Hibee History: Firhill for thrills as Hibs mash Swedes

Gordon Smith, above, showed great skill to set up Hibs first goal, scored by Bobby Combe
Gordon Smith, above, showed great skill to set up Hibs first goal, scored by Bobby Combe
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Though both of their second-half goals were presented to them by their opponents, Hibs thoroughly deserved to win their European Cup quarter-final first-leg tie at Firhill Park under the floodlights.

Hibs will be very strong favourites to reach the semi-finals, for Djurgardens, their Swedish opponents – forced to play their home leg in Glasgow due to freezing conditions back home – are most unlikely to achieve any better result in the second game on Hibs’ ground.

Though the game sagged in the second half, the 22,000 crowd had their money’s worth in a first half full of skilful football and thrilling shooting. The Swedes started magnificently. With his first touch of the ball Parling, their left half and captain, showed that he was a master of the art of passing. Away went a 30-yard swift through-pass and Eklund wasted little time in controlling the ball before he shot unerringly into the corner of the net from 18 yards.

For a quarter of an hour afterwards, Hibs bombarded the visitors’ goal, and though several of the shots were wide of the target their readiness to shoot was as welcome as their clever approach play. It took them 27 minutes to equalise, but the goal was worth the wait. Jimmy Mulkerrin made a bad backward pass to Gordon Smith from midfield, but the winger immediately transformed the position with a dart inside and a left-footed cross into the tracks of Bobby Combe. The inside-right mastered the running ball and, from 20 yards, beat Arvidsson. Mulkerrin scored Hibs’ second goal in the fourth minute of the second half, a direct result of a faulty headed pass back by Olsson, the centre forward challenging the goalkeeper for the ball and being lucky to find the rebound landing at his feet. Hibs’ third goal five minutes from time – Eddie Turnbull had shot wide from a penalty kick in the 70th minute – was diverted past his goalkeeper by Olsson, who thus had an unhappy night.

Hibs: Younger, McFarlane, Paterson, Thomson, Plenderleith, Preston, Smith, Combe, Mulkerrin, Turnbull, Ormond.