Hibs debrief: Jack Ross gets it right in big game as rebuild starts to bear fruit

Paul Hanlon looks like a new player since the return of Darren McGregor to the defencePaul Hanlon looks like a new player since the return of Darren McGregor to the defence
Paul Hanlon looks like a new player since the return of Darren McGregor to the defence
When Joe Lewis made similar saves to deny Chris Cadden and Martin Boyle, it looked very much as though Hibs were in for one of those “batter the opposition in the first half and lose 1-0” type of games.

Another big game for Jack Ross, another underwhelming performance and result?

Not this time. Hibs were impressive throughout the game across the pitch. Paul Hanlon has looked like a new player since Darren McGregor’s return to the starting line-up; Boyle has rediscovered his form, and January signings Jackson Irvine and Chris Cadden get better with each game.

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Dons boss Derek McInnes didn't feel there was much in the game but there was. Ross got his team, and tactics right for what could turn out to be a hugely significant result.

Building your own team takes time to produce results but it is starting to feel like this Hibs team is getting there.

Player of the match

Boyle, for the second time in four days, was a fleet-footed menace. Caused Aberdeen problems all game, took his penalty well, and is a bundle of confidence right now.

Defining moment

The penalty is the obvious answer, but it may well have been McGregor’s last-ditch tackle to deny Fraser Hornby a goalscoring chance earlier in the game. It was a veteran defender using all his experience to thwart a young attacker, and it sent a message – Hibs were not going to be meekly beaten by their bogey team yet again.

Referee watch

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Willie Collum had a fairly run-of-the-mill match; booking just one player (Alex Gogic) and letting the game flow as much as possible. The penalty was soft, but there’s no denying Jamie Murphy was impeded by Lewis Ferguson.

In case you missed it…

Lewis Stevenson's pass to Boyle in the lead-up to Hibs' second was sumptuous, taking out two Dons defenders and putting it on a plate for the Australian internationalist.

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