Hibee History: Miller justifies his draft in cup win

Kenny Miller scored the opening goal with a header, expertly nipping in between defenders

Kenny Miller scored the opening goal with a header, expertly nipping in between defenders

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Hibs eventually made light work of a potentially tricky home encounter against high-flying Dunfermline, running out clear winners in a game marred by a howling gale at Easter Road.

The home team could not have wished for a better start. Their Scottish Cup third-round tie was a mere two minutes old when Kenny Miller fired them ahead.

Hibs right-back Derek Collins found himself with some room on the flank to shape an accurate cross, Miller arrived in the middle bang on cue and headed home from the edge of the six-yard box.

Once over the shock of conceding so early on, Dunfermline composed themselves and began to show something of the form that had taken them to the upper reaches of the First Division.

The visitors were soon causing problems. Striker Stevie Hampshire was unlucky to be caught offside following a neat reverse pass from midfielder Jamie Dolan. Soon after, Hibs keeper Nicky Colgan had to react quickly to prevent Hampshire reaching a long through-ball from Stewart Petrie.

Hibs though seemed to be coping slightly better with the swirling wind that made it difficult for the players to assert any real control.

Certainly, none of the visiting defence were able to pick out Mixu Paatelainen’s cross, but Miller was unable to latch on to the ball and it went past the post.

However, the Edinburgh team were stunned in the 32nd minute when an error by defender Mathias Jack allowed Dunfermline to grab an equaliser.

The strapping German failed to hit his pass back with anything like sufficient power, and could only watch as Dunfermline striker David Graham rounded the keeper to slot the ball home.

Hibs however regained their lead just five minutes later.

When Russell Latapy cut the ball smartly back from the byline, midfielder Grant Brebner flick the ball home.

The teams were greeted for the second half by an ever-heightening gale, which at times threatened to reduce the game to farce.

Despite the conditions, both sets of players persisted with an aerial tactic, although the ball was returning to earth with all the predictability of its smaller counterparts in the lottery draw.

Sauzee again provided a threat in 64th minute with another long-range effort, his shot whistling narrowly past Kris Mampaey’s left-hand post.

Out of the blue, Hibs put themselves in the comfort zone when substitute Ian Murray, only on the pitch two minutes, knocked the ball in from six yards after Mampaey had saved a Miller shot.

Dunfermline were working hard to get back into the game, but the Edinburgh team’s defence was holding firm. Hibs’ midfielder Sauzee was determined to get his name on the scoresheet and blazed another effort over the bar.

Eventually though it was Collins who sealed a comfortable victory for the Easter Road outfit.

In the 86th minute he ran on to a Latapy pass to produce the coolest of finishes, lobbing the advancing keeper Mampaey and in the end Hibs ran out easy winners.

Hibs: Colgan, Collins, Smith, Hughes, Jack, Sauzee, Brebner, Latapy, Lovell, Paatelainen, Miller