The stars of the dramatic evening were the goalkeepers. Darren Randolph and our old boy Mark Brown stole the show with a series of goal defying saves when it seemed certain that they would concede. In the end Brown produced two penalty saves to Randolph’s one and the tie was lost.
As promised by the manager the day before, we fielded the same eleven that crumbled on Saturday and it has to be admitted that there was an improvement, eventually. Hibs took charge from the kick off and they should have taken the lead after a minute when our defence was unable to stop a flowing move that ended with Griffiths’ attempt that was thwarted by Randolph outstretched leg.
The visitors persevered and took the lead when O’Connor finished off Griffiths’ low cross from the six yard line. The home crowd was not impressed and the players had to dig deep to turn the tide. They got themselves back in the game after half an hour when Lasley drilled home following a knock down from Higdon. By this time Humphrey has already teased the Hibs back line and a few inviting ball had whizzed across their box. Better was to come and Higdon curled our second low inside the post. He might have added another shortly before the break.
The second half was remarkable. Randolph made three brilliant stops from Griffiths inside the first ten minutes as Hibs piled forward. We struck back with a couple a good moves. Humphrey and Lasley played a one-two and Higdon was presented with a heading opportunity which went high. Higdon released Humphrey and Law finished the move with a curler just wide. Meanwhile O’Connor was booked for a handball on the line following a stramash caused by a weak pass back.
By this time the game rattled from end to end and chances came thick and fast. There were only five minutes of normal time remaining when O’Connor grabbed a lifeline following slip up by Craigan. A draw after ninety minutes was the least the visitors deserved.
The extra time period offered no let up in the action. Law came close and Murphy almost managed a dink over Brown but an outstretched arm denied him. Mchugh made a lung bursting run and set up Lasley but his shot was dragged wide. The young striker than had the ball in the net but the assistand flagged and the goal was disallowed.
The penalties took place at the Cooper end and Hibs got proceedings underway. Our heads dipped when Murphy missed our second spot kick and all the others scored until Randolph saved the tenth penalty to move us to sudden death. It was cruel that Law’s failed attempt lost the game, he had been outstanding in open play.
There was very little between the teams but the fact remains that we conceded in the last five minutes of normal time and then lost the game. The players will have another chance to get a home win on Saturday when they face another team knocked out – Aberdeen.