Match-winner Jason Cummings had been told by boss Alan Stubbs he’ll have to settle for the role of super-sub as he’s not yet ready to command a starting place.
The 19-year-old came from nowhere last season, his first as a professional, as he proved to be a prolific scorer for Hibs’ Under-20 side, his record earning him rapid promotion to the Easter Road outfit’s first-team squad.
However, Cummings has started just once in five appearances under Stubbs but has scored in his last two matches, credited with Hibs’ goal against Alloa Athletic and then snatching a dramatic winner deep into added on time to complete a spirited comeback to overcome Cowdenbeath, the 3-2 win ending a run of three successive defeats in the Championship.
Despite his weekend heroics, though, Stubbs has warned Cummings, signed from Hutchison Vale Boys Club last summer after being released by Capital rivals Hearts following a serious knee injury, he’ll have to be patient as he battles with Paul Heffernan and new arrival Dominique Malonga for the right to lead the line with Farid El Alagui sidelined for months with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
The head coach said: “Jason is a young boy who has burst on to the scene. I just do not think he is ready at this moment in time to be a starter. But he is a very good sub, he is going to get better and better.”
Stubbs was delighted with the contribution all three substitutes made against Cowdenbeath, making an immediate switch after goals from Sean Higgins and Jon Robertson had fired the Fife club ahead as he handed Malonga a debut before introducing on-loan Southampton forward Jake Sinclair and then Cummings.
Malonga equalised from the spot after Cowdenbeath defender John Armstrong was spotted tugging the shirt of Jordon Forster, scorer of Hibs’ opener, before Cummings came up with the winner with virtually the last kick of the game.
He said: “I thought all three subs had an impact. Dominique showed real composure and some nice touches while Jake gave us something we probably don’t have enough of in the team: pace and a direction.”
Meanwhile, Stubbs has warned no-one is safe from the axe after dropping club captain Liam Craig and handing the armband to David Gray for the visit of the Blue Brazil. He said: “I think you saw I’m not afraid to make changes no matter who the personnel are. It’s for the good of the club and that’s the way it’s going to be.”
Hibs’ Under-20 side play Motherwell at Ainslie Park at 7.45pm tonight.