Ross County 2 - 1 Hibs: League Cup final player ratings

John McGinn against Jackson Irvine was an intriguing midfield battle. Picture: Greg Macvean
John McGinn against Jackson Irvine was an intriguing midfield battle. Picture: Greg Macvean
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Man by man, how players for both Ross County and Hibs rated.

ROSS COUNTY

GK - Gary Woods - 8

The deputy stopper rose to the occasion with a number of good stops to deny Hibs. Arguably the best of which cemented County’s win when he tipped Liam Fontaine’s 96th minute overhead kick over the crossbar.

DC - Marcus Fraser - 7

Took up an unusual role on the right of a back three but performed well. Was highly unfortunate at the Hibs equaliser when his attempted headed block of Fontaine’s shot diverted the ball just enough that it evaded team-mate Richard Foster on the post.

DC - Paul Quinn - 7

Made a number of key blocks and communication well with his other centre halves in what was a much improved defensive performance from the Ross County defence on recent showings.

DC - Andrew Davies - 8

A real captain’s performance from the centre back. He organised his unit well, defending stoutly in the face of heavy pressure in the first half and, fittingly, it was his clearance which preceded the full-time whistle.

DM - Ian McShane - 6

McShane’s role was to sit in front of the back four and try to make things happen with his range of passing. However, he found the pace of the game, and energy of Liam Henderson, a little difficult to deal with at times.

MR - Michael Gardyne - 9

A match-winning, man-of-the-match worthy performance from the midfielder who scored one and created an another. He showed great energy and enthusiasm for getting on the ball and was at the heart of everything County did in attack.

MC - Jackson Irvine - 8

Played through Gardyne for the opener after anticipating and intercepting a slack pass in the midfield. He battled well with John McGinn and won the key battle over the 90 minutes. His driving force was a real benefit to the Ross County attack.

MC - Martin Woods - 6

Fairly quiet day for the midfielder as County took a while to get to grips with the game in the centre of the park.

ML - Richard Foster - 6

Showed good energy to get up and support on the left wing while also covering David Gray’s runs from deep. Didn’t do a whole lot in possession, however.

FC - Alex Schalk - 7

Didn’t look like it was going to be his day until Fontaine’s botched clearance landed right in front of him a yard from goal. Didn’t have much of an impact on the ball prior to that, though his energy and running in behind kept the Hibs defenders busy.

FC - Liam Boyce - 4

Really poor afternoon from County’s leading goalscorer who couldn’t get into the game at all.

Subs

Brian Graham - 8

Terrific substitution that swung the match in Ross County’s favour. With the striker’s introduction, Jim McIntyre switched his side to a 4-3-3 and it paid off with each of the forwards playing their part in the winning goal. Individually, he caused a number of problems for Hibs and was unlucky not to net a couple of times himself, once being caught offside by a half a yard and then being harshly whistled for a foul on the goalkeeper.

Stewart Murdoch - n/a

Jonathan Franks - n/a

HIBS

GK - Mark Oxley - 6

Got away with one when he lost an aerial battle with Graham and was bailed out by Kevin Clancy whistling for a foul. Otherwise, he wasn’t called upon to do much and didn’t have much of a chance at either goal.

DR - David Gray - 7

Added an attacking threat on the right and his ability to pin back Foster is what enabled Hibs to control possession and the attacking areas for a large portion of the game. His inability to dispossess Graham in the build-up to the County winner would end up costing Hibs.

DC - Darren McGregor - 9

Had an outstanding day in the centre of the defence, often representing the last line as he continually cleared out County attacks. Got stuck a little in no man’s land at the winner, though with Gray out of position, he was left in a difficult situation.

DC - Liam Fontaine - 6

Looked shaky in the first half but made up for it by netting the equaliser. Settled down in the second half though his mishit clearance landed perfectly for Alex Schalk to score the winner.

DL - Lewis Stevenson - 6

Did his usual graft up and down the left wing but it was a relatively quiet game for the full-back.

DM - Marvin Bartley - 7

Sat in front of the back four in the spoiler role. Broke up play and defended well for the most part, including coming from nowhere to almost deny Gardyne the opening goal. However, he was as guilty as Gray for failing to halt Schalk in the lead up to the winner, and was lucky to still be on the park at that point after a forearm smash into the face of Graham.

MC - John McGinn - 7

Won the individual battle against Irvine in the first half and played a terrific ball for Jason Cummings to race in behind the County defence. Was completely shackled by Irvine for most of the second and his impact on the game diminished as time went on.

MC - Kevin Thomson - 5

Played a sloppy pass that heavily contributed to Ross County’s opening goal. Tired badly as the game went on and should have been hooked long before the 76th minute.

AM - Liam Henderson - 7

Showed plenty of energy throughout the match and was arguably the most involved of the Hibs’ midfield four.

FC - Anthony Stokes - 6

Started the game well with a strong first half then fashioned himself a chance with a shot on the turn a few minutes into the second. Another who faded badly.

FC - Jason Cummings - 5

Obviously dreamt of being the hero and he played like it throughout, trying a few ill-advised attempts on goal after a bright opening 30 minutes. His partnership with Stokes never clicked at all throughout the day.

Subs

James Keatings - 5

Came on with 14 minutes remaining and made very little impact.

Martin Boyle - n/a

READ MORE - ‘Devastated’ Cummings admits final loss is worst of his career

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