Hibs debrief: Moments missed; Power of partnerships; Outstanding Fish; Red cards
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PLAYER OF THE MATCH
CJ Egan-Riley and Elie Youan both deserve to be in the conversation, but Will Fish edges it. He has been growing in stature in recent weeks and once again showed why he is a Manchester United player with an accomplished performance at right centre-back. Very comfortable on the ball, the youngster also made a crucial block on the six-yard box in the second minute.
That set the tone for an impressive display which included an assist for Youan’s equaliser. He didn’t actually have all that much defending to do as the game went on, but he used the ball very well and his partnership with Paul Hanlon is developing very nicely.
YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
Josh Campbell’s first-time pass down the line for Cadden in the 24th minute was sublime. He received a short pass from Fish with his back to goal and and whipped it first time, with a bend and spin, into space down the line for Chris Cadden to run onto. Unfortunately it came to nothing in the end but the pass itself was an example of Campbell’s growing confidence.
David Martindale’s offensive gesture, made in response to David Marshall’s query over how much time was left, was probably missed by most fans but not by the referee, who showed the frustrated Livi boss a red card.
Lee Johnson has found a winning formula and is sticking to it. Partnerships are developing in the spine of he team, with Fish and Hanlon combining well in defence and CJ Egan-Riley and James Jeggo providing a solid platform in the centre of midfield in the 4-2-3-1 formation. Hibs were always a threat in behind, looking to turn the Livingston defence at every opportunity. The home team didn’t help themselves by playing such a high line.
Referee Chris Graham hasn’t had many top-flight games but got the big calls correct and can be pleased with performance. He was decisive when opting to show Jack Fitzwater a red card for bringing down Matthew Hoppe as he made his way towards the box. His judgment was that Morgan Boyes was too far away to provide adequate cover and VAR backed the referee's decision.
Hibs could have no complaints about the yellow cards shown to James Jeggo, Kevin Nisbet and CJ Egan-Riley. Nor could Martindale for his offensive gesture, made in jest or not. VAR worked well, but still needs to speed up.
Hibs are unbeaten in seven, but their impressive form will be given a stern examination on Wednesday night when Rangers come to Easter Road.