The Sunday Post (Inverness)

It wasn’t pretty, but Hibs deserved this long-awaited win


This contest had “last game on Sportscene” written all over it, even after Oli Shaw notched the goal which gave Hibs their first win in eight games at the Hope CBD Stadium.

It wasn’t a classic but that won’t bother the supporters who have waited for over two months to rediscover that winning feeling.

They deserved the three points, too, although Hamilton were so poor that’s something of a back-handed compliment.

Certainly, Hamilton boss Martin Canning could scarcely hide his frustratio­n over his side’s display.

“You get days like that,” he said. “Even in the first half we missed a couple of good opportunit­ies to take the lead and put Hibs under pressure.

“In the second half we started well. Ziggy Gordon heads just past the post and then we kind of fell out of the game and allowed Hibs to come back into it.

“We sat too deep, didn’t squeeze the game well enough. The goal typified it – there was a ball up and there was no contact, it goes wide and there’s no contact, there’s a cross into the box, no contact and then there’s a finish, no contact.

“If you do that against good players then you’re in trouble. We are not being clinical enough at both ends of the pitch.”

Accies should have drawn first blood in the 15th minute when James Keatings’ perfectlyw­eighted through ball left Rakish Bingham with only Ofir Marciano to beat but a sliding challenge from new boy Miquel Nelom put the striker off his stride and he failed to hit the target.

Hibs replied with a spectacula­r 35-yarder from Stephen Mallan which Gary Woods – a last-gasp replacemen­t when first-choice keeper Jan Mucha was crocked during the warm-up – needed two attempts to keep it out. Mallan then saw Woods parry a low free-kick and Martin Boyle’s shot from the loose ball was smothered by home players.

At the other end, Marciano – himself a last-minute switch for the injured Adam Bogdan – did well to keep out a piledriver from Bingham, with Mikel Miller adjudged to be offside as he attempted to force home the rebound.

Hibs lost Martin Boyle with concussion after he collided with Woods on the stroke of half-time and Accies were also forced to bring on third-choice keeper Jacob Marsden for the second half.

The 21-year-old was immediatel­y called into action, pushing away a curling shot from Florian Kamberi and then he bravely saved at the feet of Emerson Hyndman six yards out. Hibs dominated possession but their final ball let them down time and again.

However, their persistenc­e finally paid off when substitute Daryl Horgan fired in a low cross and Oli Shaw passed it back across the goal and inside Marsden’s right-hand post. There were more chances for the visitors but poor finishing and more alert goalkeepin­g from Marsden kept the match in the balance right up to the final whistle.

Released by Ipswich Town in the summer, this was the 21-year-old’s first taste of firstteam football and Canning believes he came through it with flying colours.

“Young Jacob came in and did well,” he claimed. “He was meant to be in the stand and then he’s making his debut in the Premiershi­p. That’s football; it can change so quickly.”

 ??  ?? Hibs’ Oli Shaw scores the only goal of a scrappy game
Hibs’ Oli Shaw scores the only goal of a scrappy game

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