Hibee History: Season hat-trick against Rangers

HIBS scored their third win over Rangers in the 2005/06 season to knock the Ibrox side out of the Scottish Cup in style.
Garry OConnor headed home the first goalGarry OConnor headed home the first goal
Garry OConnor headed home the first goal

Hibs’ top scorer Derek Riordan, who had been subject of a transfer bid from Rangers, was omitted from the starting line-up.

And Rangers welcomed back skipper Barry Ferguson who had missed the last game with a broken nose.

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Ivan Sproule, who scored a memorable hat-trick on his previous visit to Ibrox, stole a yard on the home defence in the opening minutes but shot wildly over the crossbar.

Hibs were dealt an early blow when midfielder Kevin Thomson left the game on a stretcher.

Stephen Glass came on as his replacement after seven minutes.

Rangers were winning the battle in midfield and Thomas Buffel capitalised on a rash challenge from Steven Whittaker to burst down the left and centre for Kris Boyd who sent a diving header wide of the target.

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Boyd then sent a header over the top from inside the six yard box, with Hibs keeper Simon Brown simply watching Buffel’s corner.

Brown was then exposed as Peter Lovenkrands glanced a header narrowly wide from a Chris Burke cross.

Sproule also had a sliced shot easily saved by Rangers goalie Ronald Wattereus.

Eight minutes before the interval, Bob Malcolm thought he’d opened the scoring when he let fly from 22 yards but Brown was at full stretch to tip the ball on to the crossbar.

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Boyd then passed up another headed chance when he stole in behind the Hibs defence only to skew his effort off target.

Five minutes after the restart Hibs went ahead after some good work from David Murphy and Sproule.

The left-back broke forward and released his speedy team-mate who twisted past a couple of challenges and sent a cross to the back post where Garry O’Connor rose to nod home.

Hibs were further ahead nine minutes later when O’Connor flicked a long ball into the path of Sproule and the Northern Ireland internationalist buried a low shot in the corner of the net from 18 yards.

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Rangers had the ball in the net soon after but Sotoris Kyrgiakos’ effort was disallowed because Boyd had impeded Brown.

The home side were throwing everyone forward and pinning Hibs back around their own penalty area.

But Hibs, who at the time had last won the Scottish Cup in 1902, were sharp on the break and the visitors added a third goal after 77 minutes.

Riordan, on a substitute, threaded a wonderful pass through to fellow replacement Chris Killen, who tucked the ball in from a tight angle after Wattereus had blocked his first shot.

Hibs: Brown, Whittaker, Caldwell, Hogg, Murphy, Sproule, Thomson, Brown, Stewart, Fletcher, O’Connor.