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View Full Version : This is how it feels (St Johnstone 16 March 2018)



Jonnyboy
17-03-2018, 12:42 AM
On a wet and very windy Friday evening in Perth it was disappointing to hear ahead of the game that Dylan McGeouch had dropped out of the squad following a knock taken in training. The good news, of his call up to the Scotland squad, must have meant it was all the more disappointing for a player that’s been in excellent form for the majority of the season. Dylan’s absence meant that Marvin Bartley started in his place with young Ben Stirling called into the squad for a place on the bench.

With the home support meagre in number there was a large traveling support with the stand behind the goal seeming to be pretty packed and another group of Hibbies in one of the other stands. Certainly it was the fans in green and white that provided the atmosphere with pretty much non-stop singing for the entire ninety minutes. Various songs were belted out with the Kamberi ditty taking centre stage with a blast that must have lasted for ten or fifteen continuous minutes.

The game itself couldn’t have asked for a better start as far as Hibs were concerned. Scott Allan, wide on the left, produced a cracking piece of trickery to leave his defender dead before pinging a left foot cross right onto the head of Efe Ambrose who rose majestically to bullet the ball past Mannus to put Hibs a goal up inside two minutes. It was a goal well made and well taken with Efe running down towards the Hibs support at the other end of the ground to perform his somersault celebration. Hibs stayed on the front foot with Boyle causing trouble with his pace and Kamberi using his great first touch to bring others into the game but after thirteen minutes Hibs shot themselves in the foot. A ball over the top down the St Johnstone right saw Kane, who looked offside, racing beyond McGregor in order to bear down on goal. For reasons only the man himself could explain, Rocky came charging out of his box and when Kane reached the ball first, trying to lift it over the keeper, Rocky used his arm to stop the ball and was punished with a straight red card.

At the time a fair number of Hibs fans reacted angrily towards the referee but the truth is Rocky used an arm and the punishment for that is a straight red. More later on that subject though. The dismissal of Rocky meant an unexpected debut for Cammy Bell who had not played a competitive match since last May but you’d be forgiven for not believing that when he made a quite stunning save as a St Johnstone player looked certain to score. Not long after that he did it again, perhaps not quite so spectacularly when he bravely dived at the feet of Kane, denying the Saints man a golden opportunity to equalise. Kane left his foot in at that incident and Bell needed treatment. I can’t have been the only one wondering who would go in goals if Bell couldn’t continue.

I’ve said that Kane left his foot in and it was neither his first dodgy tackle nor the first on a Hibs player. On two separate occasions, John McGinn broke free and set off on one of his surging runs only to be cynically hacked down by Blair Alston. On the first occasion referee John Beaton showed Alston a yellow card but on the second he didn’t even speak to the Saints player. Shameful refereeing and it got worse later in the game when Tanser viciously hacked down Martin Boyle with a challenge that landed somewhere between the knee and the ankle. There was a loud crack and the first thing that came to my mind was that the last time I’d heard that kind of noise was when John Brownlie had his leg broken in a match against East Fife. Thankfully, it was Boyler’s shin pad that made the cracking sound and not his shin bone.

Earlier on I mentioned about Rocky’s red card. Quite how that was the only red in the game is a complete mystery to me. I’ve no doubt the referee would argue that he applied the rules of the game in booking five St Johnstone players but it’s worth noting that only Liam Craig was booked for dissent whilst the other four committed fouls that could well have seriously damaged an opponent. There’s something wrong with the rules of our game if you can be given a straight red card and subsequent suspension for handling outside the box but you only get a yellow for callously and viciously hacking down an opponent. No wonder Neil Lennon has voiced his concerns recently that his ball players get no protection. I was dumbfounded when I got back to the car and heard Tommy Wright saying something along the lines of his players tried to play football the correct way. Really???

The second half panned out much the way the first had finished with St Johnstone enjoying the vast bulk of possession but simply playing it across the park in an effort to stretch the Hibs defence. Shots on goal were infrequent and those that did get through were dealt with well by our keeper. With the clock running down and St Johnstone getting ever more desperate, Tommy Wright made changes that brought more forward players into the action but still they could not break down a resolute Hibs defence. Finally however they did find the net with a goal from Kane that Bell had no chance of saving. Right at the death a free kick by Tanser struck the bar and in the ensuing stramash Cammy Bell took possession of the ball and Hibs saw out the final few minutes unscathed.

I firmly believe if we’d had eleven men for the ninety minutes we’d have won the game and whilst it was disappointing to only get a point it must surely speak volumes of the resolve and fighting spirit of our players that they ran themselves into the ground to ensure we were not beaten.

The players

Rocky – made a really daft decision in rushing out of his box and will reflect on the fact that his red card possibly cost us a victory.

Efe – took his goal really well and defended stoutly throughout.

Daz – seemed a bit shaky early doors but soon settled into his pattern of ‘never giving the ball away’

Paul – played a captain’s part in rallying his troops when the pressure on the defence seemed never ending.

Boyler – flitted in and out of the game and was very lucky his shin pad did its job or he’d be in plaster by now.

Scotty – excellent creation of the chance and an excellent delivery for Efe to score whilst doing one helluva lot of backtracking in assisting the defence.

Marv – worked his socks but always seemed to be a yard off the pace although he finished the game strongly.

SJM – will be black and blue tonight and not for the first time this season as opponents are allowed to hack him down repeatedly in a game.

Lewis – solid performance from him with good use of the ball and stout defending when required.

Flo – I thought he was excellent tonight and came close to being my man of the match with his hold up play and his dealing with the robust challenges by the Saints’ centre-backs.

Jamie – I felt sorry for him in having to be hooked following the sending off.

Cammy – my man of the match for his stunning and very brave first half saves plus his command of his area in the second. For a guy that’s been out for so long he looked comfortable and assured throughout.

Whitty – only got the last few minutes but contributed in ensuring St Johnstone wouldn’t find a winning goal.

Neil – Dunno what his thoughts were post-match but I suspect the referee came in for some highly justified criticism.

Gary Parker – I heard his post-match interview and agreed with pretty much everything he said, especially his view that the tackle on SJM by Alston merited a red card.

The referee – shameful refereeing by Beaton who allowed the thuggery of the Saints players to continue throughout the ninety minutes.

The fans – a brilliant and very noisy support.

Finally ….. I was disappointed we didn’t win but feel the positive of avoiding defeat with only ten men for most of the game and getting no proper protection from an incompetent referee is surely a plus point worth emphasising.

green day
17-03-2018, 12:48 AM
Think you have nailed it. Great assessment as always 👍

Hi Heid Yin
17-03-2018, 01:28 AM
Accurate write up and good read.:agree:

Dashing Bob S
17-03-2018, 04:36 AM
Agreed but a little lax on Beaton. Get rid of him I say.
Beaton: off.
I will say this until I’m blind.

bordergreen
17-03-2018, 06:45 AM
Exactly how I saw it. I thought the players worked really hard in difficult circumstances. Ref was awful.

ano hibby
17-03-2018, 07:54 AM
These reports are great JB, especially when unable to see the game, many thanks

Peevemor
17-03-2018, 08:10 AM
20415

Pretty Boy
17-03-2018, 08:27 AM
Thanks for this as always J.

Missed the game last night and didn't even know the score until very late on so your usual in depth report is even more appreciated this week.

It seems St Johnstone haven't changed much since they played us at ER. Dirty, anti football barstewards that day and reads like they were the same last night. I said it previously but if NL moves on then I don't want Tommy Wright within a hundred miles of ER.

Clerie Green
17-03-2018, 08:36 AM
Very well put !

Bravo

Happy St Patrick’s Day :thumbsup:

God Bless You one and all

:flag:

Sir David Gray
17-03-2018, 09:08 AM
Agree with this.

Marciano and Beaton cost us a win last night.

How Beaton continues to officiate in the top flight is quite staggering.

He is incompetent beyond belief.

O'Rourke3
17-03-2018, 09:41 AM
Excellent JB. 3 TV assisted short edits. Kane was onside when Rocky had his brainstorm, being played on side by Efe. Cammy saved that fee kick at the end - pushed it on to the bar - save of the game. Boyler too quick in the tackle. Should still have been a sending off but not as obviously cynical as it must have looked/did look at full speed.

Jones28
17-03-2018, 09:52 AM
Gotta agree with JB on most points, my ratings were as follows

Rocky 2 - moment of madness to get sent off and he will struggle if Cammy Bell can replicate that performance

Boyle 6 - offered an outlet going forward and worked up and down that wing tirelessly

Efe 8 - great finish for the goal and was composed throughout
Daz 8 - solid after adjusting to the conditions
Hanlon 7 - like Daz seemed to struggle with the conditions too at first and gave away a lot of corners in the first half but grew into the game and would have more than deserved a clean sheet

Lewis 7 - really good going forward and solid in defence, his crossing has come on so much

SJM 8 - how TF Alston didnt get sent off for hacking him down I will never know, other than that a good performance - hope he's still in his bed as he definitely earned a lie in
Allan 6 - great skill and cross for the goal and did his defensive duties diligently, but I couldn't help being frustrated with his use of the ball after the goal - however he contributed more than enough and I can see past that.
Marv 7 - Hard. As. Nails.

Kamberi 8 - a thankless task that he conducted brilliantly, held the ball up really well and did brilliantly to work a few opportunities. His fresh air swipe for that chance in the first half was guilt edged though - wasn't sure if the linesman would have flagged had the ball gone in.
Mclaren N/A - not fair to give him a rating, I was surprised it was him that was hooked and I hope dropping out the Aussie squad and being chosen to come off doesn't knock him too much.

Cammy Bell 9 - some crucial saves and he has more than earned his right to start the next game
Whittiker N/A - came on with minutes left, played his part

Baldy Foghorn
17-03-2018, 10:00 AM
They were dirty really dirty, blatant all over park. Ref was lenient on them

Kojock
17-03-2018, 10:56 AM
Sorry JB to describe Efes goal celebration as a mere somersault is doing the guy a disservice. Somersault is what a child does in gym class. Efes celebration is a magnificent acrobatic display lol

tartanhibee
17-03-2018, 10:59 AM
19 fouls last week (1 yellow card)
17 fouls last night ( 5 yellow cards)

We can’t be far away from being the most fouled team in the league.

In comparison

We committed 11 fouls last week, 1 yellow card although not for a foul.
We committed 10 fouls this week receiving 1 yellow card and a (red card which I don’t disagree with)

Billy Whizz
17-03-2018, 11:18 AM
Spot on as usual John. I’m writing now, having not watched anything back
Real backs to the wall performance, playing so long with 20 men. Looking forward to seeing the sending off again, but wondering why Rocky was out there in the 1st place, unlike him
Thought the back line did great, and Lewis in particular was a stand out for me
Some of the Saints challenges were terrible, particularly the ones on McGinn and Boyle.
Anyway take the point, enjoy the break and look forward to the Partick game

Hibees1173
17-03-2018, 11:19 AM
Great assessment John. When are the powers that be going to get tough on the officials? I might be wrong, but I pay my money to go and watch teams playing good football, not to watch our players getting booted all over the park. No wonder Scottish football is a shambles.

Hermit Crab
17-03-2018, 11:21 AM
Spot on as usual John. I’m writing now, having not watched anything back
Real backs to the wall performance, playing so long with 20 men. Looking forward to seeing the sending off again, but wondering why Rocky was out there in the 1st place, unlike him
Thought the back line did great, and Lewis in particular was a stand out for me
Some of the Saints challenges were terrible, particularly the ones on McGinn and Boyle.
Anyway take the point, enjoy the break and look forward to the Partick game


Boooooooo, Lennon out! How did we not win with 20 men!! :greengrin

Liberal Hibby
17-03-2018, 11:42 AM
Great stuff as ever. But you don't appear to mention the goal we had chalked off. Watching on tv there didn't appear much wrong with it.

Billy Whizz
17-03-2018, 12:07 PM
Boooooooo, Lennon out! How did we not win with 20 men!! :greengrin

Oops 😬

brog
17-03-2018, 12:08 PM
Great as ever John & for once I saw the game. I'll probably be in a minority here but I thought Marv was very poor & I would have replaced with Whitty a long way out. I would also have replaced Scotty with Danny with about 15 to go. A brave performance but suspensions now looming for Rocky & SJM. John must wonde what's happening, he gets kicked up & down the park & he seems to get booked for every challenge, though yesterday's was a correct card.

Stoney Hibee
17-03-2018, 12:08 PM
19 fouls last week (1 yellow card)
17 fouls last night ( 5 yellow cards)

We can’t be far away from being the most fouled team in the league.

In comparison

We committed 11 fouls last week, 1 yellow card although not for a foul.
We committed 10 fouls this week receiving 1 yellow card and a (red card which I don’t disagree with)


We are the most fouled team i think.

danhibees1875
17-03-2018, 12:23 PM
We are the most fouled team i think.

We were recently when someone done the stats. Mcginn was way out in front personally too.

Needless to say, Hearts were at the other side of the spectrum.

Jonnyboy
17-03-2018, 09:24 PM
Excellent JB. 3 TV assisted short edits. Kane was onside when Rocky had his brainstorm, being played on side by Efe. Cammy saved that fee kick at the end - pushed it on to the bar - save of the game. Boyler too quick in the tackle. Should still have been a sending off but not as obviously cynical as it must have looked/did look at full speed.

:aok: Wasn't sure about the Kane one and was difficult to tell from behind the goals. The save onto the bar was stunning, now vthat I've watched the highlights :greengrin


Sorry JB to describe Efes goal celebration as a mere somersault is doing the guy a disservice. Somersault is what a child does in gym class. Efes celebration is a magnificent acrobatic display lol

I know, it was a tad understated as it involved only one salko :greengrin


Great stuff as ever. But you don't appear to mention the goal we had chalked off. Watching on tv there didn't appear much wrong with it.

I put that down to being tired and emotional :greengrin