We picked up our 3rd league win on the spin on Saturday, grinding out a 1-0 win against Hibs in unspeakably hot conditions. The 3pm sun and huge, dry pitch meant this was never going to be a thriller, and that proved to the case. We felt the first goal would be crucial in these conditions so lined up in a 442 to try and hit Hibs early on. The plan didn’t quite work out but we did create a number of chances, with Pete going close twice and Joe striking a post after good work in the box. At the other end, Hibs’ best chance came when Dan Martin hit the bar after we were caught out by a ball over the top. A lucky escape and we went in at HT 0-0. Bit of a reshuffle at HT, with Polo coming into midfield with Harry, and JJ given more of a free role behind Joe. We continued to have most of the possession in the second half and the breakthrough finally came just before the water break after a nice move down our right side. The ball found its way to Harry in the box and he unselfishly squared to Addy, who only had the keeper to beat for 1-0. Hibs tried to push on after that but, with energy levels low on both sides, we saw out the game relatively comfortably. Far from a classic, but we were very pleased with the win in difficult conditions. MOM for us - a few people deserve a mention. Joe was a handful up front and looks to be a great addition, Eneko and Matt organised the defence very well, and Daniele picked up his first clean sheet in what feels like a lifetime. But MOM goes to Sergio for a wonderful 19 minute cameo and an even better performance on the BBQ later on. Hibs MOM was the tall centre back, who looks to be a very tidy player. Thanks to Hibs and the ref for a fair and competitive game.
Hibs went down 1-0 to Aioli PM at a very brown PSA but at least we weren't all at Garden Beats. Both teams were just trying to survive the first half on the driest PSA pitch ever seen, but there were chances. APM hit the near post and worked Vish a couple of times but Hibs had two great chances themselves. Dan went through and won the foot race with the keeper and would have been well within his rights to tumble after the contact and probably would have seen the keeper given his marching orders (maybe), but he stayed just about upright and saw his shot hit the bar with the goal gaping. Dan then forced an excellent save out of the keeper as he again got free. While APM were good in possession the chances were even 0-0 HT. APM went ahead as Hibs switched off and Addy got in at the back post unmarked and scored. Hibs' best chance came to Julio as he was moved more central, but he hurried and dragged his shot wide when it seemed like it had opened up for him. There were very few other chances in the game and while Hibs defended well the quality on the ball was lacking this week. It was good to see teenage debutants, Xander and Marcus, who helped out last minute and got valuable experience. MoM goes to Steven who was composed and brought the ball out well from the back. MoM APM was Addy