Official Hibernian F.C. Match Reports
Pre-season Challenge Match
Raith Rovers 0 Hibernian 0
Friday 12th July 2013
Hibernian were held to a goal-less draw this evening in Kirkcaldy by First Division Raith Rovers.
The Hibees, watched from the main stand by scouts from Malmo, were given a tough test by Grant Murray's side and carved out a number of opportunities, yet were unable to break the home team's stubborn resolve.
Hibs, backed by a large travelling support that had made the short journey across the Firth of Forth, moved the ball around well at times and will have given their Swedish observers some food for thought.
Danny Handling had Hibs best opportunities on the night however the team in green were unable to find the back of the Raith net in their final preparation game before next week's Europa League qualifier gets underway.
Despite the sweltering conditions in the Kingdom of Fife the visitors made an energetic start, carving out a number of opportunities in the opening period of the match.
As early as the 3rd minute the Easter Road men could have gone ahead as Alex Harris raced in behind Callum Booth on the right before picking out Handling with a low cutback; the striker's first time shot appeared net bound only to be blocked by the desperate challenge of Jason Thomson
Moments later Handling was denied again; this time after playing a neat one-two with Harris, he opted to strike early however his low drive lacked conviction and was easily held by David McGurn.
The young Hibs striker was clearly in the mood to impress this evening and in the 9th minute he attempted an ambitious long-range strike that wasn't too far away.
The home side soon settled and former Hearts forward Calum Elliot should have made more of a Reece Donaldson ball over the top. Left with only Ben Williams to beat he tamely fired straight at the grateful goalkeeper with the goal at his mercy.
Liam Craig reacted quickest to hook the ball clear from danger after Williams failed to collect a Joe Cardle corner kick in the 27th minute. The Hibs' keeper felt he had been impeded however referee John McKendrick was unmoved by his protestations.
In the final chance of the first half McGurn was forced into a fine save at his near post following a terrific run and strike from Handling.
After the break Hibs once again started brightly with skipper James McPake close to scoring with a powerful header from Liam Craig's corner kick.
At the other end Liam Fox headed inches wide from Cardle's delivery as the home side once again demonstrated Hibs were not going to have all their own way.
On 62 minutes Ross Caldwell fired just wide of goal from a good position, the striker's right foot shot fizzing past with McGurn rooted to the spot.
Substitute Dean Horribine had a great opportunity to break the deadlock moments after coming on when he collected a terrific through ball from Caldwell, he held off his marker and angled a strike low towards the far post which McGurn dealt with comfortably.
In the final moments Douglas Hill headed just over from Cardle's set piece as both teams were forced to settle for a draw.
Raith Rovers: McGurn, Thomson, Booth, Donaldson, Hill, Fox (Moon 72'), Anderson, Callachan, Smith (Trialist 79'), Elliot (Spence 64'), Cardle. Substitutes not used: Vaughan, Ellis, Murray, Matthews, McCroary, Laidlaw.
Hibernian: Williams, Stevenson, McGivern, Hanlon, Tudor Jones, McPake (Forster 64'), Harris (Cairney 46'), Taiwo (Horribine 68.), Caldwell (Stanton 74'), Handling, Craig. Substitutes not used: Gold, Donaldson, Mullen.
Referee: John McKendrick.