Hibs' Martin Boyle recalls Conrad Logan and previous clashes with Dundee United
Winger anticipates more dram between teams
Martin Boyle is hoping another day of Scottish Cup joy against Dundee United can ignite Hibs’ season.
No-one will ever forget that epic Hampden showdown between the clubs in which “roly poly” goalkeeper Conrad Logan was the star in a penalty shoot-out which helped to set up the Easter Road side for their first Cup win in 114 years.
But, admitted Boyle, Jack Ross’s players face a huge test at Tannadice on Sunday against a United side which is running away with the Championship, 17 points clear after their 4-1 win away to Partick Thistle at the weekend and with the obvious threat of striker Lawrence Shankland, scorer of an astonishing 24 goals so far this season.
However, the 26-year-old Australian internationalist believes he and his team-mates are heading for Tayside in good fettle following a winter training camp on the Costa del Sol which was wrapped up by coming from behind to record a 2-1 win over Dutch side Willem II.
Recalling previous close encounters between the clubs – including his own missed penalty in a 2016 league game which allowed the Tangerines’ Tony Andreu to later grab the winner from the spot – Boyle said: “We had a real title challenge from United when we won the Championship.
“They are flying at the moment so I’m sure they’ll be in good spirits but we are feeling good after our break and I’m sure we’ll be ready for it.
“It’s a Scottish Cup tie, we’re both attacking teams so I think it will be a good spectacle. I’m sure it will be a lively one – it certainly was the last time when we both had a man sent off (United’s Lewis Toshney and Hibs striker Jason Cummings).”
While previous encounters have thrown up plenty of talking points, the one which Hibs fans will never tire of recalling was the performance of Logan in that semi-final, the goalkeeper clearly out of shape following a year out through injury.
Logan stepped in after Mark Oxley was suspended having picked up two yellow cards in the quarter-final replay victory over Inverness Caley, but ended up as the hero with an outstanding display topped by saving United’s first two efforts in the penalty shootout that followed to send Hibs into that historic final against Rangers.
Boyle said: “It was the day when Conrad put on a masterclass, It was amazing because he hadn’t played a senior game for over a year. It was a special day. I managed to score one of our penalties and Conrad saved two of theirs.
“It was an incredible day for him. He was a big lad and he used his body extremely well. He knew the advantages he had and because of that day he will forever go down as a Hibs legend.
“I remember running straight to him when he saved the second spot-kick, it was a brilliant moment.”
Hibs went into the winter break sitting sixth in the Premiership table but, admitted Boyle, they should have done much better.
He said: “We need to find more consistency, we’re winning one week and losing the next. If we can get on a good run then we can challenge for the top four. We’ve got a run of matches we feel we can do well in – Hamilton and St Mirren at home with Motherwell away in between them.”