Hibs verdict: Things are coming together on the park but silly mistakes have to be cut out

Shaun Maloney's side are making progressShaun Maloney's side are making progress
Shaun Maloney's side are making progress
Hibs fell to a 2-0 defeat at Ibrox as an early James Tavernier penalty and a second-half strike by Alfredo Morelos ensured two wins in four days against Edinburgh teams.

Hibs had chances of their own – a couple of free kicks in the first half while Chris Mueller and Chris Cadden both went close late on – but Allan McGregor was the less busy of the two goalkeepers.

Substitute Sylvester Jasper nearly opened his account for the club with a curling effort in injury time that looked destined for the top right-hand corner until McGregor tipped it over for a corner.

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Neither team had really got a foothold in the game when McGinn was adjuged to have fouled Ryan Kent inside the area and referee Nick Walsh pointed to the spot.

Tavernier stepped up and struck the spot-kick right down the middle, with Matt Macey diving to his right.

Scott Arfield came close to grabbing a second moments later but he couldn’t turn Tavenier’s cross past Macey at the near post.

Five minutes after losing the opener Hibs lost McGinn, who looked like he might have suffered a recurrence of the injury he sustained in the 3-2 home defeat by Livingston last month. Sylvester Jasper came on for the defender with Chris Cadden taking up right-back duties in a 4-2-3-1 shape.

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Demi Mitchell had Hibs’ first sight of goal from a free kick but his effort skimmed the roof of the net with Allan McGregor under no pressure. Ewan Henderson would test the veteran ‘keeper with a set-piece of his own later in the half but the Light Blues No.1 pushed his shot away to the right.

Kevin Nisbet might have done better when he got the break of the ball from a Josh Doig cross but his first-time effort lacked power.

Had Hibs not conceded the early penalty it would have been a decent first-half showing from the visitors – as it was, there were still passages of play in which the Easter Road side looked dangerous, especially so after Jasper’s introduction.

The on-loan Fulham winger has pace and trickery in abundance and once he is fully up to speed will be a potent threat for Shaun Maloney’s side.

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One of the takeaways from this match will be Hibs’ failure to yet again find the net but given this Rangers team put five past Hearts a few days ago they can be satisfied with aspects of the performance.

There are still too many slack passes and mistakes, however – and it is these errors that teams are punishing. The concession of the penalty obviously, and Rocky Bushiri’s positioning in the lead-up to the second could have been better too.

But Cadden, Henderson, Jasper, Mitchell and Mueller all had chances and if the rest of the team can help ease some of the pressure on the forward line and chip in then it surely can’t be long before it does click in front of goal.

Arbroath on Sunday in the Scottish Cup is the proverbial banana skin but if Hibs can summon a repeat performance of the positive aspects of their last two matches then they should take care of Dick Campbell’s men.

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