Hibs hoping to end mini-hoodoo against Elgin City in SPFL Trust Trophy
Twice Hibs have faced Elgin City in the Challenge Cup, and twice the Moray outfit have prevailed courtesy of a late goal.
The Easter Road side’s ‘B’ team hosts the League Two side at Christie Gillies Park on Tuesday night knowing a victory would set up a second-round meeting with Dunfermline Athletic while also ending their mini-hoodoo against the Borough Briggs club.
With the first-team squad due to travel to Croatia on Tuesday afternoon the Hibs team that lines up against Elgin is likely to be a youthful one, with many of the club’s talented crop of Under-18 players such as Jacob Blaney, Robbie Hamilton, Murray Johnson, Josh O’Connor, and Connor Young likely to be involved.
Led by Gareth Evans and Eddie May, the wee Hibees have already triumphed at the home of Civil Service Strollers this summer, defeating the Lowland League side 5-3 in a pre-season friendly.
They also earned a 2-2 draw at New Countess Park against East of Scotland side Dunbar United before falling to a 4-1 defeat in a friendly against Manchester United Under-23s.
Elgin will pose a sterner test in the SPFL Trust Trophy clash. Players such as captain Euan Spark, midfielder Tony Dingwall, and forward Josh Peters, who spent time with Hibs as a youngster, all have experience of playing at a higher level in the SPFL and although they have taken just one point from their opening two league games after drawing with Stranraer and losing to Cowdenbeath, they will fancy their chances of a third consecutive victory against Hibs in this competition.
Manager Gavin Price believes his side have improved their away form and last season they won five of their 11 matches on the road, securing a second top-four finish in as many seasons. During the League Cup group stages they recorded a 3-2 win away to East Fife with Angus Mailer, Kane Hester, and Tony Dingwall all on target but were beaten by Arbroath, Dundee United, and Kelty Hearts in the other group games.
Elgin are likely to have a full squad to choose from with the possible exception of Matthew Cooper, who missed the 3-1 defeat by Cowdenbeath with a suspected fractured shin. The experienced defender scored against Hibs in the last Challenge Cup meeting between the two teams.