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  1. #1
    Old Codger Hibstorian Jonnyboy's Avatar
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    This is how it feels (Celtic 15 05 21)

    Having secured their third place finish, Hibs faced Celtic at Easter Road in the final league match of the season and as predicted by many fans and alluded to by Jack Ross himself in the lead up to the game there were wholesale changes to the starting eleven. Only McGregor, Gogic and Hallberg remained from the win at Pittodrie whilst Celtic were close to full strength in what was Scott Brown’s last game for the Hoops. Of course, the game also featured a last appearance in the shape of Ofir Marciano and he was prominent in Hibs securing a point in a 0-0 draw.

    Like many, I was puzzled when I heard the names of the starting eleven for Hibs as it was unclear who would be playing in the striker role. As it turned out, both Hallberg and Wright took turns in being furthest forward, but it was evident from early in the game that the plan was, first and foremost, to frustrate Celtic and stop them playing.

    The visitors started the better and early efforts by Edouard, Turnbull and Elyounoussi were blocked with the last of that three witnessing Darren McGregor clearing from almost on the goal line. On the seven minute mark, Darren McGregor should really have done better when he was afforded a free header from a corner, but the big defender guided his attempt over the bar. Minutes later, Murphy looked to break clear but was impeded by Kenny who found his name in the book as a result.

    At times, it was alarming to see Ajer burst forward unimpeded but thankfully, for the most part, nothing came from his final ball. Marciano then made a fine save to deny Elyounoussi with a dive low to his left before Turnbull tested the keeper with a powerful drive that Rocky collected safely. It was all Celtic in a possession sense, but they were finding it difficult to break down a resolute Hibs. Still, the visitors were creating chances, but none could be described as clear cut and two Christie efforts and a trundler from Calum McGregor failed to trouble Marciano.

    Another of those runs from Ajer led to him being brought down around twenty yards from goal. Edouard struck a fine shot into the top corner, but Willie Collum had blown for some sort of infringement and the Celtic man’s retaken effort struck the Hibs wall and was cleared. With half time looming, Edouard was once again denied and then Drey Wright got the opportunity to have a pop at goal, but his shot was both high and wide of the target.

    The second half began with two fouls on the trot by Kyle Magennis and I confess I was surprised Willie Collum kept the yellow card in his pocket. Said card did emerge some five minutes in to the half when Welsh hauled Murphy back as the Hibs man tried to break forward. From the resultant free kick, Porteous headed the ball down to Hallberg but the Swede’s shot at goal flew high. Hallberg was convinced the ball had deflected off Ajer, but Willie Collum disagreed. Approaching the hour mark, Gogic was booked for as pretty harmless challenge, making me start to fret that he’d get another and perhaps miss the final.

    A double substitution saw the arrival of Forest and Griffiths with John Kennedy no doubt hoping they’d be able to find cracks in the Hibs rearguard and Griffiths was soon involved but his shot was blocked and then, at the other end, an effort from Gogic suffered the same outcome. A few Hibs players were starting to tire, which was unsurprising given that they hadn’t had a lot of playing minutes lately, and both Murphy and Hallberg were replaced by Irvine and Doidge. Whatever influence Kennedy thought Forest could offer was thwarted given that the Celtic man couldn’t get the better of Stevenson and was soon moved to the other wing where he fared no better.

    David Gray who looked puggled after five minutes was eventually replaced by Paul McGinn and I have to say that puggled he may have been, but he gave every ounce of his being to deny Celtic in their efforts to score. At the same time as Gray departed, so too did Drey Wright who was replaced by Josh Doig. At that point I was excited to see how Josh would do playing wide left of midfield as Stevenson retained his left back slot. Around ten minutes from the end, Scott Brown tried his luck from around twenty yards but pulled his effort wide of Marciano’s right hand post. I mention this because it had become obvious that Celtic had run out of ideas and were restricted to long range efforts.

    The game was petering out but before it ended, Turnbull saw a shot blocked and then Griffiths released Forest, but Marciano was quick off his line to smother the ball at the feet of the Celtic man. Right at the death I thought Hibs had won it, but Irvine’s shot flew over the bar. With no goals in the game, it’s worth pointing out that Barkas never had a save to make whereas Rocky was superb in finishing his Hibs career on a high.

    The players

    Marciano – Rocky made several good saves during the game and he looked both solid and assured throughout. Over the piece he’s done a fine job and I wish him every success at his new club, wherever that may be.

    Gray – As I said, SDG looked puggled early on and that’s no surprise given his substantial lack of game time but being the player he is, he offered 100% effort and commitment throughout.

    McGregor – Once again Daz was immense and easily the best man on the park. Obviously, he gets my man of the match award and I’m astonished that the BBC reporter gave it to Elyounoussi who started well enough but fell away so much he was subbed before the end.

    Porteous – Ryan was solid enough today with no daft decisions taken and both he and Daz have given Jack Ross a selection headache ahead of the final.

    Stevenson – Lewis never gave an inch and defended extremely well. I lost count of the number of times he took up the correct position to cover his central defenders should they make a mistake. Young Josh is learning from the best, in my opinion.

    Gogic – Perhaps not quite so prominent as he had been against the Dons, he still put in one hell of a shift and both Turnbull and McGregor were never given a moments peace.

    Newell – Joe was involved throughout and yet hardly got a mention in commentary, though I suspect that was because he was blocking spaces for Celtic to work in, rather than spraying passes left, right and centre.

    Magennis – I thought Kyle put in a great shift and the fact that he covered so much ground and yet still survived the ninety minutes seems to show he’s getting the minutes to get up to speed.

    Wright – I thought he had a good first half and that he showed signs of the player we hoped we’d signed. Quieter in the second but then the whole of the second half was quieter than the first.

    Murphy – Another good shift from Jamie who was asked to play a slightly deeper role than usual, which he did to good effect.

    Hallberg – Proved to us all, including the West Stand assistant, that beating the offside trap is a lot harder than it looks! Fair play to him though as he was another that put in a great shift.

    Irvine – Got about the park well and was unlucky not to get a corner when his shot on the turn clearly clipped Ajer’s boot on the way over the bar.

    Doidge – I’m simply glad the big fella avoided injury if I’m honest.

    McGinn – Had to face Forest who’d switched wings and did so admirably.

    Doig – Ten minutes doesn’t give a player a lot of time to make an impact.

    Jack Ross – Full of praise for his ‘fringe’ players and rightly so. It has become increasingly obvious that Jack is a good man manager and that is a precious skill in itself.

    Referee – Willie Collum was largely untroubled which is a good thing for a referee.
    This is how it feels


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  3. #2
    Another great report JC. Thanks for taking the time to do this after every game, I really enjoy them.

  4. #3
    @hibs.net private member
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    Brilliant Jonnyboy and it's good to see you back

  5. #4
    Good read every week. Thanks for taking the time.

  6. #5
    Thanks JB for the match reports through the season. Hope you get the chance to make next week’s cup final report a belter.
    Wishing you good health and good luck

  7. #6
    @hibs.net private member Aldo's Avatar
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    Thanks JB and thanks very much for taking the time throughout the season to provide superb match day reports.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #7
    @hibs.net private member BILLYHIBS's Avatar
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    Brilliant as usual Jonnyboy

    Thanks for posting

  9. #8
    @hibs.net private member wfortune's Avatar
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    Thanks for the report John, a gushing celebratory one for next week please.

    Sent from my moto g(6) play using Tapatalk

  10. #9
    Coaching Staff
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    Very good summary. I hope your next report is on another famous Hibs cup victory.

  11. #10
    @hibs.net private member jacomo's Avatar
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    Great report as always, thank you.

    I always think that making wholesale changes really demonstrates what the spirit is like in the camp. We seem to have no worries on that score.

    I expected Magennis to be a great player for us, and now he’s completed his first league campaign I think we can all agree he hasn’t been. However, let’s hope that next season looks better.

  12. #11
    Enjoyed reading your report. I too would like to wish Rocky all the very best wherever he goes. A great shot-stopper and all round keeper. Good to see Magennis have more game time as he's a player that will come on leaps and bounds as time goes on. Always good to prevent Celtic scoring and big Daz was also my motm. It was a real bonus that we could rest key players today for the big one next Saturday and give others an opportunity to shine. Good point well earned today.

  13. #12
    Excellent report

  14. #13
    @hibs.net private member scoopyboy's Avatar
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    Well done over the season, I always look forward to the how it feels thread.

    My only comment for today would be Joe Newell never got much in the way of mention from the commentator for the simple reason he wasn't on the ball as much as usual. Taking it easy for next week which I am fine with.

  15. #14
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    Braw as ever. A very good workout for some of our European group games next season (he says with confidence) when we will have to defend for our lives with only 25% possession. Thought the defence today was as good as I have ever seen.

  16. #15
    Thanks for another great report, fingers crissed you'll be too happy and too pished to even post one this time next week
    Last edited by ABZHFC; 15-05-2021 at 09:47 PM.

  17. #16
    I was critical on the Match thread of Magennis but congratulations for getting his first 90 minutes in 16 months.

    Very easy to forget.

    Once he gets hit fitness, sharpness and confidence up he’ll do well.

  18. #17
    @hibs.net private member Bostonhibby's Avatar
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    Thanks for a great read as ever Jonnyboy, a game I had to miss listening to today so very welcome.

    Good to have you back

    Sent from my SM-A750FN using Tapatalk

    "I did not need any persuasion to play for such a great club, the Hibs result is still one of the first I look for"

    Sir Matt Busby

  19. #18
    Just wanted to say thanks Jonnyboy for doing these threads over the season, player ratings threads are the first thing I look for after a game and you always go out your way to make them detailed, I've not been able to watch much of hibs on Saturdays so my understanding of the players this year really all comes down to your threads.

    Once again, thank you, I hope you will continue to do these next season but understand if you don't, it must take up alot of your time every week.

  20. #19
    Old Codger Hibstorian Jonnyboy's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the kind thoughts, they are much appreciated.

    Not sure what time next weeks offering will appear 😂

    Happy to keep doing these next season as I really enjoy sharing my ramblings ✅
    This is how it feels

  21. #20
    @hibs.net private member jacomo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unseen work View Post
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    I was critical on the Match thread of Magennis but congratulations for getting his first 90 minutes in 16 months.

    Very easy to forget.

    Once he gets hit fitness, sharpness and confidence up he’ll do well.


    I so hope you are right. He looks like a player to me, the kind of box-to-box type who could do really well for us, but he’s not been given many opportunities to show that.

  22. #21
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    Thanks JB and hope you're feeling well after the hospital visit last week. Your stand in did a sterling job but it's great to have you back!

    Can't find anything to disagree with in your enjoyable match summary. A couple of these players will probably miss out on the match day squad at Hampden and that's a wee bit sad - they have all contributed to varying degrees over the course of a successful league season. Interestingly only Lewis and Rocky out of that lot have not scored a goal this season

  23. #22
    @hibs.net private member superfurryhibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by basehibby View Post
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    Thanks JB and hope you're feeling well after the hospital visit last week. Your stand in did a sterling job but it's great to have you back!

    Can't find anything to disagree with in your enjoyable match summary. A couple of these players will probably miss out on the match day squad at Hampden and that's a wee bit sad - they have all contributed to varying degrees over the course of a successful league season. Interestingly only Lewis and Rocky out of that lot have not scored a goal this season
    Other than posibly Rocky, surely everyone will who was on the pitch today will be in the squad next week for the .......CUP FINAL?

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post
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    McGregor – Once again Daz was immense and easily the best man on the park. Obviously, he gets my man of the match award and I’m astonished that the BBC reporter gave it to Elyounoussi who started well enough but fell away so much he was subbed before the end.

    And incredibly, Andrew Southwick the BBC reporter, also only rated Daz 6th in the Hibs performance scores

  25. #24
    @hibs.net private member
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    Quote Originally Posted by superfurryhibby View Post
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    Other than posibly Rocky, surely everyone will who was on the pitch today will be in the squad next week for the .......CUP FINAL?
    Unless they've changed it from last year there's an eighteen man squad allowed for the Scottish Cup and from my counting - barring injuries - one of the outfield players playing today will likely be watching from the stand next week

  26. #25
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    Thanks Jonnyboy

  27. #26
    @hibs.net private member scoopyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by basehibby View Post
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    Thanks JB and hope you're feeling well after the hospital visit last week. Your stand in did a sterling job but it's great to have you back!

    Can't find anything to disagree with in your enjoyable match summary. A couple of these players will probably miss out on the match day squad at Hampden and that's a wee bit sad - they have all contributed to varying degrees over the course of a successful league season. Interestingly only Lewis and Rocky out of that lot have not scored a goal this season
    Nine subs allowed for the final so I don't think any outfield player listed today will miss out.

    Macey, Marciano, Gray, McGinn, Stevenson, Porteous, McGregor, Hanlon, Doig, Newell, Gogic, Jackson, Hallberg, Magennis, Wright, Boyle, Murphy, Nisbet, Doidge.

    That's 19, so still space for one.

  28. #27
    @hibs.net private member greenginger's Avatar
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    Saw the so-called disallowed goal on Sportscene last night. Did the ref not have one of those spray cans to mark a line for the wall to stand behind ? Also was there not two Celtic players on the end of our wall which is now against the rules.

    I’m not sure cos neither incident was mentioned by the Sportscene geniuses.

  29. #28
    @hibs.net private member O'Rourke3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenginger View Post
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    Saw the so-called disallowed goal on Sportscene last night. Did the ref not have one of those spray cans to mark a line for the wall to stand behind ? Also was there not two Celtic players on the end of our wall which is now against the rules.

    I’m not sure cos neither incident was mentioned by the Sportscene geniuses.
    He had sprayed the lines but it took ages to get to the point the free kick took place. There's a clear whistle before the free kick was hit. No goal was disallowed. Yip the Celtc payers need to be a metre from the wall.

    Also taking the opportunity to thank JB for these reports. Hope the eyes are still OK

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  30. #29
    @hibs.net private member brog's Avatar
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    Thanks John, all your reports are greatly appreciated. I've not been Rocky's biggest fan but he oozed confidence yesterday and at times I thought we had signed Ederson, as his much criticised distribution was excellent.
    Darren was without doubt MOTM but I suspect Ryan will get the nod for the final. Darren's at his best in a game like yesterday where it's all about clearing the ball, anywhere. We should have much more of the ball next week and I think Ryan is better in that situation than Daz. Of course we could always copy 2016 & start with a back 3/5.
    Thanks again!!

  31. #30
    First Team Breakthrough
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    Well done JB for getting a tune out of that game yesterday.Good to see you’re carrying on next season.You’re reports are so good it saves me wasting money on a newspaper.

    Don’t think JR learned anything new from the game.Barring unforeseen circumstances the team for Saturday almost picks itself,that is Macey,McGinn,Porteous,Hanlon,Doig,Boyle,Gogic,Newe ll,Irvine,Doidge,Nesbit.

    One encouraging thing yesterday was the sight of Scott Brown talking to what looked like a very fit and healthy Scott Allan.

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