Three things we learned from Hibs’ Betfred Cup win over Alloa
Here are three Hibs-related observations from the Betfred Cup victory over Alloa.
New boys off the mark in style
Although neither of the new signings Tom James and Christian Doidge set the heather alight on their home debuts, both players showed they will be capable of chipping in with goals. On a day when Hibs spurned several opportunities, James, the right-footed left-back, produced the moment of the match when he unleashed a brilliant 20-yard strike high into the net. Prior to that, striker Doidge, who grew into the match after an unconvincing start, produced a clinical finish to break the deadlock after running on to Fraser Murray’s through ball.
Still to come to the Boyle
Martin Boyle took another notable step on his bid for a return to full fitness as he made his first competitive appearance for Hibs in seven months following a knee injury. The winger, who started on the right in a 4-4-2 looked lively early on and was the likeliest Hibs player to make something happen in the first half. He moved over to the left flank in the second half as Paul Heckingbottom switched to a 4-3-3 and his influence waned. He returned to the right midway through the second half but by that point he seemed to be running out of steam. He was eventually replaced in the closing stages, having shown fleeting glimpses of the sparky wide play the Hibs fans have missed during his absence.
Whittaker the main threat
Steven Whittaker divides opinion among Hibs supporters but the veteran full-back was his team’s main goal threat against Alloa. With the visitors camped in their own half, the right-back got into the box whenever he could. He sent two early chances wide and then had a further two powerful goalbound efforts blocked after the break before blazing over his best chance of the day near the end after getting himself clean through. Not everything came off for him, but on a day when he also played his part in a clean sheet, Whittaker could be satisfied with his contribution.