Hibs are ready to use video evidence to support Jason Cummings’ right to claim to a hat-trick after a doubt was raised as to who scored the Easter Road club’s second goal against Falkirk.
Cummings was adamant it was he who directed team-mate Liam Fontaine’s header beyond Bairns goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald but, the Evening News has learned that referee Willie Collum later indicated he believed it was Falkirk’s No.19 – Luke Leahy – who had put the ball into his own goal.
The Capital club will have to wait until Collum files his match report for confirmation but, it is understood Hibs believe they have a video clip of the incident which conclusively proves Cummings should be credited with the goal.
Cummings himself was convinced, saying: “I am sure I put it in. I am sure it is my goal and I will claim the hat-trick.”
Should that turn out to be the case, Cummings will have notched six goals in his last four matches, a streak which has taken him above Dominique Malonga as Hibs’ top scorer. Malonga is currently on international duty with Congo as they prepare for the Africa Cup of Nations.
However, Cummings admitted there was little cause for celebration after Hibs threw away a 3-1 half-time lead as Falkirk secured a 3-3 draw and took what had seemed an unlikely point. An early second-half miss from Martin Boyle when confronted with an open goal proved to be the pivotal point in an engrossing contest. Cummings said: “All the boys are disappointed that we chucked it in the second half. At 3-1 we had a few chances to make it four or five.”
Likewise, head coach Alan Stubbs was in no mood to enjoy the 19-year-old’s achievement, insisting: “It’s great for Jason that he has scored three goals but I am not really interested in how individuals feel because we are a team and we should have been celebrating the fact we had won the game. To be honest, we have given them a point. We’ve let a team into a game from which they should have taken nothing.”
Having twice beaten Hibs by a single goal this season, Falkirk inflicted more pain as, having cancelled out Cummings’ opening goal via new striker John Baird, they hauled themselves level as Easter Road skipper Liam Craig deflected Peter Grant’s header into his own net before the defender claimed a goal for himself as he took advantage of slack marking.
Stubbs said: “To say I am frustrated and disappointed is an under-statement. I don’t expect us to score three goals and not pick up three points. It was no more than two hopeful balls into our box that we have not dealt with and that’s the most disappointing and frustrating thing about it.”