Hibs debrief: Superb Stevenson; Nisbet ups and downs; Midfield box; Rocky’s hoof
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Hibs have been crying out all season for a central midfielder who can defend and be a creative force going forward. It turns out he has been there all along. Lewis Stevenson was excellent in that role at Ibrox and was equally effective at Gayfield in a very different game when Hibs dominated possession. The veteran’s superb dinked cross created the first goal and he controlled the game, his forward passing in behind defenders causing Arbroath problems.
Kevin Nisbet’s 70th-minute strike came at the right for him and Hibs. It gave the visitors the lead that their performance merited. It also came out of the blue for the striker, who until then had contributed little. The touch and finish was sublime and could give him the confidence boost he needs to kickstart a goal run.
Hibs were narrower in midfield than they have been, Sylvester Jasper and Ewan Henderson taking up No 10 positions in front of Lewis Stevenson and Jake Doyle-Hayes to create a box in the centre of the pitch. With four in there, Hibs had an overload and were able to control the game. This set up places more emphasis on the wing-backs to provide width in attack, but Chris Cadden in particular can be relied on to do just that.
BENEFIT OF HINDSIGHT
Shaun Maloney would not change his selection or tactics if he had the chance again. Going a goal down so early also provided his team with a test of character which they passed with flying colours. After Stevenson’s two performances in midfield, Maloney may wish he had put him there weeks ago.
MOMENT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
As the clock ticked down it was obvious that Rocky Bushiri had run his race and was happy to waste time, so he summoned up everything he had left and strained every sinew to hoof the ball over the stand into the North Sea. It was straight out of the Peter Kay playbook when the comic promoted a certain beer brand. Have it!
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