WTF Was That Hibs?
Capital Insurance Direct Stadium
Saturday 8th August 2015
Wtf was that Hibs?
Hibs opening day performance, which resulted in a 2-1 defeat to Dumbarton, was one which left many more fans disappointed and disillusioned after an abject showing against a side widely tipped to be fighting relegation this season.
Former Hibs gaffer John Collins was in the stand watching his old side and must have been horrified at what he seen, along with the 750 or so travelling fans.
It's hard to say what went wrong but the lacklustre nature of the display is worrying considering Scott Martin and Marvin Bartley aside, this was a side capable of producing so much more and had shown it on a regular basis for the majority of last season.
Both Dumbarton goals were gifts but showed Hibs weakness at defending their centre with keeper Mark Oxley looking like he is unable to organise his back line on both occasions.
The first goal, which came from what should have been a fairly straightforward cross into the middle from Hibs right, was somehow finished off by Gregor Buchanan after the Hibees defence were caught at sixes and sevens.
Dom Malonga did equalise when he knocked the ball past Mark Brown in 14 minutes and most observers expected the visitors to then cruise to victory.
Hibs did have their chances against a Sons side who weren't afraid to put the boot in and how match winner Willie Gibson escaped a booking is still unfathomable but then that would suggest Dumbarton had nothing else which wasn't the case.
Young Scott Martin produced a good stop from Mark Brown, Malonga miskicked in the box and Scott Allan, making his first start of the season fired in a series of long rangers although none were a threat to the 'keeper.
Whilst Hibs may have got average marks in the first period, the second showed up their deficiencies of old and they fell to defeat through a mixture of bad defending and a four man wall so inadequate a child in the playground could have guessed where the ball would end up.
Fontaine's poor tackle after a Hanlon misjudgment gave that man Gibson the chance of a free kick at the edge of the box and the midfielder duly curled home past Oxley who will question his wall building and attempted save.
Hibs did huff and puff, knocked the ball sideaways and back but with little end product with Lewis Stevenson's delivery accuracy of a far worse standard than any of those set by Royal Mail.
The introduction of John McGinn was a brief highlight but the substitution of Jason Cummings, who does little other than score goals, with Sam Stanton was bizarre coming as it did when Hibs were chasing the game.
Scott Allan, who was a target of abuse from the home fans off the park and from the players on it, saw his frustration overcome him and received a yellow card for a late challenge in the second half and he was about the only player from Alan Stubbs side who could receive pass marks.
All in all an awful display by a team said to have title credentials but credit to the home side who new boss Stevie Aitken had well drilled and up for the challenge of a visit by a so called bigger club.
Tried his best throughout the 90 minutes and was unfortunate on a few occasions with deft balls.