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  1. #1
    Old Codger Hibstorian Jonnyboy's Avatar
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    This is how it feels (Runavik 120718)

    It’s great to be back watching the Hibees play as, good as it was the World Cup has been no real consolation/substitution to me! After a friendly that witnessed us beating Linlithgow Rose whose stadium and set up surely puts many League Two clubs to shame and falling to Blackburn Rovers at home in Paul Hanlon’s well deserved testimonial game, Hibs finally got the season proper going with this home Europa League qualifier against the Faroese part-timers NSI Runavik.

    An attendance that I believe exceeded 14,000 with a handful of plucky visiting fans would bear witness to a very one-sided seven goal game that surely means we’ll be back at Easter Road soon to face a sterner test against a seeded Greek team. There is a second leg to play of course but it would take an absolute disaster of a performance from Hibs to stop us going through.

    Approaching the stadium tonight the subject on the lips of most Hibs fans was the absence of John McGinn who would take no part in the game. Needless to say, many felt there must have been a falling out between McGinn and the manager or maybe he’d already left and would hold a Celtic scarf aloft tomorrow morning. The actual situation though was that the dead leg he’d suffered against Blackburn had not mended well enough to risk the player. Some may feel that’s a convenient ‘excuse’ but I know that SJM was watching from the stand and enjoyed seeing his team mates dominate proceedings from the off.

    Dominate is the correct description and inside the first couple of minutes Hibs might have had a penalty when a Boyle cross was stopped by a defender who seemed to raise both arms to deflect the ball away. The Lithuanian referee had other ideas and waved the pleas away. In truth, the man in the middle had a pretty awful night of it and many of his decisions and sometimes lack of decisions had the home fans wondering if he was related to Kevin Clancy. At one point I asked my brother why the ref seemed to be man marking Stevie Mallan as he kept getting in the way when the Hibs man had the ball.

    The electric start paid dividends after just three minutes as Kamberi was bundled over in the box and this time the referee pointed to the spot. Kamberi himself took the penalty and despite diving the right way the ball beat the keeper to put Hibs 1-0 up. With the visitors committing and getting away with a number of niggly fouls it was a surprise to me when Kamberi was booked. I confess I was looking elsewhere when the offence took place but I do know that a Runavik player was lying in the six yard area so whether Flo fouled the guy or not I’ll have to watch any highlights to confirm.

    Hibs stayed on the front foot although the visitors to their credit did not just pack their defence and tried to get forward when the chance arose. Even so, they never posed any real threat and around the twenty minute mark another blistering run from the impressive Martin Boyle saw the wide man sweep a low cross into the six yard box which allowed Kamberi to steer a shot behind the keeper. Not long after that, Oli Shaw showed quick feet in switching from right to left before cracking a fine low drive past the Runavik keeper.

    The visitors were in danger of being swamped and their cause was not helped when a wild lunge by their No. 12 Trondargjogv on Boyle saw the referee brandishing a straight red card. It happened on the opposite side of the park to where I was sitting and my immediate reaction was that it was a booking but the Lithuanian referee seemed to indicate that the studs had been shown and caught Boyle on the shin. That was around the half hour mark and though they defended stoutly the visitors conceded a fourth close to half time. A low drive from Mallan looked an easy save for the keeper but somehow the ball squirmed under his body and trundled into the net. Mallan seemed so embarrassed for the keeper he didn’t really celebrate the goal. Just prior to that, Frederiksberg and Hansen hit the turf after being tackled by Stevenson and McGregor respectively. Hansen had to be replaced immediately and Frederiksberg, who had soldiered on until the half time break came out during the interval, jogged for a few seconds and then vomited before going back to the dressing room, never to return.

    At half time we wondered whether Hibs would keep up the pressure and that’s exactly what they did as within a few minutes of the restart, Kamberi rifled home his third before being replaced by Simon Murray. It was a wise move taking the big striker off as he’d been booked and had taken a few hefty thumps in the first half. No sooner had the change been made when the visitors pulled a goal back. McGregor made a daft challenge around twenty yards from goal and with Bogdan looking as though he’d save the free kick easily, a deflection off the wall wrong footed the keeper leaving him no chance of saving the shot. I was amused at that point to watch No. 17 Benjaminsen rush to collect the ball from the net and race back to the centre circle. Presumably he felt the comeback was on.

    A quite wonderful through ball by Slivka sent Oli Shaw racing in on goal but though his shot beat the keeper it scraped the outside of the post and went out for a goal kick. A tiring ten man Runavik was struggling to stop the incessant attacks of the home side but keeper Thomsen made a number of excellent saves to keep the score down. Add to that a stunning long range effort by Mallan smashing off the crossbar and a back post header by Stevenson hitting the post it could easily have been double figures for Hibs. As it was we had to be content with six but the sixth goal was a beauty when Mallan fired into the postage stamp corner from a free kick about twenty yards out. He celebrated this one, as did the home support who, if they felt the same as me, realised we have signed an exceptionally talented midfielder.

    The players

    Adam – largely spectated but had one good save from a free kick in the first half.

    Efe – strolled through the game effortlessly and never looked troubled at any time.

    Daz – wasn’t troubled much but was a bit daft conceding a needless free kick which led to their goal.

    Paul – at his cultured best and his use of the long diagonal ball to Boyle was spot on tonight.

    Boyler – on fire tonight and suffered a degree of punishment in the tackle but as is always the case with him he just got up and got on with it. Crossing tonight was largely very good.

    Stevie – I was surprised that Neil gave him the full ninety minutes but he’ll have improved his match fitness as a result. Very clever use of the ball and always available for a pass I thought he was outstanding and very close to being my man of the match.

    Slivka – I really like him and at times he is outstanding in his use of the ball whilst at other times he can be careless. I feel the more he plays, the quicker he’ll settle properly into that midfield.

    Whitty – I’m not at all sure what to make of his performance tonight. He’s not as mobile as he once was but he reads the game well and looked very much at home on the right side of the back three after Daz went off.

    Lewis – It’s no secret I love the wee man and I was gutted when the collector’s item that would have been a headed goal by Stevenson was thwarted by the ball hitting the post. Gets up and down the line with ease and his crossing was very good tonight.

    Oli – Got eighty odd minutes and did very well in my view. Took his goal really well and will probably feel his later effort was poor by his own standards.

    Flo – I was delighted when Flo decided to join us on a permanent contract. His movement, strength and eye for goal is as good as it was last season and barring injury I can see him hitting a lot of goals for us this season. The three he got tonight earn him my man of the match award but as I suggested earlier, it was a close call between him and Mallan with Boyler deserving of a mention too.

    Neil – Lenny watched from the stand and I heard his post-match interview on Radio Scotland. Was very happy with the outcome and confirmed he is looking to bring in more new faces.

    The fans – excellent turnout and a great atmosphere with singing both in the FF Upper and the back of S43 with the latter treating us to ten continuous minutes confirming Marvin Bartley is a better player than Paul Hartley. Special mention too to the small band of Runavik supporters as it can’t have been easy watching their side dismantled.

    The ref – at one point I almost felt that maybe Scottish refs aren’t so bad after all!
    This is how it feels


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  3. #2
    @hibs.net private member oldbutdim's Avatar
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    Did you forget you were at the Berwick game too?

  4. #3
    @hibs.net private member calumhibee1's Avatar
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    Agree about Kamberi. Guy is immense. Best player on the park by a distance tonight IMO.

  5. #4
    A great write-up jonnyboy.
    It reminds me of the old Football Pink I used to look forward to as I strolled my way down Easter Road after the game with my uncles and dad - Saturday night chippies were also the order of the day at my Grand dad's and Nana's in Bernard Street.

  6. #5
    Old Codger Hibstorian Jonnyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldbutdim View Post
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    Did you forget you were at the Berwick game too?
    Put it out of my head after some gadge wandered up to speak to me on the night
    This is how it feels

  7. #6
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    great to have you and football back :-)

  8. #7
    @hibs.net private member Lancs Harp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozhibs View Post
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    great to have you and football back :-)
    Aye footballs back!! Real football, as good as the world cup has been.

  9. #8
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    Probably what impressed me most was that Hibs stood up to some hefty challenges that were more Sunday league than Europa League and gave as good as they got. No more boy band.

    Good practice for derby matches!

  10. #9
    @hibs.net private member Stuart93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post
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    It’s great to be back watching the Hibees play as, good as it was the World Cup has been no real consolation/substitution to me! After a friendly that witnessed us beating Linlithgow Rose whose stadium and set up surely puts many League Two clubs to shame and falling to Blackburn Rovers at home in Paul Hanlon’s well deserved testimonial game, Hibs finally got the season proper going with this home Europa League qualifier against the Faroese part-timers NSI Runavik.

    An attendance that I believe exceeded 14,000 with a handful of plucky visiting fans would bear witness to a very one-sided seven goal game that surely means we’ll be back at Easter Road soon to face a sterner test against a seeded Greek team. There is a second leg to play of course but it would take an absolute disaster of a performance from Hibs to stop us going through.

    Approaching the stadium tonight the subject on the lips of most Hibs fans was the absence of John McGinn who would take no part in the game. Needless to say, many felt there must have been a falling out between McGinn and the manager or maybe he’d already left and would hold a Celtic scarf aloft tomorrow morning. The actual situation though was that the dead leg he’d suffered against Blackburn had not mended well enough to risk the player. Some may feel that’s a convenient ‘excuse’ but I know that SJM was watching from the stand and enjoyed seeing his team mates dominate proceedings from the off.

    Dominate is the correct description and inside the first couple of minutes Hibs might have had a penalty when a Boyle cross was stopped by a defender who seemed to raise both arms to deflect the ball away. The Lithuanian referee had other ideas and waved the pleas away. In truth, the man in the middle had a pretty awful night of it and many of his decisions and sometimes lack of decisions had the home fans wondering if he was related to Kevin Clancy. At one point I asked my brother why the ref seemed to be man marking Stevie Mallan as he kept getting in the way when the Hibs man had the ball.

    The electric start paid dividends after just three minutes as Kamberi was bundled over in the box and this time the referee pointed to the spot. Kamberi himself took the penalty and despite diving the right way the ball beat the keeper to put Hibs 1-0 up. With the visitors committing and getting away with a number of niggly fouls it was a surprise to me when Kamberi was booked. I confess I was looking elsewhere when the offence took place but I do know that a Runavik player was lying in the six yard area so whether Flo fouled the guy or not I’ll have to watch any highlights to confirm.

    Hibs stayed on the front foot although the visitors to their credit did not just pack their defence and tried to get forward when the chance arose. Even so, they never posed any real threat and around the twenty minute mark another blistering run from the impressive Martin Boyle saw the wide man sweep a low cross into the six yard box which allowed Kamberi to steer a shot behind the keeper. Not long after that, Oli Shaw showed quick feet in switching from right to left before cracking a fine low drive past the Runavik keeper.

    The visitors were in danger of being swamped and their cause was not helped when a wild lunge by their No. 12 Trondargjogv on Boyle saw the referee brandishing a straight red card. It happened on the opposite side of the park to where I was sitting and my immediate reaction was that it was a booking but the Lithuanian referee seemed to indicate that the studs had been shown and caught Boyle on the shin. That was around the half hour mark and though they defended stoutly the visitors conceded a fourth close to half time. A low drive from Mallan looked an easy save for the keeper but somehow the ball squirmed under his body and trundled into the net. Mallan seemed so embarrassed for the keeper he didn’t really celebrate the goal. Just prior to that, Frederiksberg and Hansen hit the turf after being tackled by Stevenson and McGregor respectively. Hansen had to be replaced immediately and Frederiksberg, who had soldiered on until the half time break came out during the interval, jogged for a few seconds and then vomited before going back to the dressing room, never to return.

    At half time we wondered whether Hibs would keep up the pressure and that’s exactly what they did as within a few minutes of the restart, Kamberi rifled home his third before being replaced by Simon Murray. It was a wise move taking the big striker off as he’d been booked and had taken a few hefty thumps in the first half. No sooner had the change been made when the visitors pulled a goal back. McGregor made a daft challenge around twenty yards from goal and with Bogdan looking as though he’d save the free kick easily, a deflection off the wall wrong footed the keeper leaving him no chance of saving the shot. I was amused at that point to watch No. 17 Benjaminsen rush to collect the ball from the net and race back to the centre circle. Presumably he felt the comeback was on.

    A quite wonderful through ball by Slivka sent Oli Shaw racing in on goal but though his shot beat the keeper it scraped the outside of the post and went out for a goal kick. A tiring ten man Runavik was struggling to stop the incessant attacks of the home side but keeper Thomsen made a number of excellent saves to keep the score down. Add to that a stunning long range effort by Mallan smashing off the crossbar and a back post header by Stevenson hitting the post it could easily have been double figures for Hibs. As it was we had to be content with six but the sixth goal was a beauty when Mallan fired into the postage stamp corner from a free kick about twenty yards out. He celebrated this one, as did the home support who, if they felt the same as me, realised we have signed an exceptionally talented midfielder.

    The players

    Adam – largely spectated but had one good save from a free kick in the first half.

    Efe – strolled through the game effortlessly and never looked troubled at any time.

    Daz – wasn’t troubled much but was a bit daft conceding a needless free kick which led to their goal.

    Paul – at his cultured best and his use of the long diagonal ball to Boyle was spot on tonight.

    Boyler – on fire tonight and suffered a degree of punishment in the tackle but as is always the case with him he just got up and got on with it. Crossing tonight was largely very good.

    Stevie – I was surprised that Neil gave him the full ninety minutes but he’ll have improved his match fitness as a result. Very clever use of the ball and always available for a pass I thought he was outstanding and very close to being my man of the match.

    Slivka – I really like him and at times he is outstanding in his use of the ball whilst at other times he can be careless. I feel the more he plays, the quicker he’ll settle properly into that midfield.

    Whitty – I’m not at all sure what to make of his performance tonight. He’s not as mobile as he once was but he reads the game well and looked very much at home on the right side of the back three after Daz went off.

    Lewis – It’s no secret I love the wee man and I was gutted when the collector’s item that would have been a headed goal by Stevenson was thwarted by the ball hitting the post. Gets up and down the line with ease and his crossing was very good tonight.

    Oli – Got eighty odd minutes and did very well in my view. Took his goal really well and will probably feel his later effort was poor by his own standards.

    Flo – I was delighted when Flo decided to join us on a permanent contract. His movement, strength and eye for goal is as good as it was last season and barring injury I can see him hitting a lot of goals for us this season. The three he got tonight earn him my man of the match award but as I suggested earlier, it was a close call between him and Mallan with Boyler deserving of a mention too.

    Neil – Lenny watched from the stand and I heard his post-match interview on Radio Scotland. Was very happy with the outcome and confirmed he is looking to bring in more new faces.

    The fans – excellent turnout and a great atmosphere with singing both in the FF Upper and the back of S43 with the latter treating us to ten continuous minutes confirming Marvin Bartley is a better player than Paul Hartley. Special mention too to the small band of Runavik supporters as it can’t have been easy watching their side dismantled.

    The ref – at one point I almost felt that maybe Scottish refs aren’t so bad after all!
    Agree with this apart from the Stevenson crossing being great, had a decent game but barely a cross got past the first man

  11. #10
    @hibs.net private member Jim44's Avatar
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    Good report, Jonnyboy.

  12. #11
    First Team Regular The Pointer's Avatar
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    That's a good summation and pretty much the way I saw the game - apart from the penalty, which I missed as it took me ages to park. (Bloody big July crowds!)

    Great turn out from the Runavik fans too and they made a bit of noise. 'Real' football fans, as it isn't easy to travel here as our mob will find out next week.

  13. #12
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    I didn’t see any of the match but great to get an honest opinion about it.

  14. #13
    Flo deserved his booking. Borderline punched their guy to the ground. They were a tad wrestly all night, and Flo got a bit annoyed quite early on.

  15. #14
    @hibs.net private member calumhibee1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lapsedhibee View Post
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    Flo deserved his booking. Borderline punched their guy to the ground. They were a tad wrestly all night, and Flo got a bit annoyed quite early on.
    Silly booking in that case. How many does it take for a suspension?

  16. #15
    @hibs.net private member Jim44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calumhibee1 View Post
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    Silly booking in that case. How many does it take for a suspension?
    Bookings are always annoying but I am more inclined to accept bookings for retaliation and physical aspects of the game rather than really silly bookings for kicking the ball away or taking a top off in over-celebration.

  17. #16
    Excellent report but I would have been interested to hear his views on the subs as I fear time may be running out for Swanson and Murray even although I wanted them both to do really well and I would not want Bartley to leave as he is immense and better than that Paul Hartley!

  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by BILLYHIBS View Post
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    Excellent report but I would have been interested to hear his views on the subs as I fear time may be running out for Swanson and Murray even although I wanted them both to do really well and I would not want Bartley to leave as he is immense and better than that Paul Hartley!
    swanson had some good touches and passes when he came on, could be a good player to bring on in games but for me not good enought to be a starter every week, murray should have scored, especially with a header from about 2 yards out, again decent enough to bring on as a sub when teams are tired but not good enough to start, bartley didnt really have much time to do anything

  19. #18
    @hibs.net private member calumhibee1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim44 View Post
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    Bookings are always annoying but I am more inclined to accept bookings for retaliation and physical aspects of the game rather than really silly bookings for kicking the ball away or taking a top off in over-celebration.
    The two you’ve mentioned are definitely more silly. But I always feel in a game that you’re strolling that the players should just make sure not to get involved. Easier said than done though.

  20. #19
    Coaching Staff brog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart93 View Post
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    Agree with this apart from the Stevenson crossing being great, had a decent game but barely a cross got past the first man
    Funny enough, I watched Engerlund Croatia & saw that 90% of Croatia crosses hit the 1st man. Until the goal the other 10% were overhit. When I commented on it my mate said it's a difficult skill but it still won't stop Hibs fans criticising Stevenson. I didn't expect his cynicism to be rewarded so quickly!

  21. #20
    @hibs.net private member calumhibee1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brog View Post
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    Funny enough, I watched Engerlund Croatia & saw that 90% of Croatia crosses hit the 1st man. Until the goal the other 10% were overhit. When I commented on it my mate said it's a difficult skill but it still won't stop Hibs fans criticising Stevenson. I didn't expect his cynicism to be rewarded so quickly!
    I think it’s something players are told to do. Low and hard across the box and when it does beat the first man there’s a good chance of a goal and if it doesn’t then there’s a good chance of a corner. Float the ball across the box and the forward has more work to do.

    It can be frustrating though.

  22. #21
    @hibs.net private member Stuart93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brog View Post
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    Funny enough, I watched Engerlund Croatia & saw that 90% of Croatia crosses hit the 1st man. Until the goal the other 10% were overhit. When I commented on it my mate said it's a difficult skill but it still won't stop Hibs fans criticising Stevenson. I didn't expect his cynicism to be rewarded so quickly!
    So we shouldn't criticise one our players for poor crossing because Croatia's crossing was poor the other night and your mate said it's a hard skill? Fair enough

  23. #22
    @hibs.net private member Milkinho's Avatar
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    Agree with most of the OP but my one gripe with last night was how poor Whittaker was. He was truly awful in possession. Did not bad mopping up play but he couldn't find his man in the first half.

    Also didn't think he looked comfortable at the back. He was regularly beaten in the air by their lightweight No.16.

  24. #23
    @hibs.net private member worcesterhibby's Avatar
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    Bogdan made the free kick save in the 2nd half not the first. Very shoddy reporting, almost as poor as Lewis not beating the first man with crosses 😉😂

  25. #24
    Thought Whittaker was comfortable and directed things well, especially in the first half hour.

    He has slowed up however, and relied on his reading of the game to help him out. His lack of pace will be exposed against teams who flood the midfield and look to hit on the break.

    Well capable of coping with the Runaviks, Montroses and Arbroaths of this world but may struggle against better quality teams.

    Just my opinion.

  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Milkinho View Post
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    Agree with most of the OP but my one gripe with last night was how poor Whittaker was. He was truly awful in possession. Did not bad mopping up play but he couldn't find his man in the first half.

    Also didn't think he looked comfortable at the back. He was regularly beaten in the air by their lightweight No.16.
    I'm going to guess by 'truly awful in possession' you mean 'misplaced a few passes'. He kept the ball fine and tried some more adventurous stuff which sometimes came off (see left footed superb pass over the top to Shaw) and sometimes didn't.

    He was no worse than slivka in terms of ball retention and forward passes.

  27. #26
    @hibs.net private member Thecat23's Avatar
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    Enjoyed reading that Johnny and can’t argue with any of it. 👍🏼

  28. #27
    Coaching Staff Smartie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brog View Post
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    Funny enough, I watched Engerlund Croatia & saw that 90% of Croatia crosses hit the 1st man. Until the goal the other 10% were overhit. When I commented on it my mate said it's a difficult skill but it still won't stop Hibs fans criticising Stevenson. I didn't expect his cynicism to be rewarded so quickly!
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart93 View Post
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    So we shouldn't criticise one our players for poor crossing because Croatia's crossing was poor the other night and your mate said it's a hard skill? Fair enough
    I remember someone mentioning the quality of Croatia's crossing in the World Cup thread, saying that the standard was very poor. I'd commented that I thought the positioning of the England defenders was superb, which meant that it was practically impossible for a Croatian crosser to accurately find a man in the box.

    Interestingly enough though, their first goal eventually came from a good cross and a well timed run across a defender.

    The nature of crossing is that very often they will not lead to a goal. Most of the time they'll fail to beat the first man, be headed away, be overhit etc etc. You only need to get it right a couple of times to have had a good night.

    I thought the general standard of our crossing was very high indeed last night. Boyle was consistently excellent and both Whittaker and Slivka put decent balls over.

    Stevenson's end product wasn't as good as it has been, but I didn't think he was duffing them or failing to get decent contact - they just went low into an area that Runavik defended well.

    If you watch any game of football, at any level, you will see a lot of crosses fail to lead to chances. We shouldn't be too harsh on players who often enough have an excellent end product.

  29. #28
    Coaching Staff Smartie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Famous Fiver View Post
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    Thought Whittaker was comfortable and directed things well, especially in the first half hour.

    He has slowed up however, and relied on his reading of the game to help him out. His lack of pace will be exposed against teams who flood the midfield and look to hit on the break.

    Well capable of coping with the Runaviks, Montroses and Arbroaths of this world but may struggle against better quality teams.

    Just my opinion.
    I tend to agree in principle, but having a player with Whittaker's touch, composure and reading of the game will be a big asset against at least half of the teams in our league.

    Aberdeen, Hearts etc when it is a different type of game - maybe not.

  30. #29
    @hibs.net private member Milkinho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Leith View Post
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    I'm going to guess by 'truly awful in possession' you mean 'misplaced a few passes'. He kept the ball fine and tried some more adventurous stuff which sometimes came off (see left footed superb pass over the top to Shaw) and sometimes didn't.

    He was no worse than slivka in terms of ball retention and forward passes.
    We will have to agree to disagree as Slivka was streets ahead.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  31. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by worcesterhibby View Post
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    Bogdan made the free kick save in the 2nd half not the first. Very shoddy reporting, almost as poor as Lewis not beating the first man with crosses 😉😂
    No he didn't. Bogdan's save from the free kick was in the 1st half. Low to his right. Pushed it out for a corner. I was right behind the goals in Famous Five.

    Picking up the reporter on such detail but getting it totally wrong is very poor.

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