Hibs 0-1 Accrington Stanley: Friendly defeat as missing duo join pre-season camp for first time
Hibs fell to a 1-0 defeat to Accrington Stanley in a closed doors friendly at their training base in Cheshire.
It was the second match of pre-season for Jack Ross’ first team following the 4-1 victory over Dunfermline at the weekend as the Easter Road side continue to their preparations for the start of their Europa League Conference campaign in a fortnight.
Kevin Nisbet was on the bench for the first time after returning from Euro 2020 duty with Scotland and was one of a number of changes made on the hour mark with the in-demand striker getting his first 30 minutes of pre-season action.
There was also a welcome boost with the arrival of Josh Doig and Melker Hallberg at the team’s training camp, the pair joining their teammates for the first time after missing the start of pre-season, although neither featured in the match.
New signing Jake Doyle-Hayes was also missing from the line-up, along with striker Christian Doidge, who has been absent since the start of pre-season.
While the result went against Hibs a keenly-contested match against a side that finished 11th in England’s League One last season provided the competitive challenge Ross and his players were looking for as they build up match fitness ahead of the start of the new season.
Having played the second half against Dunfermline, Kevin Dabrowski was given the full 90 minutes and made a smart save early save to deny Seamus Conneely. The Polish stopper also had to get down at his near post to deny a Coby Bishop header in a first half of few openings.
Hibs best chance before the break was crafted by right-back Paul McGinn who provided the ball for Jamie Gullan to go through one-on-one with goalkeeper Toby Savin before a last-ditch tackle halted the striker.
One pre-planned Hibs change was made at the interval as Ryan Porteous replaced Paul Hanlon in the centre of defence.
Dabrowski made a double save to keep the scores level at the start of the second half, making himself big to deny Dion Charles’ effort, before getting up quickly to deny Bishop.
Hibs threatened just before the hour mark when Gullan’s endeavour saw him steal possession and drive past a defender but he couldn’t beat the goalkeeper.
The 60-minute mark saw the introductions of Chris Cadden, Alex Gogić, Scott Allan, Joe Newell, Jamie Murphy, Martin Boyle and Nisbet, with the latter immediately racing onto a through ball from fellow sub Allan before being denied by the ‘keeper.
Nisbet had another good chance with 15 minutes remaining when he beat his man to meet Cadden’s cross, but he was denied by Savin.
Hibs final change saw Steven Bradley replace Darren McGregor as Gogić moved to centre-half alongside Porteous.
Accrington then scored the only goal of the game six minutes from time when Pritchard cut in from the left and fired a 20-yard effort past Dabrowksi.
Hibs complete their training camp on Friday with a friendly fixture against Stoke City.
Hibs: Dąbrowski, McGinn (Cadden, 60’), McGregor (Bradley, 75’), Hanlon (Porteous, 46’), Stevenson, Magennis (Gogic, 60’), Mallan (Newell, 60’), Wright (Boyle, 60’), Campbell (Allan, 60’), Mackay (Murphy, 60’), Gullan (Nisbet, 60’).
Unused sub: Macey