Player of the match
Jake Doyle-Hayes. There were plenty of contenders in green and white, but the 22-year-old Irish midfielder edges it after arguably his best performance since joining from St Mirren in the summer. He hassled and harried when Rangers had the ball, and demanded it when they didn’t. Composed in possession, he was the key pillar of a midfield trio, alongside Joe Newell and Josh Campbell, who edged the midfield battle and controlled long spells of the match.
John Beaton had a big call to make when Ryan Porteous dangled a foot in front of Ryan Kent and the referee certainly took his time making it. The challenge was unnecessarily rash, giving Kent the opportunity to go down and the referee a decision to make. Jack Ross described it as 50:50 call and it certainly looked soft but a penalty was probably the correct call. Just. Some of Beaton’s other 50:50 calls, however, seemed to go Rangers’ way too often, much to the frustration of home players and fans.
Benefit of hindsight
Jack Ross probably wouldn’t change a thing about the way his team set up and approached the game. To the naked eye, his team were more than a match for Rangers and the outcome only hinged on a penalty decision that, on another day, Hibs might have got away with. That said, the stats tell a slightly different story. Hibs had only four shots. One was on target, from Martin Boyle. Kevin Nisbet tracked back, worked hard and link-up well, but he didn’t have a scoring chance. The midfielder trio were superb too, but perhaps the X factor was missing. Scott Allan came on in Perth and showed that he has the quality to carve open a defence with sublime skill or a cute pass. Had he gone on before, rather than after the penalty, he could perhaps have created the chance that Hibs needed.
Moment you may have missed
Flares being thrown on to the pitch by both sets of supporters wasn’t the only interruption. The PA system also had a bit of a malfunction midway through the second half when it suddenly cranked into life with what sounded, from the press box, like a bag of empty crisps being rustled over the microphone.