Hibernian striker Jason Cummings insists Falkirk’s celebrations at the end of Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw at Easter Road will only strengthen their resolve to defeat Peter Houston’s side in the Ladbrokes Premiership play-offs.
The ten men left with a share of the spoils after netting twice in the last four minutes through David McCracken and Bob McHugh, completing an improbable comeback following the red card issued to defender Aaron Muirhead for a second bookable offence. The point kept the home side six points behind Falkirk in the league table and the dramatic nature of the result sparked joyous scenes in the away end.
Once the full-time whistle was blown the Falkirk players made their way back over to the fans to share the celebrations. It was an action that seemed to irk Hibs boss Alan Stubbs, who stated afterwards that “celebrations are for the middle of May” in what appeared a thinly-veiled dig at his opponents.
While Cummings had no issue with Falkirk celebrating what could prove to be an important point in the promotion battle, being forced to witness such raucousness at one end of the ground remained in the minds of the Hibs players, prompting an older head in the dressing room to make sure his younger team-mates were determined not to let it happen again.
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“We will face Falkirk again in the play-offs. Sometimes that kind of thing acts as a spur and drives you on to get a bit of revenge on them after they celebrated like that,” said Cummings. “It was Uncle Kev (Thomson) who mentioned it and said: ‘I hope you all saw that’.”
Thomson was a late substitute for Hibs, brought on shortly after Falkirk’s first goal to try and help Hibs see the game out. Though they were unable to secure the win, Cummings was quick to praise the midfielder’s influence on the dressing room, while also explaining the previously unknown nickname.
“We call Thomson ‘Uncle Kev’ because he helps a few of the younger boys like myself, Liam Henderson and John McGinn out a lot. He is like a father figure to some of the younger lads in the dressing room. He is good to talk to and Uncle Kev has just stuck.”
Hibs were on course for the victory after Cummings netted twice, capitalising on a McCracken header to give them a first-half lead before doubling the advantage with a late penalty. The striker has been going through something of a barren spell of late, netting only once in his previous nine matches at club level, and although Hibs were disappointed with the full-time result, getting Cummings back on the goal trail may be a significant boost ahead of this Saturday’s Scottish Cup semi-final meeting with Dundee United.
“It was good to score two goals as I have not been scoring and been my normal self in the past couple of months,” added Cummings.
“It was my 100th appearance so I was happy to get the goals, but the way it ended was a bit gutting for us.”