Queen of the South 1-3 Hibs: Christian Doidge shines as visitors avoid shock factor

There was a shock as well as snow in the air at Palmerston Park but a goal just before half-time from Christian Doidge, the first of a double, settled Hibs.

Christian Doidge, far right, scored twice for Hibs at Queen of the South.
Christian Doidge, far right, scored twice for Hibs at Queen of the South.

The striker is known for his ‘streaky’ scoring spells. Could this be another one starting at the just the right time, in terms of his international as well as club ambitions?

Wales might appear able to resist his ability, but Hibs can’t if they are to achieve all they wish for in both the Scottish Cup and league. He scored after a 15-game drought to earn a point against Livingston in Hibs’ previous game and then set his side on his way here with a goal four minutes before half-time. He scored again after 67 minutes following a quick breakaway to put Queens’ hopes in serious jeopardy. Martin Boyle confirmed there was no way back for the hosts two minutes later with a neat finish.

The win earns Hibs a quick return to Dumfries and Galloway in the last 16. Stranraer will host Hibs in possibly more clement weather – though the League 2 side might prefer that the conditions prove as inhospitable as possible.

Hibs coped with everything they faced here, including some show showers and often bright play from Queens. Doidge earned the headlines but Matt Macey, the goalkeeper making only his third Hibs appearance in place of the rested Ofir Marciano, pulled off a fine save to deny Connor Shields.

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It was a defining moment because a couple of minutes later Hibs pulled further ahead with Doidge’s second of the night. There was some controversy involved. Stephen Dobbie fell in the Hibs box under a challenge from Joe Newell. With the Queens skipper still appealing to Willie Collum for a penalty, Newell sped off and fed Doidge. The striker expertly drew Ferguson before slotting home. The Welsh striker came close to getting a hat-trick when a header hit the post before he was replaced with five minutes left.

He will acknowledge that his opener was as much a product of the impressive Josh Doig’s persistence as anything else after he refused to give up on an over hit through ball from Alex Gogic and managed to win a corner.

Boyle’s corner sparked chaos in the box and Doidge pounced on Gogic’s blocked shot and swept the ball past Rohan Ferguson from the edge of the six-yard box.

Doig gave Hibs impetus from left wingback and might also have scored early in the second half when his volley skipped just past the post. Another volley flew narrowly over.

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Queens had bounced back from two successive defeats to earn that historic victory over Hearts at Tynecastle last weekend, but they were overpowered in the second half as they sought to make it a famous Edinburgh double.

On Rangers left-back James Maxwell did score a fine solo goal after nutmegging Paul Hanlon with nine minutes left. Rhys McCabe also hit the bar with a free-kick a minute before the break.

Howling wind as well as snow proved challenging, as did an artificial surface that looks to be past its best. Dobbie played a significant role but not in the way he wanted.

As well as his involvement in Hibs’ vital second goal, he blazed high over when presented with the chance to put his side in front after just six minutes when a flicked-on header from McCabe’s long throw found him unmarked at the back post.