Hibernian picked up three points from their Palmerston encounter with Queen of the South at the weekend, with a McGeouch penalty and a terrific strike from Scott Robertson securing the spoils despite a below par performance in the first half.
Scott Allan epitomised the powerful second half display from the visitors and he once again led the way for the capital side. They may have started sluggishly but came away deserved winners closing the gap on the top two in the meantime.
Allan like his team mates took his time to get involved in the game. Russell, Carmichael and Lyle all testing the Hibs rearguard before the boys in green even came to the party. The frame of Mark Oxley’s goal shaking at one effort from Russell. His goal line was not to be breached this time around and Hibs have now scored seven without reply since that defensive horror show against Falkirk.
After the break Allan used his drive and determination to push his side on. Ably assisted by the rest of Hibs’ midfield quartet he used his footballing brain to locate space on the left hand side. By doing so he turned the screw on Queens cutting in and driving at their back line. His quick dribbling skills, strength to hold off his opponents and the ability to pick a pass meant he looked like he was able to win the game on his own.
Despite running out of superlatives for this fine young talent he of course needed his team mates but when they joined him in raising their game they won with an ease that has maybe been missing from Hibs this season. The ability to win when not quite at their best has often alluded the Hibees hence the amount of draws which has ultimately left us too far behind at this moment.
Cummings won a penalty following a sublime through ball, knocking the ball past ‘keeper Atkinson before being tripped by the hosts custodian.
McGeouch a perfect partner for the marauding Allan dispatched the ball to the keepers right, who despite diving the right way had no chance as the ball nestled in to the side of the net. A perfect penalty from a man starting to find his feet following his return from surgery.
Expectancy levels have risen at Easter Road of late and the celebrations whilst happy were somewhat subdued. On a cold, brisk Saturday afternoon in January the Hibees loyal following probably wanted to get down the road, pick up the three points and get back home again in the easiest of fashions.
Scott Robertson’s goal was the perfect tonic, he notched with a fantastic finish from 20 yards out. Latching on to a lay off from Cummings, he took a touch and curled one in to the net beyond Atkinson and putting the Edinburgh team out of sight.
Robbo ran towards the dug out to celebrate with teammate Danny Handling, got all the way there and realised he was warming up to the left hand side of the goal. You would think scoring 3 in his last 5 games would see his method of celebration perfected by now. Such a prolific scoring rate is of course very welcome and the former United man will be delighted to get among the goals again.
His goal and subsequent celebration raised the spirits of a frozen travelling support. Three points from a very difficult venue is a positive step in the right direction and Hibs must keep up the pressure in their next two games.
Scott Allan and co have the chance to overtake Rangers on Saturday when facing Raith Rovers at home. They can go one point ahead of the Glasgow outfit ahead of their trip west on Friday the 13th. Rangers will have three games in hand but Hibs will be going there hoping to give them another fright.
However that game will come after two home games and the chance to continue our fine form in the league followed by the opportunity to progress further in the Holy Grail.
Tentatively every Hibernian supporter is now thinking of what could be, rather than what might have been. The players are producing when it really matters but they must keep up the pressure.
Everyone at the club needs to ensure that we finish strongly. 14 league games remain if we can get through them with 12 or 13 victories then we will at the very least finish 2nd. It’s a tall order though but one that we can approach positively and with a confidence that belies our patchy early season form.
More importantly the fans are beginning to enjoy watching Hibernian again and credit must go to EVERYONE connected to the club for what has been a vast improvement in performances on and off the field. The class is finally being put back in to Hibernian.
Saturday can’t come quick enough.