Hibee History: Fans revel in goal glut

Anthony Stokes drills home his second goal of the afternoon but was later denied a hat-trick

Anthony Stokes drills home his second goal of the afternoon but was later denied a hat-trick

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Hibs romped to their biggest win since the 2007 League Cup final as they reclaimed third place in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League by thumping Hamilton.

The Easter Road men had not scored five times in a match since putting Kilmarnock to the sword at Hampden Park almost three years previous – a scoreline repeated in this encounter.

Each side made two changes, Hibs recalling striker Colin Nish and handing fit-again Kevin McBride his first start for more than two months, while Hamilton drafted in defenders Mark McLaughlin and Richie Hastings for what was their fifth game in a fortnight.

The visitors didn’t start sluggishly however, and were denied a sixth-minute opener by McBride’s clearance after McLaughlin hooked the ball goalward following a corner.

Hibs clicked into gear and a wonderful stop from Tomas Cerny kept out Anthony Stokes’ low finish before Derek Riordan had a goal ruled out for offside after tapping in David Wotherspoon’s cross-cum-shot.

It did not matter as a lovely move put the home side in front three minutes later, Nish clipping the ball over Cerny after a great run and pass from Liam Miller.

Only a brilliant reflex save from Graeme Smith prevented Hamilton levelling, the keeper somehow pushing Mickael Antoine-Curier’s close-range finish wide.

Stokes scored a controversial second for Hibs, barging Alex Neil off the ball before firing a deflected finish past Cerny.

Hastings’ looping cross then hit the top of Smith’s crossbar before Nish failed to capitalise after being put through by a misplaced Accies pass.

Simon Mensing, who had an earlier effort tipped over, curled a 20-yard shot wide but it was 3-0 on the half-hour when Riordan found the empty net after Stokes’ finish was pushed onto the bar by Cerny.

John Rankin’s audacious lob sailed over the top and there was a brief respite in what had been a frantic first half before Smith got down well to deny Antoine-Curier for a second time.

Cerny was called into action again less than three minutes after the restart, springing to his right to palm a Stokes free-kick behind.

But he was helpless to prevent Riordan netting from the other side of the box moments later after Neil was booked for hauling John Rankin to the floor.

The keeper did keep out the striker’s next effort before Smith followed suit at the other end from Marco Paixao.

Hibs immediately broke downfield and Stokes was given all the time and space he needed to fire his second beyond Cerny.

Hamilton withdrew Neil for Kyle Wilkie on the hour mark as the home fans revelled in their team’s goal glut.

Abdessalam Benjelloun replaced Nish as Hibs boss John Hughes turned his attention to their following match away to Celtic.

Liam Miller followed for Patrick Cregg in the 70th minute, while Accies threw on David van Zanten and Stuart Elliott for Trent McClenahan and Marco Paixao.

Twin brother Flavio immediately pulled a goal back when he converted Elliott’s cross at the far post.

Accies looked like finishing the stronger, James McArthur seeing two efforts saved by Smith, while Mensing blasted wide from close range.

But Stokes twice went close to completing a hat-trick late on, missing Galbraith’s cross before shooting over Cerny’s bar.

Hibs: Smith, Wotherspoon, Hogg, Hanlon, Murray, McBride, Rankin, Miller, Nish, Riordan, Stokes.