Fraser Murray: Hibs could have scored five or six on another day
Paul Heckingbottom’s first season as Hibs head coach kicked off in underwhelming circumstances, held to a draw by Stirling Albion and reliant on a penalty shoot-out win to claim a bonus point which in the days to come might prove crucial to the Easter Road side’s Betfred Cup aspirations.
But amid the predictable cloud of disappointment which befell supporters – who pointed out Hibs’ solitary goal had come from a spot kick rather than open play – midfielder Fraser Murray believes a closer look at those 90 minutes at Forthbank should bring a little bit of optimism.
The 20-year-old, who tucked away the decisive effort from 12 yards after the shoot-out moved into sudden death, was as frustrated as anyone, conceding that on this particular day the game could “have gone on for another hour and I don’t think we would have scored from open play”.
However, he was adamant that “on another day”, the story could easily have been entirely differently, that he’d have been talking of a five or six-goal winning margin rather than the relief of at least heading for home with two points, even if three had been the expectation.
He said: “I think in the games coming up we look as if we might give someone a doing given the amount of chances we are creating.
“We’re getting in the right positions, but things are maybe not going our way. This game should have been out of sight and it’s down to us to make sure it’s won in ten minutes and that we don’t have to take it any further.
“We nearly grabbed a few goals. Daryl Horgan put numerous balls into the box and on another day we could have got five or six.”
David Wilson’s stunning equaliser allowed the Binos to squeeze the space on a tight pitch and look to take the game to the lottery of penalties, the odds swinging in their favour as Scott Allan – who’d given Hibs that first half lead – saw his second effort from the spot saved by goalkeeper Blair Currie.
But Hibs goalkeeper Chris Maxwell marked his debut with stops from Dom Docherty and Craig Truesdale to earn the city side a victory of sorts.
Murray said: “Two points are better than one and that bonus point might prove vital. But we want to win every game we play and, no disrespect to Stirling, we should have won this one.”
Heckingbottom promised his players three hard days on the training ground this week ahead of Saturday’s match with Alloa Athletic and, admitted Murray, his players are looking forward to their first match of the season at Easter Road after four successive away games.
He added on Hibs TV: “It’ll be good to be back in front of our own fans, hopefully they’ll be there in numbers and we can put in a good performance and win the game.”