{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"football","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/raith-rovers-1-1-hearts-jambos-win-4-2-on-penalties-after-poor-betfred-cup-display-1-4772219","id":"1.4772219","articleHeadline": "Raith Rovers 1-1 Hearts: Jambos win 4-2 on penalties after poor Betfred Cup display","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532190604907 ,"articleLead": "League One Raith Rovers sprang a Betfred Cup surprise by holding Premiership Hearts to a draw before losing the subsequent penalty shootout 4-2.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4772218.1532202486!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John Souttar scores Hearts' final penalty against Raith Rovers at Bayview"} ,"articleBody": "

The Edinburgh side underperformed on the day and their fortunes in this tournament could worsen on Monday when they are sanctioned for fielding an ineligible player.

Hearts could be fined and/or deducted points in Group C for their misdemeanour last Wednesday, adding extra importance to this game against Raith. Andy Irving took the field as a substitute against Cove Rangers despite not being registered and the punishment will be decided by an SPFL panel at a hearing on Monday.

The Tynecastle side took a bonus point from this affair after winning the shootout but they really wanted all three. It must be said their display did not merit such a reward. Kevin Nisbet scored early in the second half before Michael Smith's first Hearts goal prevented a damaging defeat. Olly Lee missed his penalty for Hearts but two failed attempts from the spot by Raith's Kyle Benedictus and Ross Matthews ended their hopes of an extra point.

New goalkeeper Colin Doyle started on the Hearts bench against a Raith side depleted by injury and carrying only four substitutes. They switched the game to Bayview, home of East Fife, whilst the Stark's Park pitch is relaid. They also needed a result having lost their opening group match against rivals Cowdenbeath last weekend.

The early stages were relatively frantic and Hearts' midweek goalscorer Lee again displayed his threat with two early attempts at the Raith goal. Left wing-back Jake Mulraney also looked threatening whenever he ran at the opposition. The visitors' problem was getting in behind those in dark blue as the first half progressed.

Kyle Lafferty's deflected free-kick bounced just wide of target on 26 minutes, but Hearts survived a fortunate escape ten minutes later. Centre-back Peter Haring conceded possession cheaply inside his own half and Raith mounted an attack down their left flank. From Euan Valentine's deep cross, Jamie Watson's header bounced beyond the far post.

As the half-time whistle sounded it was obvious Hearts needed a jolt to lift their performance with the scoreline blank. Raith were resilient and well-organised by manager Barry Smith and would have sensed the potential for a cup upset.

That possibility grew considerably five minutes after the restart. A meandering run by Nisbet from the right took him deep into opposition territory without a challenge. His square ball found Grant Gillespie and the midfielder's attempted shot deflected back into the path of Nisbet, who had continued his forward run. He completed the simple task of stroking the ball beyond goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal and into the Hearts net despite offside claims.

Craig Levein, the Tynecastle manager, quickly replaced Lafferty with teenage forward Aidan Keena. Another youngster, Callumn Morrison, came on for Oliver Bozanic as Hearts changed from a 3-4-1-2 system to 4-2-3-1. Raith might have struck again on 63 minutes when Gillespie sprung the offside trap, however his low cross was cleared by Lee.

Morrison, Mulraney and Burns sent several deliveries in towards the Raith goalkeeper Robbie Thomson, who dealt with them and a Haring header comfortably. The travelling fans from Edinburgh were becoming increasingly irked by events on the field as the clock ticked towards the final ten minutes.

Then came a goal out of nothing precisely when Hearts needed one. Full-back Smith ambled forward and sent a left-footed shot from 25 yards soaring into the top corner of Thomson's net. That teed up an onslaught for the closing stages as the Tynecastle side pursued a winner.

Smith had another attempt following Anthony McDonald's clever reverse pass, and Christophe Berra had a header disallowed in the 89th minute when referee Don Robertson judged a foul on goalkeeper Thomson. Morrison cut inside from the left but his angled attempt cleared the far post. Keena's shot was blocked by Benedictus and Berra saw another header cleared off the goal line. The final whistle confirmed penalties for the chance of a bonus point.

Smith, Keena, Steven Naismith and John Souttar scored for Hearts, although Lee's penalty was punched to safety by Thomson. Gillespie and Euan Murray hit the net for Raith, but Benedictus' shot was saved by Zlamal and Matthews sent his attempt over the bar. That ensured a 4-2 shootout win and an extra point for Levein's side.

Raith Rovers (4-1-4-1): Thomson; Watson, McKay, Benedictus, Murray; Davidson; Nisbet (Stevenson 80), Matthews, Gillespie, Valentine; Duggan (Milne 62). Unused subs: McGuff, Berry.

Hearts (3-4-1-2): Zlamal; Haring, Souttar, Berra; M Smith, Burns, Bozanic (Morrison 59), Mulraney (McDonald 73); Lee; Lafferty (Keena 52), Naismith. Unused subs: Doyle, Garuccio, Hughes, Edwards.

Referee: Don Robertson.

Attendance: 1452.

" ,"byline": {"email": "barry.anderson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Barry Anderson at Bayview"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4772218.1532202486!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4772218.1532202486!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John Souttar scores Hearts' final penalty against Raith Rovers at Bayview","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John Souttar scores Hearts' final penalty against Raith Rovers at Bayview","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4772218.1532202486!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/craig-levein-hopes-sanction-doesn-t-ruin-betfred-cup-run-1-4771813","id":"1.4771813","articleHeadline": "Craig Levein hopes sanction doesn’t ruin Betfred Cup run","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532170242000 ,"articleLead": "

Craig Levein is hopeful that any punishment imposed on Hearts for fielding an ineligible player against Cove Rangers won’t leave them facing elimination from the Betfred Cup.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771812.1532094620!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craig Levein"} ,"articleBody": "

The Tynecastle side are set to find out their fate at a hearing on Monday after it emerged on Thursday morning that Andy Irving, who came on as a substitute in the second half of the 2-1 victory at the Balmoral Stadium the previous evening, wasn’t clear to play.

The teenage midfielder signed a contract extension with Hearts in January, but the club had failed to register it with the SFA due to an administrative error, meaning Irving was effectively ineligible to play upon the expiry of his original deal last month.

Hearts owner Ann Budge immediately issued a statement admitting the club were “embarrassed” by the error, which could have a damaging effect on their hopes of progressing in the Betfred Cup.

Instant expulsion from the tournament would be the most severe sanction Hearts could suffer, although that appears unlikely given that the offence occurred in a group match and not in a straight knockout tie. A likelier outcome would be the docking of the three points from Wednesday’s match or a fine.

“It’s a bizarre situation, it was back in January that we signed Andy on a new deal and we’re normally right on the ball with these kind of things,” said manager Levein. “We found out Thursday morning that something was wrong and it’s slightly embarrassing, as Ann said.”

Levein was wary of discussing his club’s potential punishment in any great detail ahead of Monday’s hearing, although he did acknowledge that, with a possible points deduction on the cards, there would be no margin for error in his team’s remaining three Group C matches, starting with today’s meeting with Raith Rovers at New Bayview. “I have no idea what the sanctions are because I think this is an unusual situation,” he said. “There used to be a mini-group for the League Cup away back in the mid-80s and I don’t know if there is anything that ever happened at that point that sets a precedent.

“We were winning 2-0 when Andy came on. I have to be careful with what I say as there is hearing on Monday although naturally I would hope that any sanction would not be damaging for out prospects in this competition. I don’t want to pre-empt anything that happens at the hearing. Whatever happens, we need to be doubly focussed on the remaining matches against Raith, Cowdenbeath and Inverness.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771812.1532094620!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771812.1532094620!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Craig Levein","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craig Levein","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771812.1532094620!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/in-pictures-remembering-the-famous-easter-road-night-when-hibs-beat-aek-athens-1-4771692","id":"1.4771692","articleHeadline": "In pictures: Remembering the famous Easter Road night when Hibs beat AEK Athens","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532086489000 ,"articleLead": "

With Hibs preparing to face Greek opposition in Asteras Tripolis, Joel Sked looks back at the team who took to the field the last time Hibs faced a side from Greece. A famous night at Easter Road as Alex McLeish’s men defeated AEK Athens but went out of the Uefa Cup.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771672.1532086443!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paco Luna celebrates after netting the first goal for Hibs against AEK Athens. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Join our Facebook group Our Edinburgh to share images and news from and around the Capital

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771672.1532086443!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771672.1532086443!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Paco Luna celebrates after netting the first goal for Hibs against AEK Athens. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paco Luna celebrates after netting the first goal for Hibs against AEK Athens. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771672.1532086443!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5789138636001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ {"gallery": {"id":"1.4771690","galleryImages":[ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771673.1532086456!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771673.1532086456!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nick Colgan - Dealt with everything in the 90 minutes. Left dejected as Vassilis Tsiartas' fizzing strike two minutes into extra-time went into the bottom corner via his right arm as he stretched to keep it out.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nick Colgan - Dealt with everything in the 90 minutes. Left dejected as Vassilis Tsiartas' fizzing strike two minutes into extra-time went into the bottom corner via his right arm as he stretched to keep it out.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771673.1532086456!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771674.1532086458!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771674.1532086458!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Paul Fenwick - The Greek side's first goal zipped through his legs, while the second was credited to Tsiartas after his corner skimmed off the heads of the Canadian and Grzegorz Mielcarski.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul Fenwick - The Greek side's first goal zipped through his legs, while the second was credited to Tsiartas after his corner skimmed off the heads of the Canadian and Grzegorz Mielcarski.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771674.1532086458!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771675.1532086459!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771675.1532086459!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ulrik Laursen - The Dane had a chance in the first half but played a crucial role in Paco Luna's second, heading John O'Neil's free-kick into the Spaniard's path.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ulrik Laursen - The Dane had a chance in the first half but played a crucial role in Paco Luna's second, heading John O'Neil's free-kick into the Spaniard's path.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771675.1532086459!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771676.1532086461!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771676.1532086461!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ian Murray - A formidable presence throughout despite only being 20. Had an early chance blocked before setting up the first goal, his header being directed into the goal via the underside of the bar.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Murray - A formidable presence throughout despite only being 20. Had an early chance blocked before setting up the first goal, his header being directed into the goal via the underside of the bar.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771676.1532086461!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771677.1532086464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771677.1532086464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ulises de la Cruz - The Ecuadorian terrorised AEK down Hibs' right-hand side. He crossed for the first goal, was fouled for the free-kick which brought about the second and set up Luna for that glorious chance at the end.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ulises de la Cruz - The Ecuadorian terrorised AEK down Hibs' right-hand side. He crossed for the first goal, was fouled for the free-kick which brought about the second and set up Luna for that glorious chance at the end.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771677.1532086464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771679.1532086466!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771679.1532086466!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Alen Orman - The Austrian was a trusted player in McLeish's system. He offered Hibs legs and reliability on an eventful evening.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alen Orman - The Austrian was a trusted player in McLeish's system. He offered Hibs legs and reliability on an eventful evening.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771679.1532086466!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771680.1532086468!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771680.1532086468!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Mathias Jack - Momentous. He 'enjoyed an immense match in the centre of the park where he snarled and snapped at anyone in a yellow shirt' said the Edinburgh Evening News.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mathias Jack - Momentous. He 'enjoyed an immense match in the centre of the park where he snarled and snapped at anyone in a yellow shirt' said the Edinburgh Evening News.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771680.1532086468!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771682.1532086470!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771682.1532086470!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John O'Neil - An inspiring and combative display from the diminutive midfielder. Involved in both goals, flicking the ball on for the first before swinging in the cross for the second.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John O'Neil - An inspiring and combative display from the diminutive midfielder. Involved in both goals, flicking the ball on for the first before swinging in the cross for the second.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771682.1532086470!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771683.1532086472!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771683.1532086472!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Franck Sauzee - The Hibs legend was a huge miss in the first leg before returning for the second to offer direction as Hibs set about their Greek opponents. Had to exit the game after receiving a cut below the eye.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Franck Sauzee - The Hibs legend was a huge miss in the first leg before returning for the second to offer direction as Hibs set about their Greek opponents. Had to exit the game after receiving a cut below the eye.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771683.1532086472!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771684.1532086475!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771684.1532086475!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Craig Brewster - The wily striker led the line providing Alex McLeish's men with a key focal point as they pressed and pinned their Greek visitors back.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craig Brewster - The wily striker led the line providing Alex McLeish's men with a key focal point as they pressed and pinned their Greek visitors back.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771684.1532086475!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771685.1532086477!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771685.1532086477!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Paco Luna - What a match. Two goals before missing the chance to complete a famous comeback. 'Paco had a great game, he was a bit unfortunate with the last touch of the ball in the 90th minute but he put in a great performance,' said Hibs boss Alex McLeish.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paco Luna - What a match. Two goals before missing the chance to complete a famous comeback. 'Paco had a great game, he was a bit unfortunate with the last touch of the ball in the 90th minute but he put in a great performance,' said Hibs boss Alex McLeish.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771685.1532086477!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771686.1532086479!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771686.1532086479!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "David Zitelli - Came off the bench to give Hibs a glimmer of hope by smashing in a long-range strike which swerved away from goalkeeper Dionissis Chiotis.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David Zitelli - Came off the bench to give Hibs a glimmer of hope by smashing in a long-range strike which swerved away from goalkeeper Dionissis Chiotis.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771686.1532086479!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771687.1532086481!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771687.1532086481!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tam McManus - Hibs' first sub and had a shot saved moments after Luna levelled the scores on aggregate.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tam McManus - Hibs' first sub and had a shot saved moments after Luna levelled the scores on aggregate.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771687.1532086481!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771688.1532086484!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771688.1532086484!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Grant Brebner - Dropped from the first leg, he replaced Sauzee when the Frenchman left the field injured.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Grant Brebner - Dropped from the first leg, he replaced Sauzee when the Frenchman left the field injured.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771688.1532086484!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771689.1532086485!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771689.1532086485!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Alex McLeish - "We gave everything. We should have won the game in 90 minutes, no doubt about it at all. I think we gave AEK the fright of their lives."","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alex McLeish - "We gave everything. We should have won the game in 90 minutes, no doubt about it at all. I think we gave AEK the fright of their lives."","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771689.1532086485!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ]}} ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-skipper-admits-john-mcginn-would-be-a-huge-loss-to-squad-1-4771885","id":"1.4771885","articleHeadline": "Hibs skipper admits John McGinn would be a huge loss to squad","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532151000000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs captain David Gray has insisted John McGinn doesn’t hold the key to the Easter Road side’s Europa League campaign but admitted the Scotland midfielder, a signing target for Celtic, would be hard to replace.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771884.1532113512!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McGinn salutes the travelling fans at the Svangaskard Stadium"} ,"articleBody": "

McGinn made his first competitive appearance of the season as the Edinburgh club moved into the second qualifying round of the competition, following up a 6-1 hammering of NSI Runavik of the Faroe Islands at home with a rather harder fought 6-4 victory in Toftir, the 23-year-old playing his part by scoring Hibs’ opening goal and setting up two others.

McGinn had missed the first meeting of the teams thanks to a heavily strapped thigh although Hibs head coach Neil Lennon admitted the transfer speculation swirling around him – Celtic having had two bids, the second of which was for £1.75 million, turned down – had also been a distraction for the 23-year-old.

However, having declared himself satisfied with McGinn’s performance on Thursday night, Lennon conceded he didn’t know if he’d still be a Hibs player when they play the first leg of that second qualifying round tie against Greek club Asteras Tripolis at Easter Road in five days time.

“It will be up to the two clubs, or any other club that comes in,” said Lennon. “We have our valuation. We said we’d play him in the Faroes, we played him and we move on.”

And like Lennon, Gray insisted no-one was surprised at the focus McGinn had shown in the surreal surroundings of the cliff-top Svangaskard Stadium as Hibs recovered from going 2-0 down in just five minutes to win.

He said: “Everybody would expect that from John. We know the type of player you get with him. Even if he is not having a great game, you know you will get 100 per cent effort and endeavour. Even if John isn’t playing well, you can guarantee his opposite number will be having a tough game as well.

“If you lose a player like John, then he will be difficult to replace. He is a fantastic talent and one of the best young players coming through in Scotland at the moment.

“Whatever happens with John, if he stays then we know exactly what we’ll get. He’ll be the same player and character as always.

“If he moves on, then the best of luck to him because he deserves it for being brilliant in the last couple of seasons.”

Although McGinn’s immediate future remains clouded by uncertainty, Gray believes Hibs will be well prepared should he depart.

“We have a really good squad and I’m sure there is work going on the background to make sure that, if he does move on, then the manager can bring people in to strengthen again. That’s the nature of football.

“We have a good core, confidence levels are high and we can’t wait for the next round.”

n Hibs’ first game of the new Scottish Premiership season against Motherwell has been moved to Sunday August 5.

The match, which kicks off at Easter Road at 3pm, has been shifted due to the Easter Road side’s progression in the UEFA Europa League.

The fixture had been due to take place at 3pm on Saturday August 4.

Neil Lennon’s side are scheduled to play Asteras Tripolis in Greece on Thursday August 2, after overcoming NSI Runavik of the Faroe Islands 12-5 on aggregate after a 6-4 win in Toftir on Thursday night.

The club has advised that all match tickets are valid for the rescheduled fixture.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771884.1532113512!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771884.1532113512!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John McGinn salutes the travelling fans at the Svangaskard Stadium","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McGinn salutes the travelling fans at the Svangaskard Stadium","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771884.1532113512!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/new-hearts-keeper-colin-doyle-puts-feet-first-in-bid-to-be-no-1-1-4771945","id":"1.4771945","articleHeadline": "New Hearts keeper Colin Doyle puts feet first in bid to be No.1","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532151000000 ,"articleLead": "

Goalkeeper Colin Doyle is relishing the chance to continue developing as a ball-playing goalkeeper at Hearts as the Tynecastle side place extra emphasis on building from the back this season.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771944.1532107749!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Colin Doyle"} ,"articleBody": "

The 33-year-old Irish internationalist this week signed a two-year contract with the Edinburgh club after leaving Bradford City following two years as their number one.

Having spent the majority of his career focusing on the basics of goalkeeping such as shot-stopping and commanding his penalty area, Doyle has enjoyed adapting his game in recent seasons to become a goalkeeper comfortable with the ball at his feet and able to spark attacks. He is pleased that his new team, who struggled to establish a clear playing style last season amid a series of obstacles, are intent on accommodating his new-found desire to build from the back-line as opposed to going long and direct.

“When I came here on Monday, the manager showed me clips from my time at Bradford, highlighting things he wanted me to do,” said Doyle. “He told me he wants me to play out to feet, which, predominantly at Bradford under Stuart McCall, we ended up doing. I enjoyed that because in previous years, it tended to just be get the ball and kick it as far as I can. I’m excited about playing this way.

“The art of goalkeeping is probably changing now. I did a B licence in the summer and I was asked the question: if you were a manager, what type of keeper would you look for? Would you look for a keeper who comes for crosses and saves some shots or one who doesn’t comes for crosses, but is really good with his feet? You have all those dilemmas now. Look at Ederson at Man City and the new lad (Alisson) who has just gone to Liverpool. They are phenomenal with the ball at their feet. Obviously they can save a ball as well, but Ederson probably doesn’t come off his line as much as a lot of them. As a keeper playing with the ball at his feet, I don’t think I’ve seen better. The art of goalkeeping is changing, football is developing all the time and moving forward.

“I’m not too bad with my feet. I had to work on it a bit because, before that, it was sort of, put the ball down, take a goal kick and just squeeze up. I enjoyed playing at Bradford. We tried to get the full-backs out, get the centre-halves on it, the midfield on it. I got used to it quite quickly and I quite enjoyed it.”

After forcing his way back into the Ireland set-up during his two years with Bradford, the former Birmingham City and Blackpool goalkeeper was psyched for extending his stay with the English League One side. However, after being unable to reach an agreement with Yorkshire club, he was delighted when Hearts got in touch earlier this month to offer him the chance to compete with Zdenek Zlamal for the No.1 jersey at Tynecastle. “I came up on Monday but I heard of Hearts’ interest just over a week ago,” said Doyle. “There was contact with my agent and he asked if I’d like to come. We came up on Monday to have a look at the facilities and they were top class. Once I saw that, it was an easy decision. I’ve no grudges against Bradford, I had two fantastic years there.

“They said they’d offer me a deal, and we put something to them, which agents sometimes do, and we just never heard back, no negotiations, nothing. We made a few phone calls to try and get in contact with them. I wasn’t stressing or worrying about it because I thought it would be sorted. But a few days before pre-season started I was on holiday and my agent got a phone call to say they were going down a different route. It’s part of football and you have to accept it and move on.

“I had a couple of offers down south, but once this came up it was a no-brainer really. Playing in the Premiership, you’ve got big games here against Celtic, Rangers, Hibs, Aberdeen – it’s big teams, big crowds and it’s what I want to play in front of.”

Doyle finished last season by playing three games for Ireland – against France, USA and Celtic, when he appeared in Scott Brown’s testimonial at Celtic Park. “It was a good atmosphere and it was the first time I had been to Celtic Park to play, I’ll certainly looking forward to going back,” he said of a venue Hearts are due to visit in three weeks’ time.

Doyle’s move to Hearts has reunited him with two former colleagues, Uche Ikpeazu and Olly Lee. “I know Uche from Blackpool and Olly from Birmingham,” said the goalkeeper. “When I came in on Monday to look round, I didn’t meet anyone other than Olly and Uche. I don’t know whether that was set up by the gaffer to convince me to sign!”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771944.1532107749!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771944.1532107749!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Colin Doyle","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Colin Doyle","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771944.1532107749!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-boss-delighted-to-have-two-first-choice-keepers-battling-for-gloves-1-4771952","id":"1.4771952","articleHeadline": "Hearts boss delighted to have two first-choice keepers battling for gloves","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532151000000 ,"articleLead": "

Craig Levein is delighted to have two senior goalkeepers vying for the Hearts No.1 slot after the recruitment of Irish internationalist Colin Doyle this week.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771951.1532110487!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Colin Doyle"} ,"articleBody": "

Zdenek Zlamal, the 32-year-old Czech, appeared destined to be the clear first choice when he arrived earlier this summer following the departures of Jon McLaughlin and Jack Hamilton.

However, the signing of 33-year-old Doyle, who has started each of Republic of Ireland’s last three matches, means Hearts now possess two experienced keepers intent on playing regularly.

“I am really thrilled with the signing of Colin,” said Levein.

“To have that competition for that position makes me feel really good.

“After signing Bobby (Zlamal), I was initially looking for a No 2 goalkeeper. Actually saying it makes me feel that that isn’t a proper thing. We now have two goalkeepers fighting for the No 1 spot which makes me feel much better than saying he’s the No 1 and he can just sit there.

“They are both experienced goalkeepers and they have both been in the same situation before.”

Zlamal, who made an impressive competitive debut in the 2-1 win over Cove Rangers in Wednesday, is currently in command of the gloves and will start against Raith Rovers at New Bayview today.

“Bobby is the man in possession right now because I thought he did well on Wednesday. I thought he was steady, calm and made a lot of good decisions.

“There is touch of eccentricity in there somewhere, but I quite like that.

“Colin has only really trained since yesterday. Bobby’s had most of the pre-season and he played other day. He’s fine and he will play against Raith, so we’ll see where it takes us.”

Steven Naismith is set to return to the squad today after serving a suspension against Cove but veteran striker Steven MacLean will be rested. Australian left-back Ben Garuccio will be among the substitutes after not being included in the squad for Wednesday’s trip north, but Harry Cochrane, Anthony McDonald and Don Cowie are all sidelined with minor injuries.

“Don’s had a calf strain,” said Levein.

“Him and Arnaud Djoum are training together. They’re both out running and are close to coming back.

Harry’s had one niggling problem after another and Anthony’s Achilles has been a bit tight – we might see them in the next two or three weeks.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771951.1532110487!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771951.1532110487!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Colin Doyle","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Colin Doyle","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771951.1532110487!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/david-gray-game-in-toftir-has-to-be-hibs-wake-up-call-1-4771861","id":"1.4771861","articleHeadline": "David Gray: Game in Toftir has to be Hibs’ wake-up call","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532151000000 ,"articleLead": "

It wasn’t so much the six goals scored that has been exercising the mind of Hibs captain David Gray but the four the Easter Road side had conceded to Faroese minnows NSI Runavik.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771860.1532098661!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David Gray leads Hibs out in Toftir"} ,"articleBody": "

Already 6-1 up from the home leg of their Europa League first qualifying round, Neil Lennon’s players had travelled to the North Atlantic outpost safe in the knowledge they’d secured their place in the next stage, a double-header with Greek club Asteras Tripolis.

But, admitted Gray, the alarm bells began to sound loud and clear as what was seen as no more than a formality suddenly took a dramatic turn for the worse, Runavik scoring twice in the opening five minutes to put an unexpected question mark against the Edinburgh club’s progress.

Hibs eventually ran out 6-4 winners on the night and 12-5 on aggregate but, conceded Gray, the delight of keeping their dream of defying the odds to reach the group stages of the competition alive was somewhat tempered by the performance produced in the surreal surroundings of Toftir’s cliff-top Svangaskard Stadium which found itself shrouded in a thick fog, so much so that at one stage it appeared as the game might have to be abandoned.

“It definitely wasn’t a great start to find ourselves 2-0 down,” agreed Gray. “But we reacted well and got ourselves back into the game quite quickly.

“When you find yourself 2-0 down so quickly, regardless of how the first leg went, then alarm bells start to ring and you know you need to get back in the game. It was about reacting and trying to win.”

Strikes from John McGinn and Lewis Stevenson appeared to have soothed the nerves of both Neil Lennon’s players and those travelling Hibs fans who formed the bulk of the tiny crowd of just 587.

But in a highly entertaining match - at least as far as the home support were concerned - the game see-sawed back and forward Runavik nosing in front again only for Gray himself to equalise on the stroke of half-time with Hibs nudging ahead for the first time through Efe Ambrose.

Runavik, though, refused to lie down, their skipper Klaemint Olsen completing his hat-trick before two sublime strikes from Stevie Mallan settled things once and for all in Hibs favour.

Gray, however, insisted it was obvious there were glaring deficiencies which need to be addressed, and quickly with the home leg against Asteras now only five days away.

He said: “The manner in which we lost the goals was disappointing. There is a lot of work to be done. We know that, but the main thing is we’re through. We’ll get back on the training ground and work on the things we need to.

“It’s great that we are creating chances and scoring goals. That’s positive for the boys and the confidence levels at this stage of the season. We always feel we can create, the disappointing aspect was defensively because we pride ourselves on being solid.

“It would be easy to look for excuses, the surroundings and so on, but this was about getting performance and fitness levels up, knowing the games will get tougher.”

Gray acknowledged Hibs now face a huge step up in terms of the quality of opposition in the shape of Asteras, regular competitors in the Europa League and having reached the group stages themselves in consecutive seasons in recent years.

The defender said: “I thought we played really well in the first leg, dominated the game and their goal came from a bit of a fluke deflection. Aside from that, we were in control, and we know we are capable of that.

“Hopefully Thursday was a bit of a one-off in terms of defending and we can just focus on getting a good week’s training under our belts because we know we are in for a tough game.

“We can’t defend against anyone like that, never mind the Greek side. We conceded four goals. You will get punished at any level for that, but hopefully it acts as a bit of a wake-up call and we can get back to working hard and correcting the mistakes.”

As Gray pointed out, Hibs have found little trouble in scoring themselves, the goal-rush which marked their final games of last season continuing, the 12 claimed against Runavik shared between seven players with new signing Mallan having got four of them.

It’s a record which makes Gray’s assertion that the former St Mirren midfielder, who has returned to Scotland following an unhappy spell with English club Barnsley is “a fantastic addition” to the Easter Road squad a trifle obvious.

Gray said: “I remember playing against him in previous season and every time he shot, he seemed to score. A few cracking free-kicks were among those. It’s brilliant he has managed to come in and do it straight away for us.

“It’s no fluke. He practises them all the time and gets what he deserves for those hours that he puts in, not just on set plays but his general delivery.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771860.1532098661!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771860.1532098661!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "David Gray leads Hibs out in Toftir","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David Gray leads Hibs out in Toftir","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771860.1532098661!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/maroon-memories-mcglynn-bosses-the-kingdom-once-more-1-4771458","id":"1.4771458","articleHeadline": "Maroon Memories: McGlynn bosses the Kingdom once more","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532150723000 ,"articleLead": "

John McGlynn had some happy times in Fife at the helm of Raith Rovers and having taken over the managerial reins at Hearts his return visits aren’t going too badly either.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771457.1532039777!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McGlynn looks on from the East End Park dugout with his coaching staff including Gary Locke, right"} ,"articleBody": "

Having won at his former Kirkcaldy stomping ground seven days previously, McGlynn completed a double as his new charges cruised to a victory over Dunfermline.

Goals in either half from Andy Webster and John Sutton, the latter from the penalty spot, confirmed Hearts’ superiority and were a reminder that despite the new age of austerity down Gorgie way, the new Hearts boss still has some accomplished resources at his disposal. As well as the goalscorers, there were impressive performances down either flank from David Templeton and Andy Driver, whilst Ryan McGowan once again caught the eye in his recast role as supporting front man to Sutton. “After the midweek setback to Falkirk, it was good to get back to winning ways,” professed McGlynn. “I thought we should have won by more but it was a good all-round performance. I definitely think McGowan can do well playing further forward because he’s got the pace and legs for it.”

In his programme notes former Hearts man and current Dunfermline manager Jim Jefferies reflected on what has been an exceptionally trying pre-season for himself and the Fife club with the prolonged uncertainty over whether they would be playing SPL or SFL football only being brought to a close last Monday. With it finally being decreed that they will drop into the First Division after all, 
Jefferies has had his work cut out trying to build a squad equipped for the campaign ahead and this was reflected when he used no fewer than 18 players, including several trialists over the course of the 90 minutes. Regarding the tantalising prospect of Kevin Kyle once again joining forces with Jefferies – the player was a second-half substitute in this game – the official line remains that he is merely training with the East End Park side.

Despite some sterling performances for some from Jefferies’ experimental squad, Hearts were well on top from the early stages of this encounter, but it took them a while to get their rhythm and passing into shape.

Perhaps keen to make their mark in more ways than one some of the home players’ challenges fell into the robust category and somewhat unusually for a low key friendly we had the sight of two Dunfermline players – Josh Falkingham and John Potter – being shown yellow cards in quick succession midway through the first half.

Giving away needless free kicks played right into the visitors’ hands as they posed a considerable threat from set-pieces from the aerial prowess of Sutton, Webster and Marius Zaliukas. It was indeed the result of a free kick that was only cleared for a corner that gave Hearts the lead with Templeton floating the ball over and it fell to Webster to hook it into the net from near the penalty spot.

The Tynecastle men took command after this with Driver unlucky with a succession of attempts and Templeton doing his bit from the other flank. Inevitably, the game suffered as a spectacle as time ticked by – at one point we had the astonishing sight of Jefferies introducing six players in a mass substitution. Not to be outdone McGlynn replaced four in a single swoop later on.

Despite this, the pattern of the play remained remarkably unchanged and Hearts eventually extended their lead when Templeton was floored by one of Dunfermline’s trialists and Sutton put away the spot kick.

Dunfermline: G Smith; Geggan, Potter, Dowie, McMillan; Burns, Falkingham, Thomson, Trialist, Cardle; Barrowman.

Hearts: McDonald; Paterson, Webster, Zaliukas, McHattie; Driver, Robinson, Holt, Templeton; R McGowan, Sutton.

Referee: S Somers. Attendance: 1700.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Dunfermline 0, Hearts 2. Saturday, July 21, 2012"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771457.1532039777!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771457.1532039777!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John McGlynn looks on from the East End Park dugout with his coaching staff including Gary Locke, right","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McGlynn looks on from the East End Park dugout with his coaching staff including Gary Locke, right","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771457.1532039777!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibee-history-two-goals-not-enough-to-overcome-odense-1-4771456","id":"1.4771456","articleHeadline": "Hibee History: Two goals not enough to overcome Odense","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532150700000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs’’ involvement in the Intertoto Cup was short lived, a 2-1 win at Easter Road not enough to progress as Danish team Odense held on to record a 2-2 aggregate draw and progress on the away goals rule.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771455.1532039455!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rob Jones is hot on the heels of goalscorer Tobias Grahn"} ,"articleBody": "

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, Hibs struggled to break down their opponents and Tobias Grahn broke clear to shoot the Danes further ahead on 51 minutes.

Hibs hit back immediately, with defender Rob Jones heading in a miscued shot from Michael Stewart.

Paul Dalglish steered in a clever shot with ten minutes remaining but Hibs could not find the crucial third goal.

However, Hibs manager Tony Mowbray was not too upset. “There are a lot of positives to take out of it. There was a lot of character shown not to accept defeat after they scored the first goal.

“I’m pleased the players showed our football is not about playing the same way all the time.

“They put players behind the ball in the second half so we decided to go for the long-ball option.

“With big Rob (Jones) we can be more direct. We will hopefully see the benefit of this in the coming months.”

The visitors started strongly, maintaining possession impressively and denying Hibs the opportunity to get the Easter Road crowd going.

With Odense defending deep, Hibs could not utilise the pace of winger Ivan Sproule and were reduced to speculative shots from distance.

Stephen Glass tried his luck with a strike that was parried by goalkeeper Arek Onyszko and Abdessalam Benjelloun’s fierce effort was expertly blocked by former Hibs defender Ulrik Laursen.

Dalglish was introduced as a substitute midway through the first-half, with striker Chris Killen being withdrawn with an injury.

Grahn gave Hibs a scare early in the second half with a shot that whistled narrowly wide and the same player then headed a great chance straight at goalkeeper Simon Brown.

However, the Swedish midfielder made no mistake with his third chance, racing on to a Morten Fevang pass to smash the ball beyond Brown.

With Hibs needing three goals to prevail, they were given an immediate boost when Stewart’s wild shot flew to Jones to head past a wrong-footed Onyszko.

Kevin Thomson then went close with a measured curling shot that drifted just wide.

Glass shot over the crossbar before Dalglish set up a tense finale with a goal in the 80th minute.

The former Livingston forward managed to re-direct a shot from Steven Whittaker with a deft touch to put Hibs ahead on the day.

The towering Jones spent the final minutes playing up front but his presence was not enough to provide another breakthrough.

Hibernian: Simon Brown, Whittaker, Hogg, Jones, Murphy, Sproule (Stevenson 70), Stewart (Shiels 66), Thomson, Glass, Benjelloun, Killen (Dalglish 32). Unused subs: Malkowski, Shields, Konde, McDonald.

Odense BK: Onyszko, Ophaug, Aas, Laursen, Sorensen, Hansen, Fevang, Borre, Grahn (Sturod 82), Borring, Timm (Larsen 74). Unused subs: Lindegaard, Christensen, Oliveira, Jensen, Nymann.

Referee: Matteo Trefoloni (Italy).

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Hibs 2, OB Odense 1. Intertoto Cup, Saturday, July 22, 2006"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771455.1532039455!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771455.1532039455!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Rob Jones is hot on the heels of goalscorer Tobias Grahn","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rob Jones is hot on the heels of goalscorer Tobias Grahn","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771455.1532039455!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-league-opener-rescheduled-due-to-europa-league-progression-1-4771856","id":"1.4771856","articleHeadline": "Hibs’ league opener rescheduled due to Europa League progression","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532098301000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs’ first game of the new Scottish Premiership season against Motherwell has been moved to Sunday August 5.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771855.1532098298!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The match at Easter Road will now be played on the Sunday. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

The match, which kicks off at Easter Road at 3pm, has been shifted due to the Easter Road side’s progression in the UEFA Europa League.

The fixture had been due to take place at 3pm on Saturday August 4.

Neil Lennon’s side are scheduled to play Asteras Tripolis in Greece on Thursday August 2, after overcoming NSI Runavik of the Faroe Islands 12-5 on aggregate after a 6-4 win in Toftir last night.

The club has advised that all match tickets are valid for the rescheduled fixture.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771855.1532098298!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771855.1532098298!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The match at Easter Road will now be played on the Sunday. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The match at Easter Road will now be played on the Sunday. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771855.1532098298!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/craig-levein-hearts-must-accept-and-deal-with-any-spfl-sanction-1-4771665","id":"1.4771665","articleHeadline": "Craig Levein: Hearts must accept and deal with any SPFL sanction","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532085875000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts boss Craig Levein says the club have to accept whatever punishment they are given after admitting to fielding an ineligible player against Cove Rangers.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771663.1532085872!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts manager Craig Levein speaks to the press. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

READ MORE - Hearts fielded an ineligible player in Betfred Cup win

The Jambos released a statement on Thursday night expressing their “embarrassment” after bringing on the unregistered Andrew Irving in the second half of the 2-1 Betfred Cup win.

They will face a Scottish Professional Football League disciplinary hearing on Monday where they will learn their fate, and could potentially be docked points for what Levein has described as an administrative error.

“It’s an unfortunate situation and I don’t think in my whole time in football I’ve been involved in a situation like this,” he said. “They do happen, and it was just an administrative error back in January.

“We have processes in place which are fairly robust and we have missed something in January, which is highly unusual.”

Chairwoman Ann Budge said in a statement that the club had not uploaded the details of a new contract for Irving to the Scottish Football Association registration system, and following the expiration of his previous deal in June it left him unregistered.

“I don’t know if the club has ever been involved in anything like this,” Levein admitted.

“It’s not something we make a habit of and I don’t know how the hearing will go or the possible sanctions.

“I know teams have been fined and other teams have been docked points, but it might be different because it’s a group section rather than just a straightforward tie.

“We have to accept whatever it is and deal with it and see if we can still qualify.

“It gives us a challenge and a common cause to rally together and try to get through to the next round of the competition.”

He added: “I don’t know what the sanctions will be and I don’t want to preempt any of that.

“The only thing was that we were winning 2-0 when he came on and we lost a goal! It didn’t help us, that’s for sure.”

If Hearts were to be denied the points gained from Wednesday’s win, it would leave them six points adrift of Inverness in Group C of the cup and make Saturday’s clash with Raith Rovers all the more important if they are to progress.

They will be boosted by the return of Steven Naismith following suspension but Steven MacLean, who made a goalscoring debut during the week, will miss out along with Harry Cochrane who has suffered a fresh ankle knock.

Levein said: “At the beginning of the competition our focus was to win all four matches because that guarantees you get through to the next round.

“We have played one and won it, but whether we have won it or not we will have to wait and see and the intention hasn’t changed, and that’s to win the rest of the matches we play.

“We play Raith on Saturday who will be hurt a little bit after losing a derby match to Cowdenbeath and I’m sure they will be fired up to make sure that situation doesn’t reoccur.”

READ MORE - Hearts striker Steven MacLean dispels idea he can’t play on plastic

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "WILL JACKSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771663.1532085872!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771663.1532085872!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts manager Craig Levein speaks to the press. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts manager Craig Levein speaks to the press. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771663.1532085872!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5785066117001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/anthony-stokes-follows-harry-forrester-s-lead-by-moving-to-iran-1-4771656","id":"1.4771656","articleHeadline": "Anthony Stokes follows Harry Forrester’s lead by moving to Iran","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532085078000 ,"articleLead": "

Anthony Stokes has followed in the footsteps of ex-Rangers attacker Harry Forrester by signing for Iranian club Tractor Sazi.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771654.1532088302!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Anthony Stokes left Hibs earlier this year. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

READ MORE - Ex-Celtic and Hibs star Liam Henderson agrees deal with Italian side

The former Hibs and Celtic hitman has signed a two-year deal with the Persian Gulf Pro League side after it appeared he was ready to make St Mirren his next club.

The Irish striker had been training with the Paisley club under the watchful eye of his old boss Alan Stubbs. However, it seems the Ladbrokes Premiership new boys were only willing to offer a deal until January.

The 29-year-old most recently had a stint with Apollon Smyrni. After just four appearances he went AWOL and was released from his deal.

This came after Stokes left Hibs in January of this year over disciplinary issues.

On Thursday it was announced that Forrester had joined Tractor after agreeing to an early termination of his Ibrox contract.

READ MORE - John McGinn will be ineligible for Celtic as Hibs start midfielder

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "PETER WALES"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771654.1532088302!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771654.1532088302!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Anthony Stokes left Hibs earlier this year. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Anthony Stokes left Hibs earlier this year. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771654.1532088302!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5785046975001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/reports-link-hibs-with-move-for-bolton-striker-adam-le-fondre-1-4771597","id":"1.4771597","articleHeadline": "Reports link Hibs with move for Bolton striker Adam le Fondre","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532081338000 ,"articleLead": "

Neil Lennon is considering a move for Bolton striker Adam le Fondre, according to the Scottish Sun.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771592.1532081335!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Adam le Fondre previously worked with Hibs boss Neil Lennon at Bolton. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

READ MORE - John McGinn will be ineligible for Celtic as Hibs start midfielder

The 31-year-old worked with the Hibs boss at the Macron Stadium after Lennon, then manager of the club, secured the services of the attacker in a loan deal from Cardiff City.

A player of vast experience in the English lower leagues, and one season in the top flight with Reading, le Fondre made a permanent switch to Bolton last year but started only 15 of the 35 games he played.

He was recently part of the squad that went on strike, forcing the postponement of a friendly match against St Mirren as the players protested the non-payment of wages and bonuses.

Le Fondre has one year left on his deal, though his club may be willing to let him go amid their financial struggles.

Hibs are in the market for a new striker after accepting a £150,000 for Simon Murray from South African side Bidvest Wits.

READ MORE - Ex-Celtic and Hibs star Liam Henderson agrees deal with Italian side

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "PETER WALES"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771592.1532081335!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771592.1532081335!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Adam le Fondre previously worked with Hibs boss Neil Lennon at Bolton. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Adam le Fondre previously worked with Hibs boss Neil Lennon at Bolton. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771592.1532081335!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5785046975001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/astroturf-not-a-problem-for-me-says-hearts-striker-steven-maclean-1-4771351","id":"1.4771351","articleHeadline": "Astroturf not a problem for me, says Hearts striker Steven MacLean","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532079667000 ,"articleLead": "

Steven MacLean has quashed suggestions he can’t play on astroturf and insisted he will “play in a car park” for Hearts if asked.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771350.1532079664!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Steven MacLean scored on his debut for Hearts"} ,"articleBody": "

The 35-year-old striker scored his first competitive goal for the Edinburgh club on Cove Rangers’ new synthetic surface in Wednesday night’s Betfred Cup win. He stressed he wants to be involved in every Hearts game from now on.

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright regularly left MacLean out of games on plastic pitches because of doctors’ advice following a previous knee injury. After leaving McDiarmid Park for Tynecastle Park this summer, concerns rose that the player could miss a quarter of Hearts’ Premiership away matches as Kilmarnock, Hamilton and Livingston all use astroturf.

MacLean stressed he is able to perform on any surface and rejected talk that he will sit out certain fixtures due to injury risk.

“I can play,” he insisted. “I said to the gaffer that I wanted to play on Wednesday and he picked me. I was going to play, simple as that. Whether he picks me on Saturday, it’s up to him. He’s in charge, if he wants me to play, I’ll play.

“If he wants me to play in the car park, I’ll play in the car park for Hearts. I just want to play games and do well and be enthusiastic. I’m here to play so I’m looking forward to it.

“Astroturf isn’t ideal but I said to the gaffer that I was comfortable to play. I’ve just been itching to get out there and make my competitive debut. I just want to play as many games as I can for Hearts, score goals, and hopefully win games.”

The forward admitted Wright tried to protect him by not selecting him on synthetic pitches towards the end of his six years in Perth.

“The gaffer at St Johnstone just took it out of my hands. Whether that’s right or wrong, I don’t know.”

MacLean justified new manager Craig Levein’s faith by scoring what proved to be the winning goal on his competitive debut against the Highland League champions. His close-range strike after Olly Lee’s opener put Hearts 2-0 ahead before Cove Rangers scored a consolation.

He is now determined to help Hearts through Betfred Cup Group C and into the knockout stages. “Hearts went out of the Betfred Cup last year at this stage so we’ve got make sure we don’t go out. We won 2-1, it’s three points, and we’ve got to make sure we win on Saturday against Raith and next Tuesday against Cowdenbeath, then Inverness the following Sunday.

“It will not be easy. Teams will see Hearts as a scalp and that’s why the game is on the TV because they’ll be looking for an upset. We’ve got to make sure our attitude is right and go and win games.

“This is a chance to win a cup. If you get through these group stages, you’re three games from a final. Simple as that. We had a chat about it and the guys did a presentation on it. We need to get to the next round to start with and we’ll take it from there.”

MacLean explained his sense of satisfaction from finally getting to play for Hearts eight years after being refused a contract. He was on trial at Riccarton in January 2010 and then-manager Csaba Laszlo was desperate to sign him. However, Vladimir Romanov and the club hierarchy at the time would not sanction the move.

“It did work out, he [Laszlo] wanted to sign me,” smiled the player. “I was hoping to sign then and when it came about this time I jumped at the chance. I met the gaffer, got on really well, and it was done in a day. I don’t have an agent. I did it myself.

“Ever since then I’ve just been champing at the bit to get going. I’ve done the running, done the pre-season, and I’ve just been itching to get playing. The competitive games are coming now. I’m just buzzing and want to play.”

Scoring his first goal in maroon made up for some of the frustration at being rejected by Romanov all those years ago. “I live in Peebles. I’d left my house and got five miles to Eddlestone and got told to turn back,” he recalled.

“It does make up for it. That was then, this is now. There’s a new regime and it’s exciting times here. It’s a great club, it’s a club going in the right direction. All the little things that they are doing is going to make big differences.

“As players, we need to make it work on the pitch. Nothing they’re doing off the pitch matters unless you take it to the pitch and win games.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771350.1532079664!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771350.1532079664!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Steven MacLean scored on his debut for Hearts","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Steven MacLean scored on his debut for Hearts","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771350.1532079664!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5754974922001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/neil-lennon-you-ll-see-true-hibs-against-asteras-tripolis-1-4771430","id":"1.4771430","articleHeadline": "Neil Lennon: You’ll see true Hibs against Asteras Tripolis","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532078401000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs boss Neil Lennon promised fans they will see a much-improved performance in next week’s Europa League second qualifying round against Greek outfit Asteras Tripolis after watching his players struggle to defeat NSI Runavik.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771429.1532037236!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Celtic target John McGinn played the full 90 minutes and scored Hibs' first goal to begin the comeback in Toftir"} ,"articleBody": "

Already 6-1 up from the first leg in Edinburgh, the Easter Road side were expected to be equally ruthless against the minnows from the Faroe Islands but, instead, found themselves two goals down in just five minutes.

Hibs eventually recovered to win 6-4, the first time they’ve ever managed to score more than four away from home in Europe, but Lennon, who watched the match from the stand in the cliff-top Svangaskard Stadium in Toftir, insisted he was totally relaxed about what he had seen.

He said: “It was like a pre-season game and really that is what it was for us. It was an experimental team, some of them needed game time. That’s not going to be anywhere near the level of performance next week.

“I am all right about it. We have a new goalkeeper in, an experimental back three. But we were sloppy to start with, scored six goals – that I have to be happy with. It’s about getting the boys up to speed for next week.”

Asked if he’d suffered a shock as he saw Efe Ambrose slice a cross into his own net before Runavik skipper Klaemint Olsen scored the first of his hat-trick, Lennon said: “I wanted them to be professional and they were anything but for the first five or ten minutes but after that we were fine.

“We will have Darren McGregor, Paul Hanlon and Martin Boyle back and we will get the benefit of the game. If they had been a better class of opposition I would probably have picked a far stronger team but I needed players to get up to speed. That’s only our fourth game.

“It was bizarre. We were sloppy at the back but going forward we were decent. It’s no real litmus test of what we are going to get next week. We just had to get the game out of the way. You could tell some of the players were a bit rusty and needed it.

“I cannot be over-critical. We negotiated the tie all right and are in the next round. We won’t play as poorly as that or as sloppy as that against better opposition.”

Celtic target John McGinn made his first competitive appearance of the season and marked the occasion by scoring Hibs’ first goal, and Lennon insisted he was happy with the Scotland midfielder’s performance. He said: “His fitness levels were good, he passed the ball well. The best thing to do is get out and play and focus on your job. It may change over the next week or so, I don’t know. It will be up to the two clubs or any other club that comes in.

“We have our valuation of the player. We did say we would play him. We played him and we move on.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771429.1532037236!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771429.1532037236!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Celtic target John McGinn played the full 90 minutes and scored Hibs' first goal to begin the comeback in Toftir","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Celtic target John McGinn played the full 90 minutes and scored Hibs' first goal to begin the comeback in Toftir","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771429.1532037236!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5785046975001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/our-region/edinburgh/leeann-dempster-vows-to-make-it-up-to-hibs-fans-who-missed-game-due-to-faroe-flight-hell-1-4771511","id":"1.4771511","articleHeadline": "Leeann Dempster vows ‘to make it up’ to Hibs fans who missed game due to Faroe flight hell","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532077989000 ,"articleLead": "

Leeann Dempster has vowed to ‘sort something out’ for Hibs fans who missed out on their European clash in the Faroes due to a flight turning back.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771510.1532077986!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Leeann Dempster vowed to 'sort something out' for Hibs fans who missed the game."} ,"articleBody": "

Flight SAS 17777 landed back in Copenhagen after circling the Faroe Islands with passengers being told it could not land due to the weather.

The flight, which left Copenhagen at 12:20 took off 15 minutes late but turned back just before arrival meaning that Hibs fans were in the air for over 4 hours.

At least 11 fans missed the game according to reports on social media.

Taking to Twitter, Leeann Dempster wrote: “To those @HibsOfficial supporters on this flight, we will sort something out for the home match to try and make up for the disappointment. At least you managed to see some of the game on TV”

The HSL Twitter account posted a picture of Hibs fans at The Scottish Pub in Copenhagen prior to the match.

They wrote: “Boarding the flight in Copenhagen and heading towards the Faroes, these Hibs fans where in good voice. Unfortunately, it was too windy to land and the pilot decided to head back to Copenhagen, for what looks like a good night in The Scottish Pub”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771510.1532077986!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771510.1532077986!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Leeann Dempster vowed to 'sort something out' for Hibs fans who missed the game.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Leeann Dempster vowed to 'sort something out' for Hibs fans who missed the game.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771510.1532077986!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5795237598001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-keeper-zdenek-zlamal-reveals-why-he-s-called-bobby-1-4771364","id":"1.4771364","articleHeadline": "Hearts keeper Zdenek Zlamal reveals why he’s called ‘Bobby’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532077582000 ,"articleLead": "

Recruiting goalkeepers is becoming a favoured pastime for the Hearts manager Craig Levein. Zdenek Zlamal signed in May and arrived in June from Czech Republic. The young American Kevin Silva began a trial last month and signed this month. Ireland internationalist Colin Doyle yesterday signed on a two-year deal.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771362.1532077574!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Zdenek Zlamal"} ,"articleBody": "

Levein is not simply stockpiling keepers for the sake of it. He wants to engineer as much competition as possible in every area of his playing pool. Zlamal and Doyle will compete at first-team level, with Silva and Kelby Mason joining the reserve squad. Zlamal welcomes the competition after securing his “dream” move to Britain from Fastav Zlin.

“This is normal. It happens everywhere. I think the better goalkeeper will play. That happens at every club and I like it this way,” he told the Evening News. The 32-year-old Czech remains the man in possession after making his Hearts debut in Wednesday night’s 2-1 Betfred Cup win at Cove Rangers. Whether he is in goal again against Raith Rovers in Methil tomorrow remains to be seen.

Levein faces a difficult choice for his No.1 between Zlamal and Doyle and will want to assess both as much as possible before the Ladbrokes Premiership begins next month. Zlamal, recovered from an ankle infection, staked his claim on the outskirts of Aberdeen against the Highland League champions.

“Wednesday was my second game for Hearts because I had the little problem with my ankle. I’m happy that we won the game,” he said. “We knew these matches can be very tough because other teams have a lot of motivation against us. We won and I felt good.”

Hearts fans arriving early at the newly-constructed Balmoral Stadium would have seen the giant keeper put himself through a rather unusual warm-up routine. A series of cartwheels, handsprings and backflips prepared Zlamal for action and caused a few raised eyebrows in the process.

Expect it to be a regular pre-match occurrence this season. “I warmed up like this since my childhood,” he stated. “When I was younger I did gymnastics as well as football and other sports. I kept this warm-up with me. It doesn’t matter to anybody else, it is just for me and for my confidence. I do this before every game.”

If the warm-up needed explaining, the nickname definitely does. Zlamal has brought the moniker “Bobby” with him to Edinburgh from his homeland and Hearts players, staff and fans have been asking the story behind it.

He is not merely trying to curry favour with locals by choosing an authentic Scottish name. He has actually been called “Bobby” throughout his career thanks to a well-known relative.

“My nickname is Bobby because my first name is a little bit difficult for people outside Czech Republic to say,” said Zlamal. “My Uncle was a very famous goalkeeper in Czech Republic, especially at Slavia Prague. He looks like Bobby Charlton because he has no hair. He was called Bobby Zlamal for that reason.

“When I started playing football and I went to Prague, many players asked if Bobby Zlamal was related to me. I said he was my uncle and from then everybody called me Bobby.”

Having an easily-pronounced name is probably more important for a new goalkeeper mired in a huge group of summer signings. Zlamal is still getting to knew his Hearts team-mates, who in turn are trying to familiarise themselves with him and one another.

“We need time to get used to each other. We are training to help this and we are getting to know each other every day. We will get better and better,” said the keeper, frustrated at not keeping a clean sheet on Wednesday against Cove.

“Every goal is a little bit disappointing. I think it might have been offside, I don’t know. I hope I can keep a clean sheet in the next game. If I lose one goal and we win the game, it doesn’t matter. It is more important that we win.”

These are, of course, minor details in the grand scheme of Zlamal’s personal happiness. He hankered for a move to the UK for years and finally got the opportunity when Hearts made contact. He wasted no time in calling a certain Rudi Skacel for advice.

“I asked Skacel. I know him, although not too well. I have met him a few times. He recommended Hearts to me and told me it was a very good club with a lot of fans, the best fans.

“He said every home match is sold out so that is perfect. I am looking forward to that. I listened to what Skacel said but my dream as a child was to play in Britain. When I heard I had an offer from Hearts, I said: ‘Yes, I want to go there.’ It was easy.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771362.1532077574!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771362.1532077574!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Zdenek Zlamal","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Zdenek Zlamal","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771362.1532077574!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771363.1532077579!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771363.1532077579!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Bobby Charlton","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bobby Charlton","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771363.1532077579!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5795246155001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/everything-hibs-fans-need-to-know-about-europa-league-opponents-asteras-tripolis-1-4770518","id":"1.4770518","articleHeadline": "Everything Hibs fans need to know about Europa League opponents Asteras Tripolis","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532077451000 ,"articleLead": "

After making easy work of Faroese opponents Runavik, next up for Hibs in the Europa League qualifiers is Greek side Asteras Tripolis. What can Hibs expect?

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4770514.1532067322!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs will face Asteras Tripolis in the second qualifying round of the Europa League. Picture: ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Danny Swanson determined to secure Greek odyssey for Hibs

Who are Asteras Tripolis?

The ‘Star of Tripoli’, as their name translates, do not have a long history of playing at the top level in Greece, reaching the Greek Super League for the first time in 2007. Since then, however, they have been ever present. They have never finished lower than 13th, regularly challenging for the European qualification.

Based in the city of Tripoli, a 150km drive south-west of the capital Athens, they have played under different names, including Neos Asteras. Yet, it was in 2001, as Asteras, when they began to make great strides. A five-year unbeaten home record aided their rise towards the top-flight.

Nicknamed the Yellow-Blue, their kits over the years have resembled those of the Ukraine national team, Italian side Hellas Verona and even Greenock Morton.

Home ground

The club play at the Theodoros Kolokotronis Stadium which holds less than 8,000 fans. It is very rarely full with their league attendances only getting above 2,000 when the big clubs from Athens visit. Their average attendance was 1,842, with one home fixture attracting less than 1,000 fans.

Their Europa League home ties have attracted bigger crowds but rarely selling out the stadium.

How did they qualify for Europe?

Asteras pipped Xanthi to fifth spot in the Greek Super League thanks to a run of five wins in the last seven games with the teams finishing level on points. Hibs’ opponents, however, had a superior goal difference.

They were then aided by the fact both Greek Cup finalists had already qualified for Europe. So, like Hibs, a Europa League place was given to best-placed team in the league, which was Asteras.

• READ MORE: Boost for Hibs fans as Premier Sports set to show Europa League ties

What is their European record like?

Asteras have achieved something no Scottish team, other than Celtic, have done since the rebranding to the Europa League, they have qualified for the group stages. Twice.

Their first foray into continental competition saw them knocked out of the Europa League qualifying stages in the third round. However, it was the first of four consecutive European campaigns.

They came through three rounds of qualifying in the 2014/2105 season, including defeating Bundesliga side Mainz, to reach the group stages where they faced Tottenham Hotspur, Besiktas and Partizan Belgrade, picking up six points to finish third in the group.

A third place finish in the league saw them qualify directly for the Europa League the following season. But they could only take four points from a group consisting of German giants Schalke, Cypriots Apoel and Sparta Prague.

Hibs is their first European tie since the 2015/2016 season.

Players to watch

The first player who stands out is striker Michalis Manias. It only takes a quick look at the highlights of his goals to see why he will likely feature high in Neil Lennon’s scouting report on the Greeks. The 28-year-old top scored with 12 goals, making him the league’s fourth top scorer.

He is a player who comes alive in and around the box. In doing so he has a selfish streak, looking to get the ball out of his feet quickly and shoot with team-mates barely an after-thought. Once the ball goes wide Hibs defenders will have to be wary of his movements in space. He is capable of scoring a range of goals with an array of finishes.

Manias was in the top three for shots, offsides and touches in the box in the league last season.

• READ MORE: Hibee History: Lennon in a rage as ref sends him off against Brondby

Asteras have a number of Argentine players, including veteran captain Walter Iglesias who came through the youth system at Atletico Madrid. But the perhaps the most influential player is midfielder Juan Munafo. He is the lynchpin of the midfield, playing a crucial role in construction, as well as destruction.

No one in the league was involved in more defensive duels, while he made the fifth most interceptions. In possession he made the highest number of passes by more than 100. But it wasn’t possession for possession sake, rating highly for passes into the final third and through passes.

If Hibs can shut him down they will be able to disrupt Asteras’ gameplan.

Young talent

Hibs will also have to be wary of a trio of in-demand home-grown players. Centre-back Triantafyllos Pasalidis saw a deal to Olympiacos collapse, while 18-year-old attacker Anastasios Douvikas has been the subject of interest frm around Europe. Goalkeeper Georgios Athanasiadis is more experienced but had overtures from bigger clubs in Greece.

Main in charge

Savvas Pantelidis has had a varied career. Aged 53, Asteras are the 13th club he has managed. A former centre-back, Pantelidis took over the club in September 2017 from Staikos Vergetis who left after three games of the league season.

The club were managed in 2008 by Portguese manager Carlos Carvalhal, former Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea City boss.

What can Hibs expect?

Lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Asteras have players who can pass the ball well and keep it they don’t try to dominate possession, averaging 48.1 per cent in the league last season.

They try to be positive with the ball, moving it into the final third frequently. But it can lead to giving up possession. They were fourth in the league for ball losses which could play into Hibs’ hands and their ability to counter-attack swiftly.

Out of possession they are an aggressive unit. They work hard trying to make the game difficult for opponents. They were in the top five for defensive duels (1st), interceptions, aerial duels and fouls (2nd). They were the third youngest team last season so despite the presence of experienced Argentine players they have plenty of mobility.

Anything else?

Asteras count former Hearts striker Juanma Delgado and Scottish midfielder Mark Kerr as former alumni.

While the Yellow-Blue were thumped 5-1 by Tottenham Hotpsur in the group stages in 2014, the consolation was fumbled in by Harry Kane who had taken over goalkeeping duties after Hugo Lloris was sent off.

• READ MORE: The previous 4 times Hibs scored six or more goals in European competition

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4770514.1532067322!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4770514.1532067322!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs will face Asteras Tripolis in the second qualifying round of the Europa League. Picture: ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs will face Asteras Tripolis in the second qualifying round of the Europa League. Picture: ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4770514.1532067322!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4770515.1532067476!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4770515.1532067476!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Kolokotronis Stadium, home of Asteras Tripolis. Picture: Milos Bicanski/EuroFootball/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Kolokotronis Stadium, home of Asteras Tripolis. Picture: Milos Bicanski/EuroFootball/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4770515.1532067476!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4770516.1532067478!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4770516.1532067478!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Asteras Tripolis faced Tottenham Hotspur and Harry Kane in the group stages of the Europa League. Picture: Clive Rose/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Asteras Tripolis faced Tottenham Hotspur and Harry Kane in the group stages of the Europa League. Picture: Clive Rose/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4770516.1532067478!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5789138636001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/world-cup-joy-for-edinburgh-pair-after-all-expenses-paid-fifa-trip-1-4771479","id":"1.4771479","articleHeadline": "World Cup joy for Edinburgh pair after all-expenses paid FIFA trip","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532072063000 ,"articleLead": "

Flying with Dutch legend Marco van Basten, drinking beers with Portugese manager Carlos Queiroz and eating breakfast next to professional English pundit Chris Waddle – how four years make a difference for one father and son.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771476.1532072057!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Iain Meiklejohn and son Aleks at the World Cup Final"} ,"articleBody": "

Iain Meiklejohn, from Corstorphine, was scammed out of World Cup final tickets in 2014, leaving them heartbroken and £2000 out of pocket.

But their dream came true when they were handed tickets to last Sunday’s World Cup final in Russia after a video of his six-year-old son Aleks went viral. The all-expenses trip, paid for by FIFA, meant the pair flew out to Moscow to watch France be crowned champions after beating Croatia 4-2.

On their arrival, the pair were shocked to discover they were sharing a hotel with many world famous names.

Iain said: “It was an absolutely brilliant weekend from start to finish. We got to see the French team as they left the airport before us in Moscow. The whole situation has been flipped, which makes it all the sweeter. Aleks was supporting France as well because he had them in the sweepstake and won £60.

“The final had everything and it was such a great game. We stayed in the stadium for around 90 minutes after the final whistle just taking in what had just happened. It was crazy to meet so many famous 
footballers. We got a picture with Stuart Pearce. Chris Waddle was eating breakfast next to us, Carlos Queiroz had a beer with fans, while Marco van Basten was on our flight home.

“Marco was two seats in front of us and when I told Aleks it’s him who scored that great goal in 1988, he knew.”

Iain, 42, had taken son Aleks to Russia to support his mum Iwona’s native Poland in the competition’s group stages. But after Poland were dumped out of the tournament after being thrashed 3-0 by Columbia, Aleks was left in tears. A moving video of the Gylemuir Primary School pupil being cheered up by opposition fans went viral and later became winners of FIFA’s “Rival Hug” competition.

Proud Scot Iain, who has flown all over the world with the Tartan Army, praised 
Russia for being a “fantastic” host nation.

He said: “Russia has been absolutely brilliant. The people are so friendly and it’s been a great atmosphere. The fans have embraced Russia and Russia has embraced the fans. They couldn’t have done more for the fans.”

The pair were brought back to reality on their return to the Capital after watching Edinburgh City get beaten 5-0 by Motherwell in the Scottish Cup on Tuesday.

But their amazing adventure is not over yet after Edinburgh City got in touch with Iain to offer the family hospitality tickets for Saturday’s match against Queen of the South.

He said: “I got a call from the admin at the club, who said the chairman Jim Brown had seen we’d taken an Edinburgh City scarf over to Russia and got pictures at the World Cup. Even better, Iwona has been asked to come along too. She was devastated to miss out on the World Cup final, so it’s great we will be going as a family.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771476.1532072057!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771476.1532072057!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Iain Meiklejohn and son Aleks at the World Cup Final","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Iain Meiklejohn and son Aleks at the World Cup Final","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771476.1532072057!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771477.1532072059!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771477.1532072059!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Iain Meiklejohn and son Aleks at the World Cup Final","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Iain Meiklejohn and son Aleks at the World Cup Final","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771477.1532072059!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771478.1532072060!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771478.1532072060!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Iain Meiklejohn and son Aleks at the World Cup Final with Van Basten","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Iain Meiklejohn and son Aleks at the World Cup Final with Van Basten","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771478.1532072060!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/scottish-football-transfer-live-hibs-eye-bolton-striker-lyon-to-swoop-for-celtic-star-rangers-to-gazump-blackburn-1-4771468","id":"1.4771468","articleHeadline": "Scottish football transfer LIVE: Hibs eye Bolton striker, Lyon to swoop for Celtic star, Rangers to gazump Blackburn","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532070871000 ,"articleLead": "

Follow The Scotsman’s daily blog as we keep you updated with all the latest news, views, transfers, rumours and much more from around Scottish football.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771466.1532070867!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Adam Le Fondre of Bolton Wanderers. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Refresh the page for updates.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771466.1532070867!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771466.1532070867!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Adam Le Fondre of Bolton Wanderers. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Adam Le Fondre of Bolton Wanderers. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771466.1532070867!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5798046043001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/lower-leagues/spartans-jason-stevens-aims-to-fulfil-dream-by-scoring-at-hampden-1-4771381","id":"1.4771381","articleHeadline": "Spartans’ Jason Stevens aims to fulfil dream by scoring at Hampden","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532064787000 ,"articleLead": "

Striker Jason Stevens agrees his move to Spartans at the tail-end of last year has far exceeded his expectations.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771380.1532026930!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "St Mirren's Hayden Coulson is challenged by Spartans striker Jason Stevens"} ,"articleBody": "

It wasn’t that long ago the 26-year-old was doing his utmost to stave off the threat of relegation at Vale of Leithen, when he was plucked by Ainslie Park boss Dougie Samuel to join Spartans’ Lowland League title charge – a feat they managed in April when they were crowned champions for the first time in four years.

Despite the disappointment at failing to secure promotion to SPFL League Two following defeat to Highland League champions Cove Rangers in the Pyramid Play-off first round, Stevens insists things have gone from strength to strength having played – and scored – in Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw with Premiership newcomers St Mirren in the Betfred Cup.

Stevens gave the Lowland League champions a shock sixth-minute lead in Paisley and Scott Maxwell doubled the visitors’ advantage ten minutes into the second half. And although Alan Stubbs’ men fought back to earn a share of the spoils before claiming the extra bonus point with a 5-3 win on penalties, Steven insists he and his team-mates are ready to pull off another shock against Queen’s Park at Hampden tomorrow.

“I only joined Spartans at the end of last year so to win the league and then be involved in the Betfred Cup this season, it’s been a great experience and I’ve really enjoyed it so far,” he explained.

“We put in a great performance last weekend against Dumbarton (0-0) and I think that carried into Tuesday night’s game at St Mirren. There’s such a great team spirit around the dressing-room but you’ve got to approach these sorts of games believing you can get a result, otherwise there’s no point. We’re a team that wants to win, that’s the bottom line.

“I think our mentality from last year has carried on this season. We’re undefeated in pre-season so far and hopefully that might get inside the other Lowland League teams’ heads that they’re going to have to play at another level if they want to do well against us. That can only be a positive.”

Stevens would cap off a memorable week if he were to find the net at the national stadium tomorrow. Spartans currently sit third on two points in Group H ahead of their trip west.

“I’ve never played at Hampden so I’m hoping I’ve done enough to stay in the team,” Stevens said. “We’ll go there and try and replicate what we’ve done in our previous group matches.

“We’ve taken a lot of confidence so we just need another performance. I think we’ve got every right to go there and think we can take some points. It’s just a shame we haven’t been able to take any bonus points from the penalty shootouts against St Mirren and Dumbarton.

“The other night was one of the toughest tests I’ve had in my career. You’ve got to enjoy it because if you look back and think the occasion has got the better of you then you’ll only regret that.

“I took my chance when it came along so I was delighted to score. Against the bigger teams you have to take you chances when they come and fortunately for me it went in.

“My dad’s side of the family are big Sheffield United fans so it will be good to go down there and talk about playing against the likes of (St Mirren’s) Ryan Flynn who was a big player for them. I’ll make sure I take the matchday programme down with me too and I think I’ll go home to some happy faces.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "NEIL McGLADE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771380.1532026930!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771380.1532026930!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "St Mirren's Hayden Coulson is challenged by Spartans striker Jason Stevens","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "St Mirren's Hayden Coulson is challenged by Spartans striker Jason Stevens","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771380.1532026930!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/edinburgh-city/edinburgh-city-debutant-looking-to-get-hammering-out-of-system-1-4771385","id":"1.4771385","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh City debutant looking to get hammering out of system","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532064647000 ,"articleLead": "

Keiran Stewart’s first competitive start as an Edinburgh City player was something of a baptism of fire away to Motherwell at Fir Park.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771384.1532027009!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Keiran Stewart joined Edinburgh City from Berwick Rangers this summer"} ,"articleBody": "

City found themselves trailing by five goals at the interval to their top-flight opponents in a game that went pretty much as expected.

An improvement after the break offered some encouragement, as did Stewart’s performance on the right of midfield, which earned him the Supporters’ Club man of the match award.

Despite Tuesday’s thumping, it has been a positive pre-season for the big midfielder since joining from League Two rivals Berwick Rangers in the summer.

“Tuesday was a tough shift, especially in the first half,” he reflected. “As a team we didn’t defend well enough, although the second half was much better in terms of keeping them at bay.

“We made silly mistakes and played into their hands a bit, but they’re a good team. Pre-season’s been brilliant so far and they’re a Premiership side so it’s not really going to dent the confidence too much.”

“It’s been good since signing. The gaffer, staff and all the boys are brilliant so it’s been a good start. Hopefully it stays that way for the rest of the season.”

City weren’t alien to Stewart, who faced them often enough in the black and gold of Berwick. “I suppose playing against City influenced my decision,” he said. “The gaffer wants to get the ball down and play good football which was appealing to me and I thought ‘why not?’

“They could be a bit stuffy to play against and were a bit of a bogey team for us to be honest. Last year we’d play well but not get the points and it was like that for the last couple of years I’ve been playing against them.”

The chance to reunite with close friend and former St Johnstone team-mate Gareth Rodger also helped make up Stewart’s mind. “I was on holiday at the time but I dropped him a message,” he explained. “I asked his opinion and the move appealed based on what he said. Having known him for so long, it’s good having a familiar face.

“I stay in Perth so it’s not that local but it’s only about 45 minutes to home games or Oriam so it’s nothing compared to what I’m used to considering where I’ve been!

“Having a facility like that helps. I’d never actually been there beforehand but it’s great and pretty much perfect for what we need.”

Stewart is just one of a number of new faces manager James McDonaugh has brought in, and the business done by City has lead some to tip them for a much stronger campaign this time around. “Bringing in guys like Danny [Handling] and Conrad [Balatoni] – they’re really good players,” said Stewart.

“We’ve got a lot of experience of higher divisions maybe compared to some other boys in League Two. There’s guys with experience of League One as well. There’s a good mix within the squad I think and we’ve got a pretty good team.”

The chance to prove that against Queen of the South in tomorrow’s Betfred Cup Group G fixture at Ainslie Park is at least a less daunting prospect than Motherwell away. “They’ve obviously got some good players and [Stephen] Dobbie’s in a bit of form just now so we’ll need to try and keep him quiet,” assessed Stewart. “But it’s at home, we’ve seen a few upsets so far so I don’t see why we can’t as well.

“You just have to look at Spartans the other night [2-2 against St Mirren], so hopefully we can do something similar.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ROSS PILCHER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771384.1532027009!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771384.1532027009!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Keiran Stewart joined Edinburgh City from Berwick Rangers this summer","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Keiran Stewart joined Edinburgh City from Berwick Rangers this summer","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771384.1532027009!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/in-pictures-runavik-4-6-hibs-player-ratings-1-4771453","id":"1.4771453","articleHeadline": "In pictures: Runavik 4 - 6 Hibs player ratings","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532038637000 ,"articleLead": "

Ratings out of ten for every Hibs player from their second leg victory over Faroese side Runavik.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771440.1532038397!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Efe Ambrose dribbles the ball out of defence for Hibs. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

READ MORE - Runavik 4 - 6 Hibs (5-12 agg): Lennon’s side win wild second leg

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CRAIG FOWLER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771440.1532038397!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771440.1532038397!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Efe Ambrose dribbles the ball out of defence for Hibs. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Efe Ambrose dribbles the ball out of defence for Hibs. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771440.1532038397!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ {"gallery": {"id":"1.4771452","galleryImages":[ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771441.1532038402!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771441.1532038402!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Adam Bogdan - Didn't make any howlers and pulled off a decent save from a late free-kick. But he, you know, still conceded four goals. (4/10)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Adam Bogdan - Didn't make any howlers and pulled off a decent save from a late free-kick. But he, you know, still conceded four goals. (4/10)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771441.1532038402!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771442.1532038406!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771442.1532038406!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Efe Ambrose - Scored an own goal with a panicky, sliced clearance and was posted missing at the second. Did net himself, though. (4/10)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Efe Ambrose - Scored an own goal with a panicky, sliced clearance and was posted missing at the second. Did net himself, though. (4/10)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771442.1532038406!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771454.1532038634!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771454.1532038634!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ryan Porteous - Made a howler in the build-up to Runavik's fourth and struggled to marshall the defence in the centre of the back three. (4/10)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ryan Porteous - Made a howler in the build-up to Runavik's fourth and struggled to marshall the defence in the centre of the back three. (4/10)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771454.1532038634!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771443.1532038408!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771443.1532038408!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Steven Whittaker - Played on the left of the back three but didn't look too comfortable. (4/10)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Steven Whittaker - Played on the left of the back three but didn't look too comfortable. (4/10)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771443.1532038408!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771444.1532038414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771444.1532038414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "David Gray - Was involved in the action regularly in the first 60 minutes, constantly bombing forward and getting into the penalty box. He crossed for his side's first goal before getting one himself later in the half. (8/10)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David Gray - Was involved in the action regularly in the first 60 minutes, constantly bombing forward and getting into the penalty box. He crossed for his side's first goal before getting one himself later in the half. (8/10)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771444.1532038414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771445.1532038416!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771445.1532038416!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Stevie Mallan - Was a little quiet in the first half but grew into the game as it went along. Scored two long-range goals to take his Hibs tally to four goals in two games, none of which have been from inside 18 yards. (8/10)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stevie Mallan - Was a little quiet in the first half but grew into the game as it went along. Scored two long-range goals to take his Hibs tally to four goals in two games, none of which have been from inside 18 yards. (8/10)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771445.1532038416!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771446.1532038418!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771446.1532038418!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Marvin Bartley - Believed he was fouled in the build-up to Runavik's third. Couldn't give the defence the kind of protection they're used to seeing from him. (5/10)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Marvin Bartley - Believed he was fouled in the build-up to Runavik's third. Couldn't give the defence the kind of protection they're used to seeing from him. (5/10)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771446.1532038418!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771447.1532038420!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771447.1532038420!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John McGinn - Restored to the starting XI and was Hibs' best player on the night. Netted the first and got two assists. Created several other chances, too. (9/10)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McGinn - Restored to the starting XI and was Hibs' best player on the night. Netted the first and got two assists. Created several other chances, too. (9/10)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771447.1532038420!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771448.1532038424!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771448.1532038424!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lewis Stevenson - Scored a terrific goal to put Hibs back on level terms at 2-2. (7/10)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lewis Stevenson - Scored a terrific goal to put Hibs back on level terms at 2-2. (7/10)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771448.1532038424!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771449.1532038428!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771449.1532038428!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Florian Kamberi - Had a couple of opportunities but couldn't find the back of the net. (6/10)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Florian Kamberi - Had a couple of opportunities but couldn't find the back of the net. (6/10)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771449.1532038428!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771450.1532038430!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771450.1532038430!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Oli Shaw - Flitted in and out of the game. Made a nuisance of himself when the ball was played direct to him. (6/10)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Oli Shaw - Flitted in and out of the game. Made a nuisance of himself when the ball was played direct to him. (6/10)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771450.1532038430!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771451.1532038434!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771451.1532038434!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Substitutes: Danny Swanson - On for Shaw (6/10). Vykintas Slivka - Low cross almost found Swanson to tap home (6/10). Jamie Gullan - On late (n/a)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Substitutes: Danny Swanson - On for Shaw (6/10). Vykintas Slivka - Low cross almost found Swanson to tap home (6/10). Jamie Gullan - On late (n/a)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771451.1532038434!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ]}} ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/five-things-we-learned-from-runavik-4-6-hibs-1-4771439","id":"1.4771439","articleHeadline": "Five things we learned from Runavik 4 - 6 Hibs","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532038263000 ,"articleLead": "

Craig Fowler gives his take as Hibs advance to the second round of Europa League qualifying following a wild evening in the Faroe Islands.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771438.1532038259!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McGinn started the game for Hibs amid interest from Celtic. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

READ MORE - Runavik 4 - 6 Hibs (5-12 agg): Lennon’s side win wild second leg

Hibs paid an early price for taking their opponents too lightly

It was a very passive performance from the visitors in the opening minutes as they failed to get close to their hosts. Perhaps they believed the result was academic, and that Runavik did too. Instead, the Faroese side went at them from the start in a bid to haul back the seemingly unreachable deficit. Once Hibs had been slapped twice in the face they were able to rouse themselves from their slumber and, even though the defence remained at sixes and sevens, were comfortably the better side for the remainder - as they should be.

It may be a while before we see that defence again

The bad news is that the Hibs defence conceded four goals to the fourth best team in the Faroe Islands. The good news is you’ll never likely see that defence again. Without Paul Hanlon and Darren McGregor, Steven Whittaker was installed alongside Efe Ambrose and youngster Ryan Porteous in the back three. All three struggled as each individual member of the rearguard never looked comfortable with themselves or their defensive partners.

Stevie Mallan is a terrific threat from distance

That’s four goals in two games and all of them have come from outside the penalty area. You could say that a competent goalkeeper would have stopped three of them (pfft, how fun are you?) but you’d also have to admit that he’s displayed the ability to threatened the opposition penalty box from anywhere inside 25 yards. Look forward to more belters in the near futre.

John McGinn is a straight up baller

Despite leading by five goals from the first leg and the possibility of a hefty transfer fee coming in for the player, it was perhaps a bit of a surprise to see McGinn in the starting XI. Sure, Lennon had said he’d play, but with a potential payday for the club in the balance if he were to get injured, you didn’t know for sure whether he would given the circumstances.

After some derisory bids and chatter from Celtic skipper Scott Brown about the midfielder, perhaps it was an act of sticking two fingers up to their Scottish Premiership rivals. Having started against Runavik, McGinn is now ineligible for play for any club in Champions League qualifying.

If that puts off Celtic from making a satisfactory offer until the end of the deadline, well then that can only be a good thing for Hibs. While it wasn’t the sternest test McGinn will ever face, he still deserves credit for a sparkling performance. He was at the heart of everything his team did, notching a goal and two assists as well as creating numerous other chances. If he remains for the foreseeable, Hibs will fancy their chances of extending this European run beyond the second round.

David Gray reminded everyone he’s still fighting for his place

The Scottish Cup-winning hero was something of an afterthought last year. Hampered by injury, when he wasn’t unavailable for selection he was failing to show the kind of form that had him distinguished as one of the best full-backs in Scotland during his time in the second tier. Again, we have to mention the quality of the opposition, but that looked like the Gray of old on Thursday night as he attacked down the flank with real gusto. His cross created Hibs’ first and he would later net himself. It’s only one game against part-timers, but it was encouraging nonetheless.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CRAIG FOWLER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771438.1532038259!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771438.1532038259!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John McGinn started the game for Hibs amid interest from Celtic. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McGinn started the game for Hibs amid interest from Celtic. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771438.1532038259!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/nsi-runavik-4-hibs-6-ten-goals-shared-in-crazy-second-leg-1-4771424","id":"1.4771424","articleHeadline": "NSI Runavik 4, Hibs 6: Ten goals shared in crazy second leg","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532033385000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs brought a little shaft of Leith sunshine to a dreich day in the Faroe Islands as the Easter Road side clinched their place in the second qualifying round of the Europa League, but not quite in the style they – or anyone else – had envisaged.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771422.1532033699!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs captain David Gray scores to make it 3-3"} ,"articleBody": "

Neil Lennon’s players had effectively secured a tie against Greek outfit Asteras Tripolis by hammering NSI Runavik 6-1 a week ago in Edinburgh and they could hardly have dreamed of anything more than another stroll against a side which had provided such poor opposition.

But they found this second leg in this North Atlantic outpost a much tougher proposition, going two goals down within five minutes as the Faroese part-timers began to sense a memorable upset might just be on the cards.

Although Hibs eventually ran out winners again, it was a less than convincing performance in which they never managed to entirely shake off the home side for whom captain Klaemint Olsen led from the front with a well-taken hat-trick.

With Lennon banished to the stand in the surreal surroundings of Toftir’s cliff-top Svangaskard Stadium, his assistant Garry Parker could only look on impassively from the touchline in the first minute as Efe Ambrose sliced a low cross high into his own net and, five minutes later, Runavik skipper Olsen slid in to beat goalkeeper Adam Bogdan and make it 2-0 to the hosts on the night.

Hibs slowly settled the nerves and John McGinn, restored to the side after missing the first leg through injury as he continues to find himself at the centre of a maelstrom of speculation as Celtic seek to entice him to Glasgow, narrowed the gap as he calmly fired the ball home.

And when Lewis Stevenson thundered a super shot high into the net of rookie Runavik goalkeeper Eli Joensen, pressed into action only minutes before kick-off as Tordur Thomsen picked up an injury, it looked as if Hibs had shaken off that early scare and would repeat the totally dominant performance of last week.

Runavik, however, had other ideas and Klaemint Olsen restored their lead, drilling a precise shot low into the corner of Bogdan’s net from 18 yards only for Hibs skipper David Gray to steal in at the back post on the stroke of half-time to meet McGinn’s deep free-kick to restore parity on the night and the Edinburgh club’s five-goal advantage overall.

As banks of fog drifted in, the Hibs players would no doubt have been thinking that at least they’d be spared a half-time rocket from Lennon, the terms of his ban extending to the home dressing-room.

Those opening 45 minutes were certainly not what the 200 or so Hibs fans who’d made the long journey north had anticipated but it shouldn’t be forgotten that despite having failed to progress beyond the first qualifying round in 12 previous attempts, Runavik had beaten both Dinamo Tiblisi and Linfield and held Fulham to a 0-0 draw on their own plastic 
pitch.

Despite the comfortable cushion Hibs had brought with them, Lennon insisted he wanted his players to use this “dead rubber” to good effect, not only looking for that second win but in terms of match sharpness ahead of the tougher challenge that Asteras will undoubtedly present to their hopes of reaching the group stages.

With that in mind, Lennon fielded a strong side although he did make four changes to last week’s team, Paul Hanlon left behind to recover from a virus while Martin Boyle, who has been nursing a hamstring injury was rested as Vykintas Slivka and Darren McGregor dropped to the bench.

In came skipper David Gray, Marvin Bartley, Ryan Porteous and McGinn, his appearance meaning that even if Celtic eventually come up with the sort of cash Hibs are seeking for the Scotland midfielder, he’ll be ineligible to play in their European campaign until, and if, Brendan Rodgers’ side make the group stages of the Champions League.

The fog which had enveloped the ground became ever more dense as the second half got underway, but it was just possible to pick out Ambrose as he knocked home McGinn’s pass from close range to put Hibs ahead for the first time on the night.

It was, however, a short-lived lead, Klaemint Olsen latching on to a long ball to outstrip the Hibs defence, completing his hat-trick with an assured finish past the horribly-exposed Bogdan.

Lennon had described Hibs’ final game of last season, a 5-5 draw with Rangers as “absolutely bonkers” and this match was rapidly finding itself fitting into the same category, Mallan sending a sumptuous free-kick from 30 yards sailing into the top corner of Eli Joensen’s net with the goalkeeper reduced to no more than an interested spectator.

Mallan’s expertise from long range – the former St Mirren midfielder also got a couple last week – and his delivery from set-pieces were a major attraction for Lennon as he signed him from Barnsley and he delivered again to surely give Hibs victory, leaving Eli Joensen beaten all ends up with another eye-catching strike.

Untidy it may have been at times with questions marks against the quality of Hibs’ defending clearly evident but it was wonderful entertainment, ten goals – and a few memorable ones among them – with Hibs eventually running out 12-5 winners on aggregate.

The scoreline was still a little bit short of their European record, a 12-3 win in two games against Norwegian outfit Rosenborg in 1975.

And, if Lennon learned one thing, there will have to be a marked improvement between this game and next Thursday when Asteras, a side which reached the group stages of the Europa League – the stated goal of the Hibs head coach – in successive season recently, roll into town.

NSI Runavik (4-3-3): E Joensen, Ba Hansen, J Joensen, Langgaard, Heintze; M Olsen (B Hansen 71), F Benjaminsen, Justinussen; J Benjaminsen, K Olsen (J Mortensen 74), Knudsen. Unused subs: J Davidsen, Dalbud, Frederiksberg, M Mortensen.

Hibs (3-1-4-2): Bogdan; Ambrose, Porteous; Whittaker (Slivka 78), Bartley (Gullan 88); Gray, Mallan, McGinn, Stevenson; Kamberi, Shaw (Swanson 78). Unused subs: Laidlaw, McGregor, Martin, Mackie.

Referee: Luis Teixeira (Por).

Crowd: 587

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771422.1532033699!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771422.1532033699!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs captain David Gray scores to make it 3-3","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs captain David Gray scores to make it 3-3","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771422.1532033699!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771423.1532033706!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771423.1532033706!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The view from the press box at the start of the second half","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The view from the press box at the start of the second half","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771423.1532033706!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}