Defenders normally score from set-pieces, so the manner of Sibbick’s strike in Hearts’ 3-0 Scottish Cup triumph over Hibs was quite extraordinary. Down to ten men following Lawrence Shankland’s red card, the visitors were defending a two-goal lead in stoppage time before they hit on the counter. Sibbick strode forward from defence, played a one-two with Stephen Humphrys and then found himself clean through on goal. He showed all the composure of striker in clipping the ball over Hibs keeper David Marshall to score, before taking the adulation of the adoring Hearts fans.
“It was my first goal here at the club," said “I haven’t scored many in my career, it’s something I need to work on. To score and send the fans home happy – and they were going wild at the time – was an amazing feeling.
"If I don’t take the first touch, although it was heavy, I don’t necessarily think I score. It brings the keeper out a bit. If it was too close to my body he would’ve stayed on his line and the angle’s tighter. But the first touch brought him out and I just thought, ‘Just dink it over him’ and fortunately it worked. So I’m happy with it.
“I’ve been saying for a while now that I need to score. The one in the derby at home got disallowed So there was no better time than today to score my first one. Hopefully I can add a few more this season."
Sibbick may have got the headlines for his goalscoring exploits but he made an even greater contribution in defence, part of a back three that snuffed out Hibs’ in-form striker Kevin Nisbet. Hibs put plenty of pressure on their opponents, but Hearts held firm..
"It was a tough game,” said Sibbick. “Our fans were probably nervy watching it, Hibs hit the post a couple of times and had a few good chances. When we went down to ten men it was only 2-0, so to score the third and calm the nerves a bit was a good feeling.
"We were conceding far too many goals before the winter break. Since we came back we haven't conceded many. That's three clean sheets in a row now. We've been doing a lot of defensive work on the training pitch. It's something to keep building on. Ultimately, if you don't concede you can't lose the game. That's what we aim for. If we're solid at the back, we give our attackers the best chance of scoring.”
Sibbick copped a little bit of stick from the Hibs fans, given he was reportedly close to signing for them before moving permanently to Hearts, but the defender wasn’t fazed by that. “I don’t pay attention to that,” he added. “Fans will always try to get on your back but I had the backing of our fans today, I scored and hopefully that shut the Hibs fans up.”