Hibs 1 - 3 Queen of the South: Dobbie returns to haunt Hibs
Few things seemed so guaranteed as Stephen Dobbie returning to haunt Hibs '“ and so it proved. But there was another unwanted blast from the past in the form of Grant Anderson heading home a crucial cup-tie goal against Hibs at Easter Road.
As in 2014, when he was then playing for Raith in the Scottish Cup, Anderson helped send the Edinburgh side spinning out of a domestic cup competition. His towering header compounded Hibs’ misery after the home side had taken a first-half lead through Paul Hanlon. Hibs looked on course to progress smoothly to the Betfred Cup quarter-finals but Dobbie’s arrival just after the interval altered the course of the match.
The striker, who spent 18 months at Hibs near the start of his career, struck the equaliser after 65 minutes. Anderson put the visitors ahead with eight minutes left and Lyndon Dykes completed a remarkable turnaround after 86 minutes.
On the evidence of the first-half, Queen of the South seemed incapable of stopping Hibs’ recent good cup form.
Hanlon opened the scoring after 21 minutes even if the club’s own official Twitter account saluted Grant Holt for the goal.
Holt should have scored shortly afterwards to make life a lot easier for Hibs but blazed wide after Jason Cummings’ cross.
But there was no sense then that Hibs would rue this miss – and there were a few other spurned opportunities in the first-half too.
Neil Lennon, the Hibs manager, remained true to a promise to avoid making wholesale changes after Saturday’s opening day win at Falkirk. There was only one in the end – Marvin Bartley replaced Scott Martin in midfield. Cummings and Holt reprised their partnership in attack with the busy James Keatings just in behind them, pulling the strings.
It was Keatings’ free kick that led to Hibs’ opener. Liam Fontaine helped the ball towards the far post, where Hanlon stabbed the ball into the net. Keatings should have scored himself after 26 minutes but shot too near goalkeeper Lee Robinson after Bartley’s cutback. This was shortly after Holt had been unable to convert Cummings’ intelligent ball to the back post.
But the opportunity was not as glaring at the one with which Fontaine was presented five minutes before half-time. Again Keatings was the architect with a whipped-in free-kick. But Fontaine’s header flashed just past the post when everyone expected Robinson’s net to bulge.
As for Queen of the South, they were initially disappointing after the positive start they made in the league with Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Dundee United. But as long as they remained only a goal behind, the home fans knew they could ill-afford to relax. More than a few will have had premonitions of what was to come when Dobbie bounded on to the pitch just two minutes into the second half to replace the injured Dale Hilson.
Dobbie is, of course, a hero of Hibs’ run to the League Cup final in 2004 – though he was not able to prevent a defeat by Livingston at Hampden after coming on in the second half.
But it was his introduction after the break here that spelled trouble for Hibs. Dean Brotherston, who replaced the loudly jeered Jamie Hamill, also played a part in the equaliser just moments after coming on.
His cross from the left found Dobbie, who thrashed a shot into the net. It was yet another snapshot of what Dobbie, this arch poacher, does so well. Other clubs, at a higher level than Queen of the South, might kick themselves for not doing more to convince Dobbie to come to them. But Brotherston, too, was proving just as bothersome to Hibs. His cross was met by the flying Anderson to put Queen of the South ahead, with questions asked of goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw’s flailing attempt to intercept the cross ball. Dobbie created the third goal for the visitors, squaring for Dykes who shot home from 18 yards.