Union Berlin 2-0 Hibernian: Hibs chase shadows at sun down

Fenlon will hope for better in the final pre-season game against Huddersfield Town. Picture: SNS
Fenlon will hope for better in the final pre-season game against Huddersfield Town. Picture: SNS
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Hibernian were heading for home today readying themselves for their final preparatory match for the new season – Saturday’s visit from English Championship new boys Huddersfield Town – having lost the last game of their mini-European tour.

Scorers: Union Berlin - Parensien (50), Quiring (90+2)

A goal at the beginning of the second half from Michael Parensien and a tap-in two minutes into injury time by Christopher Quiring earned Union Berlin a well-deserved victory. Hibs had their moments, although any of real note came in the opening 45 minutes.

Manager Pat Fenlon reverted to what would appear to be close to his starting X1 for the opening SPL match against Dundee United in less than a fortnight, as Hibs ended their whirlwind trip around three European countries in the German capital.

Ross Caldwell, Danny Handling and Sam Stanton, scorers of all the Edinburgh club’s five goals in their three previous matches in Belgium and the Netherlands, had to settle for a seat on the bench, as did former Hearts star Alan Maybury who, in seeking a contract at Easter Road, had played a part in each of Hibs four pre-season matches to date.

The mercury in Berlin had touched 28C and the sun was still blazing down at kick-off, the early signs being that Hibs might be in for something of a roasting as goalkeeper Ben Williams had to watch closely as a Tijani Belaid free-kick zipped across the face of his goal and out at the far post before the Bundesliga 2 side were shouting loudly for a penalty, Simon Terodde went to ground in the scramble to clear Cristoph Menz’s first-time ball across the area. But Hibs kept their cool and began to turn up the heat on the hosts, Leigh Griffiths forcing goalkeeper Jan Glinker into two notable saves in the space of 30 seconds.

His first effort came courtesy of a perfectly timed through-ball from Lewis Stevenson, Glinker diving high to his right to turn Griffith’s shot aside and throwing himself to almost exactly the same spot to divert a second, deflected, attempt from the on-loan Wolves man.

Both sides would have welcomed the sight of the sun going down as they returned for the second half but as they did so Hibs began to find themselves chasing shadows. Five minutes after the restart they were 
behind, Parensien out-jumping everyone to place a header from Patrick Kohlmann beyond the despairing dive of Williams and thereafter it looked only a 
question of how many.

A combination of competent goalkeeping from Williams, goalsaving blocks from skipper James McPake and David Stephens, allied to a string of missed chances from the home side, kept Hibs in it and they had a half-chance to equalise when Pa Kujabi swung over a cross for his fellow substitute Ross Caldwell. On this occasion, though, the 18-year-old’s well-measured header was easily taken by Glinker.

As always on these occasions, both sides had made a string of substitutes and during the time added on for those stoppages, Union Berlin worked the ball to the bye-line for Quiring to knock into the empty net from a couple of yards out.