Oli Shaw: I want to give Hibs fans a moment to remember

The Hibs players celebrate with their fans at Tynecastle in 2016 as Paul Hanlon made it 2-2 to force a replay. Shaw remembers going crazy with delight
The Hibs players celebrate with their fans at Tynecastle in 2016 as Paul Hanlon made it 2-2 to force a replay. Shaw remembers going crazy with delight
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Oli Shaw remembers the moment vividly – it’s the next few seconds which he admits remain more than a little hazy.

Like every other Hibs fan behind Hearts goalkeeper Neil Alexander’s goal, the teenager was “giving it laldy” having just watched Paul Hanlon snatch a last-gasp equaliser for the Easter Road outfit.

Oli Shaw's celebrations were curtailed at Tynecastle last month as his shot was ruled to not have crossed the line

Oli Shaw's celebrations were curtailed at Tynecastle last month as his shot was ruled to not have crossed the line

Ten minutes earlier, the outlook had been entirely bleak for Alan Stubbs’ men, the Championship side two goals down to their near neighbours and Premiership rivals, yet another year of taunting them about their Scottish Cup hoodoo being savoured by every Jambo inside Tynecastle.

However, with defeat staring them in the face, Shaw insists he never gave up hope, Jason Cummings’ glancing header throwing Hibs a lifeline, one that was snatched by Hanlon’s timely equaliser.

“The youngsters at Hibs had been offered tickets by the club so there were a few of us in the away end among the fans,” he recalled.

“The excitement, the atmosphere, was tremendous. When Jason scored you could sense a second goal coming for us. It was an edgy last ten minutes, the pressure was all coming on Hearts.

“Then Paul scored and the place just went wild. I was giving it laldy, everyone was buzzing. I can’t really remember what happened, probably just everyone jumping on top of each other. The place was mental.”

Cummings went on to score the only goal of the replay and, as Shaw put it, “the rest is history”, Hibs going on to end their 114-year wait to lift the trophy which had eluded the likes of the Famous Five and Turnbull’s Tornadoes.

Shaw, naturally, was at Hampden to see club captain David Gray head home that stunning winner against Rangers before, again, joining the rank and file on the streets to watch the cup being paraded from the City Chambers to Easter Road.

The 19-year-old said: “I don’t think anyone will ever forget both the final itself or the scenes the following day, seeing tens of thousands out to watch the cup go by.”

Shaw saw history repeat itself last season as Hibs travelled to the Gorgie ground once more, again taking a draw before demolishing Ian Cathro’s Hearts in a replay on their own turf.

Now, though, he’s relishing the chance to write his own little chapter of Scottish Cup glory when Hibs, for the third season in succession, cross the city on Sunday to do battle with the Jam Tarts.

And, he admitted, his desire was only heightened by having been denied a potentially derby-winning goal at Tynecastle only a few weeks ago, assistant referee Sean Carr seemingly the only person in the stadium who didn’t see his shot cross goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin’s line.

The fact several Hearts players admitted at the time it was a perfectly good goal while McLaughlin has also conceded he’d been beaten hasn’t, of course, made Shaw feel any better about the decision.

He said: “I think most people knew it was in but obviously the assistant referee couldn’t see it, so it wasn’t given.

“I know a few of the Hearts boys like Jamie Brandon from youth football and they said right away that it was in. Obviously I was bitterly disappointed and it has since been a big talking point. But I had to move on and focus on playing the rest of the game.

“We had enough chances in the game, we dominated the first half while the second was a more cagey affair. Nevertheless, we’ll go into Sunday confident.”

Shaw will, once again, be pitching his youth against the vast experience of Hearts skipper Christophe Berra, the Scotland defender a “big lump of a centre half” in the youngster’s estimation.

However, he insisted he doesn’t worry who he is playing against, his total concentration being on his own game.

He said: “Honestly, I felt fine before what was my first derby. There were a few nerves but when I went out for the warm-up and soaked up the atmosphere I was looking forward to it.”

Asked who might have the edge between him and Berra having had the benefit of a close look at his opponent in that match, Shaw said: “He’s a top professional, someone who has played down south. He’s a big lump of a centre half, but I won’t be focusing on what he is doing. The flow of the game changes, we will have the ball and create chances.

“It’s about being smart up top, being quick thinking and getting in ahead of your opponent.”

Shaw has certainly done that, beating Hearts’ John Souttar with pace to get on the end of Martin Boyle’s cross for the “goal that never was” having made a similar move on Ross County’s Kenny van der Weg to notch the winner against the Staggies four days previously.

There again, evidence of his speed of thought was there for all to see within seconds of him stepping from the bench to score against Celtic in the Betfred Cup semi-final, Steven Whittaker spotting his run and supplying the perfect pass.

Shaw, though, revealed that the understanding has been worked on as he trained with Neil Lennon’s first-team squad before forcing his way into the starting line-up.

He said: “Against Celtic, I made the run, pointed to where I wanted it and Whitty played the ball through. That’s the quality of player you are playing with, if you make the run you are quite often going to get the ball because of the standard of your team-mates.

“I quite often point to where I want it, sometimes you don’t get it right on the button and have to adjust but I am a striker and I want to get into positions to score and pointing, telling them where I want it can help. I’ll keep making the runs and hopefully I’ll keep getting the passes.”

Hibs make the short trip on Sunday undefeated in their last nine Edinburgh derbies to a ground which they’ve enjoyed visiting in recent years when a League Cup semi-final victory over St Johnstone and a Scottish Cup stroll against Junior side Bonnyrigg Rose are taken into consideration.

Shaw said: “I think the boys enjoy the cups, the all-or-nothing games. In them you have to give your all – as you do in every match – but there’s that extra edge.

“Results have gone for us there recently, but we want to go there and win, it’s the first game after the winter break and we’re aiming to hit the ground running and take it on to the second half of the season.

“I’ve enjoyed watching the last couple of seasons but now I’d like to have a Scottish Cup moment of my own.”