match but all that changed when Swanson broke the deadlock in the 24th minute.
The former Hearts man exchanged passes with Craine down the left before drilling a low right-footed drive into the corner from 12 yards.
Hopkirk wasted another chance after having a shot charged down by Ofir Marciano before Lee Ashcroft had a goal chalked off for a foul on the goalkeeper.
Before the half was out, there was still time for Aaron Splaine to be booked after the Pars midfielder slid on late on Dylan Mcgeouch.
From the resulting free-kick, Pennant’s shot hit the inside of the post and bounced to safety.
Lennon made seven changes at the break. Pennant was one of the survivors and he added a second in the 58th minute with a close-range finish after taking down John Mcginn’s cross.
Pennant immediately made way for Martin Boyle and the replacement added a third in the 71st minute, darting into the box before firing a low shot across goal into the net.
Shaw made it four in the 76th minute when he rose high in the box to head Mcginn’s cross past the hapless Sean Murdoch. DUNFERMLINE: Murdoch, Williamson, Ashcroft (Coulson (T) 63), Morris, Martin (Duthie 81), Aaron Splaine (Paton 45), Wedderburn (Lochead 84), M’voto, Hopkirk (Cardle 53), Clark (Smith 78), Higginbotham (King (T) 69). Subs not used: Gill, Luke, Alan, Morrison, Trialist. HIBERNIAN: Marciano (Laidlaw 45), Gray, Porteous, Fontaine (Mcgregor 45), Bartley (F Murray 45), Pennant (T) (Boyle 58), Mcgeouch (Mcginn 45), Swanson (Martin 45), Graham (Murray 45), Craine (Stevenson 45), Shaw.
0 Team-mates congratulate Jermaine Pennant after he had scored Hibs’ second goal.