Hibee History: Clinical Hibs secure first trophy in 16 years

Lewis Stevenson with the trophy at Easter Road
Lewis Stevenson with the trophy at Easter Road
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Hibs produced a dazzling display of power, speed and clinical finishing to lift the CIS Insurance Cup with victory over Kilmarnock at Hampden.

Rob Jones headed home from a corner after 28 minutes, but it was after the break before Hibs ran riot.

Abdessalam Benjelloun curled home the second and Steven Fletcher fired in the third, both from the edge of the box.

Gordon Greer headed a reply, but late strikes from Benjelloun and Fletcher ensured there would be no fightback. Hibs’ first trophy in 16 years justified manager John Collins’ decision to recall winger Ivan Sproule and prefer 19-year-old Lewis Stevenson, who was named man of the match, to Michael Stewart in midfield.

It was Andrew McNeil, who was first to be tested as Killie started the brighter while sleet and snow enveloped Hampden Park. The young goalkeeper turned Steven Naismith’s close-range head flick over the crossbar.

And it was Alan Combe’s turn to impress when parrying wide Stevenson’s drilled effort from 12 yards.

Steven Naismith then did well to latch on to a long ball but just failed to steer his shot from 18 yards into the top corner.

However, Hibs took the lead as Jones freed himself from marker Colin Nish and powered a header past the helpless Combe from David Murphy’s corner.

Combe dived full length to turn wide a Benjelloun header. And McNeil did well to recover when Frazer Wright fired a low drive through a crowd of players.

But Hibs ended the half the better side, with Steven Fletcher flashing a drive wide and then having another effort cleared by a deflection off team-mate Sproule.

The second-half started in bizarre fashion, with Hibs starting with nine men after Jones and Murphy were late emerging from the tunnel.

However, that failed to shift the momentum of the match.

Killie lost Peter Leven to injury and, following the introduction of Gary Wales, they suffered another blow when Hibs extended their lead after 59 minutes.

Benjelloun teased Gordon Greer before curling the ball into the far corner from 18 yards.

And, with Killie in disarray, Fletcher combined with Scott Brown and Benjelloun to finish the move he himself started by driving the third goal low into the far corner from 20 yards.

Greer headed home from close range after a cross from substitute Gary Locke caused problems in the Hibs box after 77 minutes.

But Benjelloun again made space for himself before firing under Combe.

And Fletcher pounced to score after Combe mis-kicked following a cruel bobble that summed up a disastrous day for Killie.

Hibs: McNeil, Whittaker, Murphy, Hogg, Jones, Stevenson, Beuzelin, Brown, Sproule, Benjelloun, Fletcher.