Monday 19 February 2018

Fenlon's Hibs end derby jinx to send Cup holders packing

Hibernian 1 Hearts 0 Scottish cup 4th round

Hibernian exacted some form of revenge for their Scottish Cup final derby thrashing when David Wotherspoon's late strike deflected off Marius Zaliukas and sent holders Hearts crashing out.

Pat Fenlon's Hibs had struggled to create chances and saw top goalscorer Leigh Griffiths carried off on a stretcher after Hearts midfielder Darren Barr accidentally stood on his ankle.

But their fans did not care that their win was far scrappier than Hearts' 5-1 Hampden triumph, or that their 83rd-minute winner came from a fortunate own goal as they celebrated their first derby victory in 13 matches.

If ever a team owed their supporters a victory it was this one after their wait for their first Scottish Cup success since 1902 ended in the most painful of defeats. Only five of the Hibs line-up played at Hampden in May with Fenlon subsequently embarking on a rebuilding job which saw the likes of Ben Williams, Ryan McGivern, Tom Taiwo and former Irish international Alan Maybury arrive to add some steel.

Fenlon (pictured) admitted the match was far from a classic but he was relieved to finally deliver some long overdue local bragging rights.

"There wasn't loads of football played in the game, but I'm delighted for the supporters," he said. "They can go away with their heads held high."

Asked whether he felt his side had gained a measure of revenge for May's cup final humiliation, he said: "I don't think so, that's got nothing to do with it.

"It's about rebuilding this club and getting us back to where we should be."

Irish Independent

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