Hibee History: Rebirth continues under their new boss John Collins
Hibs 2, Inverness 0 (SPL). Saturday, November 11, 2006
Hibs continued their renaissance under new manager John Collins with a deserved win over Inverness.
In a tight first half impressive full-back Steven Whittaker had three great efforts on goal but Steven Fletcher fired the home side in front after 64 minutes with a crisp drive from 12 yards.
Inverness keeper Mark Brown was sent off for pulling down Chris Killen and the Hibs striker scored from the spot. When Inverness did get forward they found much-maligned goalkeeper Zbigniew Malkowski in top form.
Whittaker, who was outstanding in the midweek CIS Cup win over Hearts, had two shots in the opening ten minutes – one of which produced a smart save from Brown.
Merouane Zemmama was replaced by Fletcher after 20 minutes and five minutes later Whittaker again went close after a mazy run. The Highlanders won a spate of corners on the half-hour mark but could not make their pressure pay.
In the 34th minute, a deflected shot by Stewart from 16 yards out had Brown scurrying to push the ball wide.
Despite enjoying the lion’s share of possession, the home side could have gone behind just before half-time. Malkowski, who had previously not had a save to make, denied Craig Dargo and Graham Bayne with a wonderful double save, punching the air in delight. He blocked a close range volley from Dargo then recovered to thwart Bayne just inches from the goal-line.
The home side made the breakthrough with Fletcher’s fine strike as the teenager collected a headed pass from David Murphy and drilled the ball into the top right-hand corner of the net.
Malkowski stopped a fierce shot from Gary McSwegan, but it was the home side who made sure of the three points with ten minutes left as Brown was dismissed for pulling down Killen and he scored the penalty.
Hibs: Malkowski, Whittaker, Martis, Jones, Murphy, Stewart, Scott Brown, Thomson (Beuzelin 59), Sproule (Benjelloun 46), Killen, Zemmama (Fletcher 22). Subs Not Used: McNeil, Glass, Hogg, Shiels.
Inverness CT: Brown, Tokely, Dods, McBain, Wilson (Fraser 82), Bayne, Duncan, Munro, Hastings, Dargo (Wyness 74), Rankin (McSwegan 78). Subs Not Used: McCaffrey, Black, Sutherland, McAllister.
Referee: J Underhill.