Sam Stanton today admitted his first goal for Hibs was a bittersweet moment, his joy overshadowed by the Easter Road outfit’s miserable performance as they were bundled out of the Scottish Cup by Raith Rovers.
The teenage midfielder revealed he believed his strike, which cancelled out Kevin Moon’s sixth-minute opener for the Championship side, would spark Terry Butcher’s players into life and help take them a step closer to realising his dream of a third successive final for the club.
But Rovers nosed in front again through Dougie Hill and although that lead was again cancelled out by Hibs defender Michael Nelson, Grant Anderson stunned the Capital side by heading home what proved to be the winner.
Today 19-year-old Stanton, who made only his second start in a Hibs shirt against Raith, said: “It was an absolute dream to score my first goal – but it was also a dream to reach the final. It was a great feeling to get my goal but I was devastated to lose the game. But we got what we deserved, we just weren’t good enough. It was a great opportunity for us, one which we should have taken.”
Butcher confessed to being “baffled” by a display which, he conceded, had made Raith “look like the top-level club” rather than Hibs, but he promised distraught Easter Road fans: “We’ll work hard to make sure we put a team out this weekend and in the following weeks that does Hibs proud and does the supporters proud.”
Meanwhile, Hibs face Hearts in the Under-20 derby at Livingston’s Energy Asset Arena tonight (kick-off 6pm). Hibs are second in the league, three points behind Rangers.