By: Hibernian Media on 06 Jul, 2019 19:00
Hibernian produced a strong second half performance to notch their first win of pre-season as they defeated Dunfermline Athletic 3-1 in Fife on Saturday afternoon, writes Richard Payne.
The hosts enjoyed the best of the first half and deservedly led at the interval thanks to an early effort from defender Euan Murray.
The second half however belonged to Hibernian as new signing Adam Jackson levelled with a stunning overhead kick, Daryl Horgan won, then converted, a penalty kick and striker Florian Kamberi sealed victory with a clinical header late on.
East End Park was bathed in sunshine for this afternoon’s contest as Hibernian Head Coach, Paul Heckingbottom, once again utilised his full squad during the 90 minutes.
Dunfermline started brightly and penned the visitors back in the opening exchanges.
Stevie Crawford’s men carved out the opening opportunity of the afternoon when Andy Ryan worked the ball to Paul Paton and the midfielder’s effort was deflected wide for a corner kick.
It was from this that the deadlock was broken as Ryan’s floated delivery was headed in from close range by Murray to give Dunfermline the advantage after only three minutes.
Hibernian attempted to respond quickly as Stevie Mallan fired just wide of the far post from the edge of the area after being picked out by Martin Boyle.
The visitors were guilty of being slack in possession at times and when Trialist robbed Sean Mackie of the ball on the edge of the Hibernian penalty area, it required a terrific last-gasp block from Tom James to deny Kevin Nisbet and prevent the Pars extending their lead.
James was involved at the other end soon after when his low right foot shot from 20 yards was pushed around the post by the fingertips of goalkeeper Ryan Scully.
From the corner kick Darren McGregor headed Joe Newell’s delivery wide of goal as Hibernian looked for a way back into the match.
On 32 minutes a terrific driving run from wide by Christian Doidge almost provided a leveler, only for Scully to save brilliantly low to his right.
Dunfermline remained a real threat on the counterattack and when the visiting defence stepped off Ryan, the Pars forward used the space to drive forward and let fly with a powerful low drive that drifted wide of goal.
Four minutes before the break Chris Maxwell produced a terrific save to deny Nisbet after the Dunfermline forward had held off Paul Hanlon to get to Ryan Dow’s delivery and head for goal.
The final effort of the first period fell to Hibernian however McGregor was unable to guide Newell’s delivery on target and the Pars headed into the break leading 1-0.
Parity was restored two minutes after the restart when Jackson – a half-time replacement for Hanlon – produced a stunning overhead effort from Mallan’s corner kick to notch his first goal for the club.
It had taken the Easter Road side time to grow into the game and they had, at times, been guilty of being sluggish in possession during the first half, however the intensity of their play increased significantly after the break.
Hibernian penned Dunfermline back at the start of the second period, winning a series of corner kicks and it took a terrific save from Scully to deny McGregor.
Dunfermline skipper Lee Ashcroft had five minutes to forget as first his weak header almost gifted Kamberi a goal had goalkeeper Scully not been alert enough to save at the Swiss striker’s feet.
Moments later Ashcroft fouled substitute Horgan as he broke clear in the penalty box and from the resultant spot kick the Irishman scored to put his side ahead.
Dunfermline were rarely seen as an attacking threat in the second half yet, they almost drew level when substitute McGill’s angled drive arched towards the far corner of the net only for Maxwell to get down brilliantly to save.
Oli Shaw was then sent through on goal with 16 minutes remaining and although he slipped the ball beyond Scully it ended wide of the far post.
Two minutes later and Kamberi headed in from Horgan’s inch-perfect delivery to put the game beyond the hosts and grab his first goal of the new season.
There were late opportunities for Ben Stirling and Shaw however neither could find a way beyond substitute keeper Cammy Gill as Hibernian ran out comfortable winners in the Fife sunshine.
Dunfermline Athletic: Scully (Gill 77’), Comrie (Trialist 60’), Martin (Smith 77’), Ashcroft (Brown 85’), Murray (Lang 46’), Paton (Allan 68’), Dow (Morrison 77’), Beadling (McCann 68’), Nisbet (McGill 60’), Ryan (Todd 68’), Trialist (Turner 68’).
Hibernian: Maxwell, James, McGregor (Sadiki 85’), Hanlon (Jackson 46’), Mackie (Doig 85’), Mallan (Campbell 60’), Allan (Stirling 60’), Murray (Kamberi 60’), Boyle (Moon 60’), Newell (Horgan 60’), Doidge (Shaw 60’). Unused Substitute: Martin.