Hibs reaction: Not-so-happy birthday Hibernian FC and the return of Neil Lennon
Substitute Alex Greive headed in a winner with two minutes left to give St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson his first-ever win at Easter Road. Away from the action, here are some other talking points from an entertaining clash as the two teams kicked-off their league season.
Not-so-happy birthday Hibs
As any student of football knows, Hibernian Football Club were formed 1875. But did you know 6 August was the exact date? So it seemed especially cruel to see Hibs undone by a late goal on what was the club’s 148th birthday. It’s their party and they will cry if they want to seemed to be an apt observation as home fans shuffled out at the end. Alex Greive’s late winner to make it 3-2 to St Mirren was hard to bear for the majority of the very decent crowd of over 17,000 inside the stadium.
In the excellent fans’ produced programme, The Hibernian, a feature looks back at past games on the same date. The two selected by the editors were friendlies against English opposition. One, in 1966, was against Nottingham Forest and the other was from 1983, when QPR were the visitors. Both games finished with a 3-2 scoreline as well, with Hibs winning in the case of the Forest game. Spooky, eh?
Awkward Lennon return
There were some very interesting and well kent faces in the main stand for yesterday’s game, with Neil Lennon’s very visible presence making things a little awkward at half-time as the fans jeered Hibs off with the score 2-0 to the visitors.
Many Easter Road fans would be warmly in favour of welcoming Lennon back to the club and he seemed happy to be back for a one-off game as he posed for pictures and hugged old pals. Lee Johnson might not have been so delighted to see him. Of course, there is a more obvious reason for Lennon’s return for this particular fixture.
His son, Gallagher, has just signed a one year deal with St Mirren as he aims to continue following his father’s footsteps into professional football having been released by Partick Thistle. Also spotted in the main stand was former Hibs and Liverpool ‘keeper Adam Bogdan, who was sitting with one-time goalkeeper teammate at Easter Road Kevin Dabrowski, now at Raith Rovers.
Perhaps they reasoned Hibs needed some back-up after their goalie woes of last Thursday evening against Andorran side Inter Club d’Escaldes. Happily David Marshall survived this one just about unscathed although he did bear the brunt of a couple of hefty challenges, with treatment required after one of them.
Multi-million pound O’Hara
St Mirren skipper Mark O’Hara has come a long way since he was a full back at Kilmarnock. The Rugby Park club let him sign for Dundee, whose manager at the time, Paul Harley, converted the player into a midfielder, which is where he excels today. Yesterday was another performance that suggested he could be set for still better things. He is only 27 and in his prime years, having made his debut for Kilmarnock as a 16-year-old.
O’Hara sent David Marshall the wrong way after 16 minutes from the penalty spot and then released Toyosi Olusanya for St Mirren’s second goal two minutes later. Is Stephen Robinson worried O’Hara might be tempted by a bigger club? "When someone bids about £10 million for him,” the St Mirren manager said. “I don't make the decisions on finances. That would be a board decision but hopefully that doesn't happen.”
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