Sunday 21 November 1999

Report by Kevin Robertson


Match report Versus Glasgow Rangers on November 21 1999 at Hurlingham Park, Fulham

Hibernian Team:

John Leslie (9.5)

Lee Steer (9) Jim McPherson (9) Mark Grice (9) Grant Ramsey (9)

  Aidan McGettigan (9) Tony Lawlor (9) Jason Steer (9) Russell Stinson (9.75)

 Gerry Vavasour (9.5) Steve Booth (9) 


Leon Ashford (9) (Grant Ramsey)
Adam Pomoro (7) (Aidan McGettigan)
Stephen Watts (7) (Steve Booth)
Luke Pomoro (5)
Simon Elwig (5)
Neil Hinty (5)

Manager: Kevin Robertson

Assistant Manager: Dave Lawlor 

Well the first time in 6 seasons we actually manage to beat Rangers in the Cup. It was quite emphatic. 2 goals in about 7 minutes, bang bang, job done.

We got off to an awesome start, the ball was launched in from the right to a waiting Gerry, he held off a man, controlled the ball and leathered it home, past their despairing keeper (about his looks?). Champagne Charlie gave a celebratory shoogle and we were 1-0 up after 5 minutes. Then whilst still talking to the HUN on the sideline, the ball again was played down the right, good linking with Tony and Aidan, the ball was fired in and Russell, our man of the match jumped up and hammered home a sweet header, 2-0 in 7 minutes. There were other moments when we came close, but as we have come to expect from Rangers, they fought tenaciously for every ball, making it difficult for us. Our defence and midfield were in constant battle, against the fierce tackling Rangers. Tony and Jason coped manfully and spread the ball forward when the opportunity arose. Jerry and Steve worked tirelessly in attack, picking up scraps.

They had a couple of chances, where the ball went across our goal, but John Leslie wasnít troubled. Gricey and Jim, sorted the aerial battle out in defence, so much so we finished the half 2-0 up.

There is a particular arrogance to our team that is no bad thing. We beat them in first half, so weíll take the collective pedal of the metal. Rangers began the half as we expected driving forward in attack after attack, scoring a good goal after 20 minutes. Their centre forward scissor kicking the ball past a defenceless John, no blame here, it was a well-taken opportunist goal.

Thereafter as their attacks were thwarted time after time, they began to become extremely frustrated and as befitting their collective position in the evolutionary scheme of things, started lashing out with some disgusting challenges. I thought the ref was unduly soft on them. Then the incident that I have complained to their manager about, Jason was spat at and reacted angrily (see below). The player who spat out at Jason will not be playing on Sunday or again for them, their manager apologised afterward to me.

They continued to attack, but were mopped up by our resolute defence.

John Leslie received some appalling treatment, with the stud marks to prove it, again I thought the ref unduly soft on them. Incidentally their manager told me that their centre forward never pulls out a challenge and that his goalie would not have tumbled like that. 

I then explained that due to evolutionary factors this was entirely understandable, in that Cro-Magnon man does not have as highly developed a nervous system as modern man, therefore he feels no pain.

I have not mentioned our attack in the second half that is because I made a mistake by bringing two of my former best players on, who could not get into the tempo of the games and were frankly ineffectual.

Match View:

This was a solid result; I think we couldíve punished them more. We didnít for two reasons:

  • I made two substitutions for players in Steve Booth and Aidan McGettigan that were playing well and really getting into the game, replacing them with two players that have put on a great deal of weight, or at best changed their fat muscle mix adversely. This was a bad mistake by me. 
  • Perhaps more importantly we know these boys to be a bunch that spit; head butt; and cheat on occasion. Yet Tony and Stevie, two ex-pros had to get mouthy with them. Jason had to retaliate when he was spat on. The simple way to beat these people is to beat them in the score line. Leave the shouting to me; I am louder than any of them and you. As for talking back to the ref that is never going to work. Stop it now; leave that to Dave and me. 

I am happy we won, but I want you stay focused for Sunday, they will be spoiling for revenge and it will be a tough game. They have only lost 2 points so far this season and like Middlesboro are now focusing on the league and like Middlesboro I want to disabuse them of the notion that they have got any chance whatsoever. We need to beat them and beat them well. Regard Sunday past as half time, the main game is this Sunday.

I donít care whom we get in the cup, that has got Green and White ribbons on it this year.


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