Ex-Hibs ace in attendance, Newell's instruction to Miller, change of formations - 5 moments you may have missed from Falkirk 1-0 Hibs

Here are five things you may have missed from Hibs’ 1-0 defeat to Falkirk in the Premier Sports Cup:

Ex-Hibby on commentary duties

Former Hibs midfielder Kevin Thomson was in attendance at the Falkirk Stadium. The 37-year-old was there to join Rory Loy alongside Rob McLean for BBC Scotland commentary duties. After the match, Thomson was ribbed by a Falkirk acquaintance about the ineptitude of his former club.

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McClelland speaking his mind – and learning a lesson

Christian Doidge, left, fails to get the ball over the line as Falkirk are able to clear after Ewan Henderson (not pictured) strikes both the bar and post. Picture: SNS

A popular video among supporters in pre-season showed a mic’d-up Ryan Porteous talking youngster and new signing Kyle McClelland through a pre-season friendly. Communication is a huge part of the game and McClelland wasn’t afraid to take a page out of Porteous’ book when he screamed at goalkeeper Kevin Dabrowski for a moment of hesitation which almost cost Hibs.

Unfortunately for McClelland, he’d have deserved it right back from the Pole later in the half when Aiden Nesbitt (who had wasted the earlier chance) took advantage of a little ball-watching from the 20-year-old to sneak in front and score the only goal.

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Newell barking encouragement

Another moment of Hibs-on-Hibs frustration in the opening half occurred when Lewis Miller opted to go inside to Joe Newell instead of charging down the wing. The midfielder, put under pressure by the pass, wasn’t impressed. He told the new right-back, in no uncertain terms, to attack the line.

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Newell’s words did seem to have an effect with Miller trying to be braver before his half-time substitution. It appears the Australian is still finding his feet.

Change of formations

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Manager Lee Johnson made four changes at the break and altered the shape. Out went the 4-3-3 and in its place came a narrow 4-4-2 that eventually settled as a diamond. Josh Campbell stayed out on the right, but sub Ewan Henderson on the other flank was allowed to drift.

There wasn’t much that went right for Hibs and Johnson, either from a strategic or performance standpoint. At least this decision gave attacking freedom to their most potent threat and allowed them to get a grip of things.

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How it (somehow) didn’t go in

Hibs were rubbish. There’s no sugar coating it. They were the poorer team for 45 minutes against a League One side and, for all their dominance in the second, still went through lengthy spells without creating.

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However, it’s also fair to say a certain degree of bad luck hampered their finishing, and that’s without including Melkersen’s glancing header off the post or a couple of handball appeals.

There was Ewan Henderson’s first effort, which was blocked just enough by Finn Yeats that it allowed PJ Morrison to gather just before Henderson could follow, resulting in a disallowed goal for Christian Doidge.

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Then there was Henderson’s second near-miss, where Yeats cleared off the line after his shot had beaten Morrison.

Then there was his third when Morrison’s fluffed save attempt somehow hit the bar and the post, with Christian Doidge a fraction away from tapping in the rebound.

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Then there was Morrison getting just enough to Doidge’s last-gasp one-on-one to take the sting out of it and allow Brad McKay to recover.

Hibs will be poor again at some point this season – maybe worse – but it’s hard to imagine them being as unlucky.

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