A Tale Of Two Cities,A Game Of Two Halves
Something of a game of two halves last night,or maybe even a tale of two cities.
For the first thirty minutes or so,we were cruising our match against Hibs. Given that we hadn’t won there in the league in SEVEN long years,we were maybe entitled to go into the match with some trepidation-even if we were bang on form and Hibs bang out of it. Blimey,they had even lost at the weekend to Aberdeen,a club whose chairman/owner had just recently had to give their manager the dreaded Vote of Confidence,much against the better wishes and demands of the fans.
And so it proved-for those first thirty minutes! Honestly,we were buzzing,ripping the home side at every turn. And it is fair to say that the 3-0 lead after thirty minutes hardly flattered us. Every player was oozing confidence,and none more so than Tom Rogic,who was probably having his best game of the season.
We started with a fairly familiar line-up in defence,but with Juranovic in the problem left back spot. A settled midfield trio too,but the addition of Michael Johnston on the left saw Jota lining up on the right,with Kyogo playing in his favoured central striker role. We pushed for this right from the off,never allowing Hibs to settle,and after ten minutes a DT free kick saw Ralston sneaking in near the back post to fire home a header for the opener.
Joe Hart made a smart save just after that,as Hibs came out looking for an equaliser. But we soon put them back in their box with the simplest of goals after quarter of an hour.
A corner from DT-again-saw CCV run towards the low ball to flick it into the opposite corner,a finish that any striker could be proud of. After that,it was one-way traffic,and when TR picked up a loose ball about 25 yards out,the fact that he was surrounded by bodies meant little to him as he waltzed around them all,freeing Jota to lay it up for a tap-in from our Japanese Bhoy.
Three up and cruising-and good value for the lead too. At that stage it could have been anything-but we didn’t expect the next goal to come at the other end. A woeful attempt to defend a corner into our SIX-YARD BOX,ffs! Which is the most basic art of defending. Anyway,we made an arse of it,and Martin Boyle finished it to the corner.
Hibs finished the half well,with Joe Hart again coming to the rescue when required,but they started the second half even better! With TR going off just before half time due to a leg strain,we seemed to lose our shape in midfield. And for all that Bitton is supposed to add some muscle to our midfield,well,he bloody didnae last night. Hibs cut through us again and again,but the defence and JH stood firm,despite some rocky moments.
Overall,a deserved victory,but I reckon AP will be concerned about our second half display. I know I was. He will want to build on our performance in the first half hour,get back the confidence we were showing then. However, I think he will be concentrating more on any reasons why we fell away so badly after they scored,and particularly after the loss of TR. But three points is all that were up for grabs last night,and that is what we got. What’s not to like?
Over on the other side of the country,Aberdeen were the visitors to the Victorian lavvy and stunned everyone by taking a two goal lead after only quarter of an hour. Morelos pulled one back for them late in the first half while Beaton was trying to hobble Aberdeen players by booking them every second time one of them fouled. I presume someone had a word with him at half time about it,as he doubled that to one booking every four fouls in the second half. Meanwhile,he waited till deep in added time till he pulled a yellow on a home player. And what an amount of added time it was too,all seven minutes of it!
I must get him a new watch for his Christmas. Of course,at that stage he was playing Next Goal’s The Winner due to having gifted his favourites an equaliser with the softest penalty you will ever see-unless you are a regular visitor to Ibrox! So Broonie was denied a winning return to the shithole after his bullet header to put them two up,just as MAGS suggested at half time.
Still,the results saw the deficit halved,and we are now only two points behind them-having played four of the top six,plus Aberdeen and Livingston,away from home. That means that in the next round of fixtures,starting on Saturday,they have the same run of matches away from home.
Let’s see how well they handle it…
Above article by BMCUWP