Yesterday, Hibernian FC hosted St. Mirren, 10th in the Premiership, on the 24th day of the championship. A game lost 3-0 by Nick Montgomery‘s side hindering their chances of achieving their European aspirations, as they are currently on a six-game winless streak.
Despite the high number of defeats in the last few months, the club has been ambitious in the transfer market, bringing in seven new players, three of whom started in their most recent match at Easter Road on Saturday. Among these new signings were Myziane Maolida and Marcondes, who were eager to make an impact in their second appearance for the club.
The first half was marked by a merciless performance by St. Mirren, as they scored three goals, including a 34th-minute penalty by Greg Kiltie, which brought joy to the away fans in the stands. This is despite the Greens’ dominating possession throughout the match. With the team’s top scorer, Elie Youan, absent and a young defensive line-up including 17-year-old Rory Whittaker, it makes sense that St. Mirren were able to capitalise on and punish the home side.
The first goal of the match was a header scored by Alex Gogic, as he headed in a poorly taken free-kick. When the away team doubled their lead from the penalty spot in the 34th minute, Hibernian still had not managed a shot on target. To round out the scoring in the first half, Mikael Mandron was able to find the back of the net as goalkeeper David Marshall was beaten again from a corner.
At halftime, with a score of 3-0 and no shots on target, the players were dejected and the fans were disillusioned. Insults were hurled and some fans were already leaving the stadium.
In an attempt to revitalise their attack, the English coach made three changes after the break. Despite these changes, the scoreline remained unchanged. The second half saw few chances for either side. Even though Hibernian did manage to get a shot on target, it was without troubling the opposition keeper. The game was lacklustre, and Hibernian’s coach confessed, “Apologise to the fans”. Though the stadium was almost full on this rainy afternoon, Edinburgh’s Leith-based club supporters kept a low profile, while St. Mirren fans set the stadium alight.
Overall, it has been a long, painful match in the first half for Hibernian, but with renewed energy and momentum in the second.
The fans are, however, more concerned about Wednesday’s visit by the leaders, the Glasgow Celtics, who are currently at the top of the league. Rory and his father Sam, occasional spectators, confided to us that they were “not very confident regarding the outcome of the match” for the next meeting against the Celtics. Mr. Megwa, father of Kanayochukwu Megwa, the 19-year-old Nigerian defender, was disappointed by the results, stating, “That was a bad game today.” This also confirms the general lack of confidence in the outcome of the next match.
Indeed, if this stinging defeat has not been decisive, the upcoming game is crucial for Hibernians, not only for maximising their chances of securing a place in the European Cup but also to avoid relegation.
Photo via Arthur Brossard