Good one week, bad the next - could the big defender explain it? Jordon Forster looked puzzled but had a go. “Dundee United was Friday night, on the telly, a big match atmosphere. Then it’s Dumbarton, not such a good atmosphere, not on the telly…”
Well, if Hibernian are such TV wannabes and crave more goggle-box attention then they will have to get out of the Championship. A draw at home against the part-time Sons was not exactly title-winning form.
In the end two dropped points wasn’t disastrous. Dundee United dropped more and so did Falkirk. But Forster knew it wasn’t good enough. “Maybe it’s psychological,” he said. “It’s got to be a mental problem because we were the better team. But we didn’t start properly and slackness crept in.”
Forster formed part of the second-half cavalry and did his best to muscle Hibs back into a contest in which they were twice behind.
There was a clash with Christian Nade when the burly Hibee antagoniser wouldn’t hand over the ball. The argument spilled into the Hibs dugout and ended with both players yellow-carded although Forster thought Nade should have seen red.
“He lifted his hands to me,” the centre-back said. “It wasn’t a Mike Tyson punch but he definitely made contact and by the rules it was a sending-off. But regardless we should still have won the game.”
Nade, who was quickly substituted to the chorus of pantomime booing he always receives around these parts, claimed he couldn’t remember the incident. “It happened so fast. I was pushed and I reacted. Maybe I shouldn’t.”
The much-travelled striker opened proceedings with a penalty and for Hearts, Raith Rovers and now Dumbarton he has never lost when scoring against Hibs. Of Easter Road he said: “I’m happy here. I know the fans give me abuse. They tried not to do it in this game but I wanted to make them. Last time here I was upset because they didn’t boo me! So I tried to get a reaction from them when I celebrated my goal. I wanted them to wake up!”
It was the Hibs players who needed a jolt and manager Neil Lennon had sharp words at the interval. They were better after that but not even the gift of an own goal provided the spur to go on and claim all three points because Dumbarton quickly regained the lead. The award of a penalty wasn’t the answer either, James Keatings missing with his effort from the spot.
“We’ve dropped too many points at home and drawn too many games,” said Forster, pictured below. “We need to sort out our form at Easter Road if we want to win the league.” With five of their last eight matches happening in Leith, an improvement in that form would clinch it. Next up it’s Falkirk, followed by Morton – two teams with their own ambitions of advancement.
Might Hibs find it easier to play against sides needing to win rather than being happy with a draw? “Of course,” said Forster. “Dumbarton sat behind the ball and did it well. We’ve struggled to break teams down. Here we conceded two sloppy goals and although we had enough chances to win, and I had one myself, we all need to contribute goals because we’re not scoring enough.”
Hibs depend heavily on Jason Cummings, who was suspended for this one but will return on Saturday. Dumbarton battled well for their point but some of the gloss came off it after learning that other teams in the battle to avoid relegation had won. “Every game left is a cup final for us,” admitted Nade.