Dundee Utd 1 - 4 Hibs | December 27, 2004
Hibs added a vital ingredient to their already heady brew of youth and precocious talent, this victory their fifth in six matches under then-manager Tony Mowbray.
The result took Hibs proudly to third in the SPL table after this December clash, a point ahead of Aberdeen and, more importantly to the near 5000-strong green-and-white army which descended upon Tannadice, nine in front of arch-rivals, Hearts, who they drew 1-1 at Easter Road the next again week.
It was only when the home side were forced to start chasing the game that Hibs took control and could have ended up even more convincing winners had it not been for a couple of outstanding saves from goalkeeper Tony Bullock.
If Hibs thought it was going to be easy given United’s predicament, they were given an early warning that wouldn’t be the case, Derek McInnes feeding Jason Scotland who cleverly turned away from Gary Caldwell before lashing a left-foot shot high into the net behind Simon Brown. United, however, had displayed a profligacy in defence which reflected the fact that they were rooted to the foot of the table after this encounter.
Bullock and his defenders stood looking at each other as Alen Orman whipped in a cross; Derek Riordan didn’t, the Hibs striker diving in to head home his 12th of the season.
There was little, however, the United defence could do to prevent Hibs taking the lead with a breathtaking move initiated by former United youngster Ian Murray who charged out of defence before slipping the ball forward to O’Connor. He immediately delivered it wide left to David Murphy, a touch back to Riordan and a chip into the box seeing Orman chest it down into the path of O’Connor who lashed it home.
Jim McIntyre could easily have been a United hero but instead was cast in the role of sinner as he put his head to an aimless cross from Dean Shiels, succeeding only in causing confusion in the heart of his defence, Orman taking advantage as he stooped to score.
Steven Whittaker’s tenacity led to Hibs’ fourth, the right-back dispossessing Barry Robson on the halfway line before winning a tackle with Alan Archibald to set Sam Morrow on his way for his first goal for the club.