Hibernian F.C. Match Reports
Pre-season Challenge Match
East Fife 0 Hibernian 2
Saturday 14th July 2012
Hibernian opened their pre-season campaign with a comfortable 2-0 victory over East Fife in Methill this afternoon.
Second half goals from Ivan Sproule and debutant Tim Clancy earned the Easter Road men victory in a game they dominated from start-to-finish.
Hibs created and wasted a host of gilt-edged opportunities throughout the 90 minutes, yet rarely appeared threatened by the Fifers.
Manager Pat Fenlon handed debuts to goalkeeper Ben Williams, defender Clancy and midfielder Paul Cairney, whilst ex-Hearts man, Alan Maybury, was listed amongst the substitutes.
The Edinburgh side were first to threaten as Sproule shot just over the crossbar and moments later David Wotherspoon was just off target with a rasping low drive.
East Fife created their first chance on 23 minutes as Darren Smith headed Scott Durie's corner kick straight into the arms of Williamson.
At the other end Hibs should've opened the scoring when Cairney's cross from the left found Sproule only for his strike to deflect off Eoin Doyle and into the grateful arms of goalkeeper Michael Brown.
Against the run of play East Fife almost snatched the opening goal when Craig Johnstone did well to get beyond Clancy before looping a cross-cum-shot high over Williams' head and back into play off the crossbar.
Wotherspoon, playing a more advanced role, wasn't too far away with a dipping free kick before Williams comfortably gathered efforts from Darren Smith and Ian Williamson.
In the final action of a fast-paced first period, Doyle was just unable to turn in a Cairney shot that fizzed past the far post.
Halt-time substitute Isaiah Osbourne looked in a menacing mood after the break and brought out a fine save from Brown as Hibs threatened.
The breakthrough came in the 52 minute when Cairney's cross was missed by Ross Caldwell but fell perfectly for Sproule to smash into the far corner of the net and give his side a well-deserved lead.
Osbourne once again stung the hands of Brown before Hibs twice wasted glorious opportunities to increase their lead.
On each occasion, first Wotherspoon and then Sproule, were put clean through on goal only to waste the opportunity presented to them.
East Fife's best chance came in the 68th minute when Durie's cross found Colin Samuel unmarked at the back post, however instead of heading towards goal the striker attempted to cushion the ball on his chest and it bounced safely into the grateful arms of Calum Antell.
With 12 minutes remaining Hibs secured victory when Clancy ensure it was a debut to remember with a sensation curling free kick that found the top right hand corner of the net and left Brown rooted to the spot.
Hibs should have made it three in the closing moments when Caldwell's cut-back found Daniel Handling inside the penalty area, but with the goal at his mercy he struck the trailing leg of Durie and the ball went behind.
East Fife: Brown, Durie, Johnstone (Malcolm 46'), White, McCormack (Brewster 67'), Smith (Jamieson 75'), Williamson, Muir, Wardlaw (Gordon 85'), Samuel (King 75'), McBride (Martin 87'). Substitute not used: Collier.
Hibernian: Williams (Antell 62'), Clancy, Hanlon (Booth 60'), Stevenson (Monaghan 62'), Stephens (Maybury 46'), McPake, Cairney (Kujabi 67'), Claros (Osbourne 46'), Doyle (Caldwell 46'), Wotherspoon (Handling 84'), Sproule (Stanton 78').Substitutes all used.
Referee: Gavin Duncan.
Photos: Willie McGillivray and SNS