Hibs debrief: Semi-final a great chance to prove St Johnstone loss was a blip
In years to come, wizened old men and women clutching faded green and white scarves will regale their grandchildren and great-grandchildren with tales of Hibs beating St Johnstone at home.
The youngsters will exchange looks; perhaps doubting the veracity of such seemingly fanciful tales.
At least, that’s how it feels currently.
Hibs have won more games against St Johnstone at Tynecastle than they have at Easter Road in the last nine years. August 2012 was the last time Saints lost in Leith.
The most frustrating aspect of Saturday’s defeat was not the crushing inevitability of another game against the Capital club’s bogey team but rather how inspid, and how flat the match was. Had Ryan Porteous not gifted Saints their winner, it’s questionable whether either side would have breached the other’s goal.
There were some nice touches from the usual suspects; some tasty crosses, and some half-chances for Christian Doidge. The one time Hibs did have the ball in the back of the net, Martin Boyle was flagged offside.
St Johnstone put out a second-string side but you wouldn’t have known it. The back three kept Boyle and Doidge well shackled and a midfield missing several regulars won the battle in the middle of the park.
This season, however, has shown that Jack Ross more often than not gets a reaction from his players and with a hugely important Scottish Cup semi-final up next weekend, Hibs have a perfect opportunity to prove that their meek showing against St Johnstone was a one-off.
Player of the match
Few in green would be deserving but Alex Gogic put in another fine showing in the middle of the park for the 72 minutes he was on the pitch.
Porteous going from class to clown in five seconds. Did so well to dispossess Michael O’Halloran, and then messed it all up by laying it on a plate for Glenn Middleton.
Greg Aitken booked five players as well as Jack Ross. No contentious calls but some of the bookings looked a little on the harsh side.
In case you missed it…
Ross had a go at the Main Stand linesman post-match which led to his booking. If his team had showed the same amount of passion, they might not have limped to such a disappointing defeat.