Scott Robertson today breathed a huge sigh of relief after scoring his first goal for Hibs and admitted: “It was long overdue.”
And the midfielder hopes his opener in the Easter Road outfit’s 3-1 win over Kilmarnock will rekindle his chances of a place in Pat Fenlon’s Scottish Cup final squad having feared his hopes had been dashed after being hooked before half-time in the semi-final against Falkirk.
Robertson struck after just ten minutes at Rugby Park and although Killie kid Lee Ashcroft equalised early in the second half, a late double from Eoin Doyle earned Hibs their first back-to-back league wins since November, the three points lifting them into seventh place in the SPL table, a finish they can clinch with victory over relegated Dundee on Saturday.
Revealing he was “delighted” his first goal in his 14th appearance had counted for something, the former Dundee, Dundee United and Blackpool star said: “I have had several chances in games previous, most notably one I do not need to mention [a sitter against Falkirk at Hampden].
“I definitely should have scored before now. It was long overdue. I have had chances in other games and definitely should have scored. Sometimes the goalkeeper has had a good save, sometimes it has been woeful finishing from myself. But it is good to get that monkey off my back and hopefully I can get another one or two before the end of the
Pointing out he had a second “goal” disallowed after referee Craig Charleston spotted the ball come off his arm, the 28-year-old disclosed he now has his sights set on taking his goals tally into double figures next season.
He said: “If I can get a good pre-season under my belt I’ll be focusing on that side of my game. I can definitely contribute more in that sense. In my last season with United I got seven which is the best I have managed but I would like to make double figures which, I think is a realistic ambition and target.”
Meanwhile, Fenlon today praised the persistence of Chesterfield-bound Doyle, chosen to lead the line alongside teenager Danny Handling as top scorer Leigh Griffiths was rested, two of six changes the Easter
Road boss made from the
side which had beaten Hearts in the final derby of the season three days earlier as he rested players with the Hampden showdown against Celtic in mind.
Although he’d seen one effort disallowed for offside and come close on three other occasions, Doyle refused to throw in the towel and was rewarded as he scored twice in the last four minutes to take his tally for the season to 11. Fenlon said: “I was delighted for Doyle. He worked tremendously hard, put in a real shift as he did every game.
“Things hadn’t come off for him but his persistence paid off.”
Asked if Doyle’s double had put him in contention for a Cup final place, Fenlon said: “They are all in my thoughts, that’s what I said when we qualified, to make sure they gave me a headache. We said we wanted to finish seventh, win on Saturday and we will do that.”
Hibs are giving fans a final opportunity to win the right to buy tickets for the Cup final after those allocated for general sale sold out.
Five hundred lucky supporters who buy a brief for the visit of Dundee will be drawn from a ballot after the game and each winner will be able to buy two tickets for Hampden.