'Well 1 Hibs 2

Last updated : 14 August 2004 By Firparkcorner
We got no points for our efforts against a Hibs team which managed to score a second half winner against the flow. Despite some heroics in front of goal we were unable to salvage a point in the first home game of the season.We'll play worse and win games....

The visitors paid a high price for their victory Murdock, Brebner and their assistant manager were all red carded late in the game in which tempers rather than football became the dominant factor.

Fir Park's first game of the season kicks off

Home fans were surprised to see Clarkson on the bench but the wee duo of McDonald and Burns set about their task with some determination. Toastie had three half chances inside the first ten minutes but we were already a goal down by then. A long ball over the top from our first attack gave O’Connor the chance to break between our square central defence and despite their best efforts he ran to the box and finished well for the opener.

The spirited fightback paid off in twenty minutes when Uncle Phil found the net for the first time since his return to the club. Good work by McDonald gave him the chance from deep inside the box and he fired home. It looked like we would take the lead shortly before the break when the ball arrived at the head of Fagan after a goalmouth stramash. His lobbed header was net bound with the keeper absent but Caldwell managed to clear off the line.

The penalty that never was...

McDonald started the second half with a brave, battling dribble which produced a neat pass for Patersonn to run in on goal from the left side of the box. He elected to shoot rather than square the ball to Burns but the keeper stood his ground. On another occasion, Paterson did fire over a great cross to Burns but his header went wide.

Terry sent on McBride for Fagan and later Clarkson replaced Toastie as our efforts increased. We were dominating the game but, all to predictable, Hibs scored the winner. Fifteen minutes remained when they took a quick free kick to the right wing. The cross was OConnor was first to the ball and it entered the net via Marshall’s far post.

Clarkson then had a mazy run, beating three defenders, before firing straight at the keeper. Foran treplaced the tiring Paterson and we laid siege on the Cooper end goal.

The debate rages about the ‘penalty that never was”. As Hammell and McBride stood over a free kick in front of the East Stand the referee spotted a tussle in the box. He blew the whistle but had the free kick been taken?? Murdock was shown red and Mr Underhill ordered a retaken kick. Moments later Brebner raised his arm at Craigan and he also had an early bath.

In a dramatic final two minutes we came close several times but the nine man defence was not breached. McBride had a rocket from twenty yards touched past the post and the whistle ended the game.

Despits lots of effort we failed to convert chances into goals. As someone said – “We’ll play worse and win!”