Hibs daft Darren McGregor today admitted to being stunned after writing himself into the Easter Road club’s history books by claiming their 1000th goal in the Scottish Cup.
McGregor was delighted to have scored his first goal for the club he has supported all his life, opening the scoring as Alan Stubbs’ side eased their way past Raith Rovers and into tonight’s fifth-round draw, Dominique Malonga having secured the victory with a second goal just three minutes later.
But his joy was heightened when the Evening News revealed there was that little something special about it. Now he plans to get the No.24 purple jersey he wore at Stark’s Park framed to add to his mother’s collection which charts his career.
Brought on to replace debutant Niklas Gunnarsson, McGregor struck just seven minutes later, capitalising on the Raith defence failing to cut out Lewis Stevenson’s cross to lash a first-time shot under goalkeeper Kevin Cuthbert.
He said: “I was aware I had plenty of time but I was thinking if I miss this one I’ll get some stick. I had time to take a touch but I thought ‘sod it’ and hit it first time. I think the goalkeeper would have been a bit disappointed because it went under him but there was plenty of pace behind it and he was probably caught off guard.
“I’m known for it in training, I hit a few wild ones but when I catch them right as I did this one I normally hit the target. I know defenders are usually known for scoring with headers from set-pieces but a goal is a goal and hopefully there’s plenty more to come.
“I was happy enough just to have score my first Hibs goal but to hear it was the club’s 1000th in the Scottish Cup makes it just amazing. When you think of all the great players who have scored cup goals down through the years to have mine among them with such a landmark goal is something special for someone like me who has been a fan all my life.
“I was going to get the strip framed in any case, now I’ll probably have to get a little plaque to go with it.”
McGregor is well used to hoping that this might be “Hibs’ year,” but while happy to have overcome a potentially tricky away tie, the 30-year-old cautioned: “To have been a supporter all my life and to have contributed to this win is great.
“Everybody will tell you the league is the priority but for the fans the cup is special. There’s always the chance of an upset, the team that’s fancied doesn’t win and the underdog comes out on top, and a day out at Hampden is very special.
“But it’s very premature to be thinking of winning the cup, there’s a long way to go. The gaffer said before the game the most important thing was to be in the hat for the draw. We’ve done that and we look forward to the next tie, nothing more.”