HIBERNIAN 1-0 ST MIRREN 3.8.2019

Having already taken in one game during my trip to Edinburgh on the Friday night, I decided to take in a second game on the Saturday afternoon at a ground I hadn’t been to for a while.

Unlike my other game, there was no Northern Ireland involvement in this, with both clubs parting company with Managers from Northern Ireland this year.

A change in manager seemed to work for Hibs, as they finished the season in title winning form under Paul Heckingbottom, although the manager they got rid of did win the League.

This was my first time seeing St Mirren in the flesh, though it might have been my second, as they randomly played a pre-season friendly a few streets away against Rosario, though I didn’t end up going to that match.

This was my first visit to Easter Road since 2013. They were away when I visited Edinburgh in 2014 and 2015, although I did turn down the chance to see them play in the League Cup against Stranraer in 2015 as I decided to see James in concert instead.

I didn’t visit Edinburgh in 2016. They were at home when I visited in 2017 but I went to see Edinburgh City instead, and they didn’t play when I visited in 2018.

Surprisingly, despite not visiting in six year, I was able to walk to the ground and not get lost. It’s very easy to remember the route from Edinburgh City Centre.

What it now means, is that when August 2020 comes around, it will be five years now since my last visit to Tynecastle, so I know what I want the Fixture Fairy to bring me.

There wasn’t much options in terms of games in Edinburgh or close to Edinburgh. Livingston were at home, but the ground seemed hard to get to, while Edinburgh City were away from home.

The previous weekend, Liverpool played Napoli in a friendly at Murrayfield, which finished 3-0 to Napoli. They maybe should have done that last December instead and made everybody’s Summer a lot more bearable. Useless shower.

Unfortunately, United didn’t follow suit, playing their friendly against AC Milan in Cardiff instead.

You could just imagine Ole Gunnar Solskjaer handing out flyers in Pleasance while despairing as Phil Jones and Chris Smalling accidentally got nominated for a Perrier Award.

With tickets for this game being on general sale, I took the opportunity to purchase one for the away end, meaning that I will have been in all four sides of Easter Road, but not all stands, as the game I attended in the East Stand was in 2009, before being demolished to make way for a modern stand in 2010.

One of the highlights of the game came before the match, watching as bemused American tourists wonder what is going on, as St Mirren fans marched to the game signing their team’s songs.

St Mirren were straight on the attack from kick-off and were holding their own in a game that not many were expecting them to get anything from.

However, it was Hibs who had the first strike of note when a long range shot from Stevie Mallan went just wide.

St Mirren were mostly relying on counter attacks, which were very effective.

Hibs had a few decent attacks, with St Mirren usually being forced into a last ditch block or tackle

The closest they came to scoring was when a Scott Allan shot hit the post.

Hibs thought they had made the breakthrough, only to be denied by an offside flag. St Mirren fans responded by taunting the Hibs fans beside them when “Sit down” gestures like Neil Lennon did against Hearts last season.

There was more frustration for Hibs when Christian Doidge missed an open net from a cross.

Just when it looked like St Mirren were going to get an unlikely point, Scott Allan burst through to fire low to give Hibs the lead with a few minutes to go.

But not the points, well not for certain, as St Mirren had a late rally in response, resulting in Jonathan Obika stretching for a cross, but firing over, as Hibs began the season with a win on Matchday 1.

Matchday 2 saw them crash down to earth with a 6-1 defeat at Rangers, and they were overtaken in the table on goal difference by St Mirren, who beat Aberdeen 1-0. It’s a funny old game.

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