By: HIBERNIAN MEDIA on 06 Jul, 2017 21:27
Hibernian eased to a comfortable 4-0 win over Dunfermline in the first friendly match of pre-season on Thursday night.
Goals from Danny Swanson, Jermaine Pennant, Martin Boyle and Oli Shaw gave Hibs the victory on a balmy summer’s night in Fife.
There were a few new faces in Neil Lennon’s side from last season, with Swanson starting his first match for the club at left midfield and Pennant lining up on the opposite flank as a trialist. Youngsters Ryan Porteous and Oli Shaw also started following successful loan spells at Edinburgh City and Stenhousemuir respectively in the previous campaign.
Despite the friendly status the early exchanges were competitive, with several late challenges contributing to a stop-start opening.
Hopkirk fired wide after 10 minutes for Dunfermline, before a teasing cross was cleared by the Pars defence with Brian Graham lurking.
Hibs opened the scoring after 27 minutes through debutant Swanson. The midfielder linked up well with Callum Crane down the left hand side before drifting into the box and connecting with the Crane cutback.
Dunfermline almost responded immediately when Hopkirk was released behind the Hibernian defence, but Marciano stood tall to deny the striker.
The Pars did have the ball in the back of the net after 43 minutes but were denied by the referee’s whistle – Ashcroft adjudged to have impeded Marciano as he collected Higginbotham’s cross.
The game threatened to boil over just before half-time, with Dunfermline’s Aaron Splaine booked for a poor challenge on McGeouch and Bartley spoken to for his reaction. From the resulting free-kick Pennant hit a cracking strike from around 25 yards which rebounded off the post.
A raft of changes came for the second half, with Simon Murray among seven changes made by Lennon.
Namesake Fraser Murray came close to a second for Hibs with a fizzing shot over the bar.
The second did come 10 minutes later, Pennant controlling well from a long McGinn pass before stabbing the ball past Murdoch. The trialist was immediately subbed to complete a positive outing.
Martin Boyle made it three on 70 minutes, connecting with another angled ball from McGinn and drilling past Murdoch.
It was a hat-trick of assists for John McGinn on 75 minutes. The Scottish internationalist drove past the Dunfermline full back before hanging a cross for Shaw to nod home.
David Gray cleared off the line in a rare Dunfermline attack in the dying minutes before Laidlaw made a strong save, but the clean sheet remained in tact on what was a good pre-season workout for the Hibees.
Dunfermline: Murdoch, Williamson, Ashcroft (Trialist, 63’), Morris, Martin (Duthie, 81’), Splaine (Paton, 46’), Wedderburn, M’voto (Lochead, 86'), Hopkirk (Cardle, 53’), Clark (Smith, 78’), Higginbotham (Trialist, 69’).
Hibernian: Marciano (Laidlaw, 46’), Gray, Porteous, Fontaine (McGregor, 46’), Crane (Stevenson, 46’), Bartley (Martin, 46’), McGeouch (McGinn, 46’), Pennant (Boyle, 69’), Swanson (F Murray, 46’), Graham (S Murray, 46’), Shaw.