Hibernian 2 - 0 Inverness CT

League Match
Saturday, February 23rd, 2008, 3:00 PM at Easter Road, Edinburgh
Attendance: 12,552
Referee: Kenny Clark
Hibernian Inverness CT

Goalscorers
Nish (3)
Fletcher (5)
None.

Team Managers
Mixu Paatelainen Craig Brewster

Starting Eleven
Ma-Kalambay
Gathuessi
Hogg
Jones
Zarabi
Beuzelin
Rankin
Zemmama
Nish
Shiels
Fletcher
Michael Fraser
Richard Hastings
Ross Tokely
Grant Munro
Phil McGuire
Russell Duncan
Ian Black
Don Cowie
Graham Bayne
Marius Niculae
Dougie Imrie

Bench
Hanlon
Murray
Chisholm
Morais
Kerr
Canning
McNeil
Zbigniew Małkowski
Guy Kerr
Roy McBain
Markus Paatelainen
Iain Vigurs
Dennis Wyness
Rory McAllister

Substitutions
Morais -> Zemmama (65)
Murray -> Shiels (75)
Hanlon -> Zarabi (85)
Markus Paatelainen for Russell Duncan (72)

Bookings
Beuzelin (88) None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Michael Fraser (GK) 49 apps -
Ross Tokely 429 apps29 goals
Phil McGuire 19 apps -
Richard Hastings 326 apps3 goals
Grant Munro 238 apps6 goals
Ian Black 99 apps3 goals
Russell Duncan 251 apps8 goals
Don Cowie 31 apps7 goals
Marius Niculae 28 apps8 goals
Dougie Imrie 4 apps -
Graham Bayne 127 apps20 goals
Markus Paatelainen (sub) 16 apps3 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Ross Tokely (28 years 359 days)
Oldest Player:Grant Munro (2009 years 207 days)
Average Player Age:29 years 323 days
Domestic Players:10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Iain Vigurs (19 years 296 days)
Oldest Player:Dougie Imrie (2009 years 207 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 193 days
Domestic Players:17 (94.44 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

In midweek against Motherwell, the game was lost in the first 10 minutes. Caley Thistle's slump in form over the last few weeks helped them to go one better today and cut the time taken to lose a match to only five minutes !!!

Despite a better effort in the second half, the 3rd minute goal from Nish and 5th minute goal from Fletcher were enough to seal all three points in a game where the Caley Thistle attack was as effective as a marshmallow carving knife.

Difficult to know what to make of this weeks game. Despite the fact that the CaleyJags were the first on the stats sheet with a shot on goal which came from a Bayne Volley from the edge of the box which had to be pushed wide it was Hibs who were to get on the score sheet first….and second.

With Colin Nish and Steven Fletcher putting Hibernian 2 goals ahead within the first 5 minutes it was tempting to head back to the pub. Both goals were one on one and Shiels looked certain to add a third and probably would have had he not tried to nutmeg Michael Fraser when he had the entire goalmouth to aim at. There’s been a lot of rumour about tension in the ranks and you could have been mistaken for believing every word of it having watched the first 10 minutes of this game.

It was a nightmare start, but Caley Thistle somehow managed to get themselves composed and started to come on to a game as Hibs looked to sit back. We had loads of corners and plenty scrambles on the goal line but somehow we always needed a touch too many and none of us really believed we would ever score. Delivery was dreadful from dead balls, usually over hit. The conditions weren’t ideal, the wind was making it difficult to play accurate balls in to the area and at one point it looked like we might need to call for someone to stick a finger on the ball to allow Imrie to take a corner as the ball kept getting blown away. Added to this, the pitch seemed to cut up really early which meant that the ball was bobbling everywhere. As the saying goes “it’s the same for both teams”, but with Hibs managing to get a couple of goals on the board early, they really had given themselves that extra advantage.

Half Time: 2-0

Hibs were just as bad as us a lot of the time and their fans got restless in the second half, there were even a few boos. Hibs just had more quality than us and those wee shouts you heard were Bayne asking if somebody could get him out of Jones' back pocket….he was battling hard but winning very little. If Marius had Fletcher or even Nish alongside him instead of Bayners we would probably have won it. That's without mentioning Shiels, Beuzelin and Zemmama.

For me, Niculae was our best player on the day. He put in a good shift and chased back. I would also give Rossco, Black and Fraser pass marks. Cowie did OK too, and with a little more service he may have found the net - A couple of times he was wide in space and screaming for it and nobody had the vision, or maybe he's got leprosy!!! Marcus did OK when he came on. Imrie looked like he's off the pace for the SPL, though I must say against St Mirren he looked star quality. It’s a pity Proctor is still out injured as I would like to see him replace Tokely at right back and Tokely replace McGuire in the middle alongside Munro.

We did have plenty of chances but they always fell to the wrong man or just resulted in the ball bouncing about in a crowded penalty box. Russell will have to hope no big Scandinavians were at the game. Did a lot of chasing and mopping up as usual, but his passes were far more over the place than normal. Just sign it Russell, while it's still on the table. Best moment for us was the chant of 'there's only one John Rankin' after he nearly sliced it into his own net. P.S. - To the young blonde lassie who got a surprise comp in her hand at 5 to 3, I know you were trying to pass me your mobile no but it's OK, really...lol

Match report written by CaleyD



Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Rangers 24 19 2 3 56 17 39 59
2. Celtic 24 17 4 3 61 18 43 55
3. Motherwell 25 14 2 9 38 31 7 44
4. Dundee Utd 27 12 5 10 39 33 6 41
5. Hibernian 26 10 8 8 39 33 6 38
6. Falkirk 27 10 6 11 38 40 -2 36
7. Hearts 27 9 6 12 37 43 -6 33
8. Inverness CT 27 10 3 14 34 43 -9 33
9. Aberdeen 26 9 6 11 30 41 -11 33
10. St. Mirren 24 7 5 12 17 41 -24 26
11. Kilmarnock 26 5 7 14 24 38 -14 22
12. Gretna 25 3 4 18 22 57 -35 13