Arbroath 3-2 Hibs: Scott Allan scores on return but errors cost Hibees
Prodigal son Scott Allan marked his second return to Hibs with a stunning goal, but he couldn’t stop the Easter Road side going the same way as their Capital rivals Hearts in slipping to defeat by Abroath.
Hibs fans had mocked the Jambos after they were beaten by Dick Campbell’s outfit at the weekend, but those who travelled to Gayfield Park had the smiles wiped off their faces as Steven Doris, scorer of one of those goals a few days earlier, went one better in claiming a double this time round.
Allan’s classy finish raised hopes of a comeback, but the Greig Spence restored the Red Lichties two-goal cushion, squeezing the ball home from a tight angle after cashing in on a second blunder by Hibs goalkeeper Paddy Martin, before trialist South African striker Ryan Moon powered home a header from Stevie Mallan’s cross.
Head coach Paul Heckingbottom took 22 players to Gayfield Park for Hibs first pre-season friendly, the obvious intention being to give as many of them as possible game time, the starting line-up a mixture of the old and the new, the young and not so young.
New signings Adam Jackson and Christian Doidge were on from the first whistle as the Hibees dominated much of the first half, knocking the ball around but finding the Championship newcomers well-organised, preventing their visitors from getting a good look at goalkeeper Derek Gaston.
Doidge was presented with a golden opportunity to get his Easter Road career up and running when Tom O’Brien sent him tumbling. It was a penalty in referee Mike Roncone’s estimation, but the former Forest Green Rovers hitman’s effort from the spot was weak, giving Gaston the easiest of stops.
At the other end, Martin had been virtually idle, but against the run of play Arbroath took the lead, a long ball from Colin Hamilton finding Doris running into space and with the time to apply a composed finish.
Heckingbottom, as expected, rang the changes at half-time, only Martin and Paul Hanlon keeping their places, but within five minutes Hibs found themselves two down and rookie goalkeeper Martin had to take the blame.
The youngster badly misjudged the bounce of the ball as it reared up in front of him, his error allowing Doris the simple task of knocking it into the empty net. As was the case with the opener, it was a sloppy goal for Hibs to concede.
Allan hauled one back for Hibs with a right foot shot which whistled into the top corner of Gaston’s net, the goalkeeper then just managing to hold onto a trademark long-range effort from Mallan which dipped just in front of him before the sides traded those two late goals.
Arbroath: Gaston, Thomson (Brian 65), Hamilton, Wilson, O’Brien, Whatley, Kader (McKenzie 72), Stewart (Linn 65), Doris (Spence 58), Swankie (Donnelly 58), Murphy (Gold 65).
Substitutes not used: Jamieson, Little.
Hibs: Martin, Gray (Whittaker 45), Jackson (McGregor 45), Hanlon (Sadiki 67), Mackie (James 45), Stirling (Moon 45), Campbell (Newell 45), F Murray (Allan 45), Boyle (Moon 45), Doidge (Kamberi 45), Horgan (Shaw 45).
Substitutes not used: Dabrowski.
Referee: Mike Roncone.