Hibernian F.C. Match Reports
Pre-season Challenge Match
East Fife 1 Hibernian 3
Saturday 9th July 2011
Hibernian came from a goal behind against East Fife to record their second victory of the pre-season.
On-loan Hearts striker Robert Ogelby had put the Fifers into a half-time lead with a clinical spot kick but in a game dominate by Hibernian there was only ever going to be one winner.
Substitute Matthew Thornhill grabbed a double in the second period and had a hand in the third goal when he set-up trialist Cillian Sheridan to head into the net from close range.
Colin Calderwood handed defender Sean O'Hanlon his debut after he recovered from injury and he was partnered in central defence by Ian Murray.
After scoring two goals in his first two games since returning to Easter Road, striker Garry O'Connor was bursting with confidence and he created the opening opportunity of the match.
After holding off John Ovenstone he slipped the ball through to Edwin de Graaf only for the Dutchman to be denied by the reflexes of goalkeeper Michael Brown.
At the other end Ryan Wallace brought out a save from Mark Brown but his strike lacked the power or direction to trouble the Hibs shot-stopper.
The visitors adjusted well to the underfoot conditions with the greasy surface suiting their quick passing game.
The soaking pitch was causing the goalkeepers concern, none more so than Michael Brown who failed to hold a stinging shot from Edwin de Graaf.
He did better moments later however to keep out a quick shot from Victor Palsson and then an effort from David Wotherspoon that took a heavy deflection en route to goal.
The home side opened the scoring against the run of play when Scott Smith brought down Craig Johnstone inside the penalty area and Ogelby made no mistake from the resulting spot kick,
Hibernian was denied an immediate equaliser when Brown produced a wonderful save to keep out a rasping drive from Wotherspoon.
The Edinburgh side made a triple change at the interval with trialist Sheridan, Thornhill and Callum Booth coming on.
The latter was quickly involved getting in behind the home defence on the left before his cut back was almost turned into the net by Ovenstone under pressure from O'Connor.
In the 50th minute East Fife should have doubled their advantage when Ogelby outpaced O'Hanlon for a through ball and with only Brown to beat he sliced his effort well side of goal.
That miss proved costly as Hibernian levelled soon after when Thornhill's cheeky lob from a tight angle eluded substitute goalkeeper Mark Ridgers.
The Hibs substitute was again on target on 73 minutes when he swept Ivan Sproule's cut back into the net from 15 yards although the goalkeeper should have done better.
Goal number three came from Daniel Galbraith's deep corner kick which was headed back across goal by Thornhill for Sheridan to score from close range.
Man of the match Callum Booth had the opportunity to round off a fine individual performance with a goal but with only Ridgers to beat he shot straight at the goalkeeper.
The Club can also confirm that Chairman Rod Petrie met John Hughes earlier this week for a clear the air chat. The chairman said: "I met John for a cup of coffee. John knows that my statement in support of Colin Calderwood was not intended as any criticism of him.
"John said his media comments about Hibernian were always intended to be fair and balanced. We agreed to draw a line under it and talked about a range of other football related matters."
East Fife: Brown (Ridgers 46'), Durie, Park, White, Ovenstone, Muir (Newbigging 81'), Linn (Sloan 19'( Martin 88')), Young, Ogelby, Wallace (Blaikie 88'), Johnstone (Campbell 66').Subs: Campbell, Sloan, Knewbigging, Blakie, Martin, Ridgers.
Hibernian: Brown (Antell 66'), Taggart, O'Hanlon (Stephens 66'), Murray (Hanlon 66'), Smith (Booth 46'), de Graaf, Palsson (Galbraith 66'), Stevenson (Thornhill 46'), Wotherspoon (Sproule 66'), Crawford (Trialist 46'), O'Connor (Horner 81').Subs: Antell, Stack, Hanlon, Booth, Stephens, Galbraith, Thornhill, Sproule, Horner, Trialist.
Referee: Calum Murray.