It was seventh heaven for Neil Lennon’s Hibs side as they marched past Junior side Bonnyrigg Rose in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup at Tynecastle. Braces from Jason Cummings and James Keatings alongside strikes for Lewis Stevenson, Chris Humphrey, Andrew Shinnie and Jordan Forster made Bonnyrigg’s first half penalty for Rose defender Dean Hoskins obsolete.
Cup magic is a particularly difficult beast to nail down, and perhaps Hibs used all of their fixture magic up at Hampden last season. That must have explained the fact that there was none available for the Rose at Tynecastle on Saturday. Bonnyrigg were by no means unlucky to lose by so many, they were simply outclassed by a clinical Hibs side that was delightfully orchestrated by John McGinn throughout.
It was Hibs that were showing some nerves in the early stages, with Liam Fontaine the worst culprit for needlessly getting himself into difficult situations. Hibs fan Lewis Turner was able to race away down the right following a misplaced pass in the 4th minute from the defender.
That early hope for the Rose evaporated on the tenth minute. Despite their bright start it was a nightmare for Rose keeper Michael Andrews that put them behind. Andrew Shinnie picked the ball up in a central position, turned and hit a speculative 25 yard shot towards the Rose goal. Andrews really should have saved it, there was not that much pace on the shot and it wasn’t perfectly placed, but it still managed to squirm past the keeper and into the bottom left corner.
It quickly got worse, but this time there was nothing Andrews could have done. Shinnie passed a neat ball inside to James Keatings who, with time and space, hit a sumptuous long-range curler into the top left corner from 20 yards.
Brief respite for the Rose followed with a prolonged stoppage of play. It was an unhappy return to the pitch for Hibs keeper Ofir Marciano who has only just returned from surgery on his knee. The goalkeeper was forced off holding his back, replaced by Ross Laidlaw, after what had looked to be an innocuous coming together with Rose striker Kieran McGachie.
Hibs were in the ascendancy, and the gulf of class was clear throughout the first half. A fully fit John McGinn was the metronome at the bottom of the three-man Hibs midfield and the Scotland international’s link-up with Shinnie was mesmeric.
McGinn’s play was instrumental in the third, with the midfielder’s slide rule pass to Lewis Stevenson putting the left-back through on goal. Stevenson’s weak shot was parried well by Andrews but the ball fell straight into the path of Chris Humphrey who made no mistake from close-range at the far post for his first goal for the club.
Then came the hope for Rose. McGachie went down, ostensibly due to a trip from Jordan Forster on the edge of the box, and referee Alan Muir duly pointed to the spot. Forster was furious and rightly so as McGachie hadn’t had a foot laid on him. Dean Hoskins was the man to step up and duly send Laidlaw the wrong way to grab a goal back for the Rose on the 33rd minute.
Hibs were having all the chances. Humpheys was denied well from close range by Andrews before Shinnie shot over from a tight angle after a mazing run before half-time.
Bonnyrigg perhaps should have had a second penalty when Holt and McGregor both charged down a cross. The corner that followed nearly provided their second when Wayne McIntosh headed Lewis Turner’s cross narrowly wide. Almost instantly Hibs broke down the other end and a deflected Cummings shot had to be booted clear by Hoskins as it rolled agonisingly close to the goal line.
In the second half it was more of the same for Robbie Horns’ side, with the Hibees looking ominous every time they went forward. Cummings had a shot from long range that zipped past the post on the 49th minute. The striker had had a torrid time of it in the first half, too often taking too much time on the ball in promising positions, but he got his name on the scoresheet not long afterwards. Lewis Stevenson floated in a cross to the unmarked poacher whose spectacular scissor kick beat Andrews easily from six yards.
Bonnyrigg were putting up a fight, but the sheer gulf in class was obvious. Even on a relatively uncomfortable day for the likes of McGregor and Holt, the dynamism of McGinn and Shinnie was irresistible. Humphrey was a useful outlet for a defence too often caught on their heels, but the score line told the real story.
It became five for Hibs on the hour mark. Lewis Stevenson turned goalscorer as he turned Holt’s cross in at the far post with an easy tap in.
The engine room for Hibs was John McGinn. They call him super, and he lived up to his supernatural billing while on the pitch before he was taken off to be replaced by Fraser Fyvie on the 64th minute.
It was 6-1 only seven minutes later when Cummings got his second. Holt’s shot from the 18-yard line was parried by Andrews but the Hibee poacher was on hand and made no mistake in turning it in. Cummings was then taken off by Lennon, to be replaced by Martin Boyle.
The substitute had an instant impact. He linked up with Keatings on the right hand side of the Hibee attack and neat interplay on the edge of the box sent Keatings through. The striker passed the ball above Andrews and into the Bonnyrigg net for Hibs’ 7th and his second.
A nasty tackle on Humphrey in the 80th minute earned Rose goalscorer Dean Hoskins a yellow card. In any other game with any other score line, it would have likely been a red. Keatings’ freekick that followed was perfectly weighted to the far post and Jordan Forster met the ball and headed into the back of the net for Hibs 8th.
It was a rout for Hibs, and a deserved margin for a team that looked as clinical as they have all season. The dream for Bonnyrigg Rose however was always going to come to an end, and did so at Tynecastle.
Bonnyrigg: Andrews, Horne, Donaldson, Young, Hoskins, Stewart (Brown), Turner (Gray), Kidd, McGachie, Nelson, McIntosh (McLaren)
Hibs: Marciano (Laidlaw), Stevenson, Fontaine, McGregor, Forster, Humphrey, McGinn (Fyvie), Shinnie, Keatings, Holt, Cummings (Boyle)
Image courtesy of Daniel