Hibs debrief: Rise of Campbell; Kukharevych attributes; Kenneh blooper; Goodwin's deflection
Talking points and takeaways from Hibs’ 3-1 victory over ten-man Aberdeen in the cinch Premiership at Easter Road.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Josh Campbell’s first senior double takes his tally for the season to five. Few would have had the midfielder down as top scorer material, but there he is at the top of the charts for Hibs so far. He kept getting into the right areas, showing real composure and quality with his first finish and a striker’s instinct with his second. Campbell may be an unsung hero but his workrate, tenacity and new-found knack of scoring important goals makes him a very important part of the team.
YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
Nohan Kenneh had one of his quieter games, and perhaps wasn’t helped by his swing-and-miss attempt at a volley on the edge of the box as early as the eighth minute. It came when a Martin Boyle corner was headed clear and dropped invitingly into the teenage midfielder’s path. Rushing his attempt, failed to connect with his right foot and the chance was gone. When Kenneh was replaced by Jake Doyle-Hayes early in the second half, the match announcer rather embarrassingly got him mixed up with Elie Youan before quickly and quietly correcting himself.
The penalty and red card was a major breakthrough at an ideal team for Hibs, but they could have gone on to win by more. The incident prompted a very strong response from Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin, who accused Ryan Porteous of “blatant cheating”. But Liam Scales and Porteous both had a hold of each other, so it was a difficult one to call for the referee in real time. Goodwin’s comments also deflected from his own team’s shortcomings. After opening the scoring in the third minute, the Dons failed to create a chance in the first half and Bojan Miovski missed a sitter with their only opportunity after the break.
New signing Mykola Kukharevych looks like he could be just what Hibs have been missing in the No 9 position. The Ukrainian under-21 international showed good feet for a big man and held the ball up very well, giving his team the type of focal point in attack that have not had in previous games. At times he didn’t always get himself into the scoring zone between the posts when crosses were delivered, but it was a positive start nonetheless. He did enough to suggest that he has the attributes required to play as a lone striker flanked by two wingers and will surely get better as he builds up match fitness and gets used to the Scottish game.
David Dickinson had a busy – and very mixed – afternoon, dishing out six yellow cards to Aberdeen players and also booking Kenneh and Doyle-Hayes. He correctly disallowed a Hibs effort for offside on the goal-line early on but missed a handball in the box after 14 minutes which could easily have been a penalty for the home team. His decision not to play the advantage after a foul on Chris Cadden when Hibs were in a threatening position counter attacking with an overload down the right flank was a strange one and had Johnson hopping mad on the sidelines. The penalty decision awarded to Ryan Porteous could have gone either way, with both players holding onto each other. Hibs should have had another penalty call five minutes from time when an Aberdeen defender fell on the ball and then played it with his arm.