A deserved win at UWC 25/11 with goals from Dan, Talbot and Andrew sealing the points In a season where late pull-out excuses have reached unbelievable levels of creativity, Hibs’ eleven available at kick-off slotted in nicely to each position and flew out of the blocks. Jamie headed a very good chance over from a corner, but then Dan gave the Casuals defence a few yards head start before he breezed past them and was chopped down. It was a comprehensive finish from the penalty for the lead and the away side didn’t let up and once stretched by Dan once more, the Hibs were queuing up to score from the cut back and Talbot guided it into the far corner to double the lead. As Thorin started his speech to give his flatmate an emotional send-off, Paul Marshal, returning to Cosmo action for the first time since he lost his bottle three years ago, started doing a John Stones impression and Lippy and Joey had a little tiff that gave Casuals some joy. They skied their chances, but eventually took one chance as Hibs fluffed numerous chances to clear a corner. By half-time we had some subs. Andrew had escaped from his zorb and Tony just bothered to turn up. Casuals equalised with a stood-up cross being nodded in by a giant at the back post, but that was the end of their threat despite having enough possession and Hibs had them stretched with Adam’s pace and An Rui causing problems. Nick had a free header that he somehow missed with the goal at his mercy, but it was the half-fit Andrew who came on to win the game. With Casuals more and more stretched, An Rui crossed perfectly for Andrew, who decided he could run this time, and thankfully for us he did as he steered the ball with a beautiful scissor side-foot into the corner. Alex was largely unemployed for the remainder of the game and Hibs stopped the rot. MOM goes to Dan this week as his blistering opening to the game set things up although An Rui and Jamie were notable others.
Sensing a turnaround after the last performance Casuals were confident going in to this clash with the Hibs. A few changes to the team again which has really seen Casuals unable to string together the same side all season – alas the squd was more than capable and we were keen to start the game well and control possession. We spoke about the threat of Dan and his pace so we were prepared for those long balls and hoped we could figure it out. 10mins gone and 2-0 down both goals created by Dans pace…read above! First one was a clear pen where Lee made a needless lunged and upended the striker. Pen dispatched. Second was similar, long ball down the flank picked up and then outpaced to square the ball for a simple finish. Up until the 2 goals Casuals were in possession and looked relatively good but the story of the season persistent and we conceded sloppy goals. Kaz and Jake were causing havoc up top and the midfield were in control so we felt that we could come back in to the game with plenty of time available. We had a number of clear chances in the first half which were either poorly finished, wrong decisions or just didn’t have the luck needed. We got a goal back and it was deserved, Ben finishing after good work from Jake. Deserved equaliser came with Andy crossing in to the far post for Angus to head home in what was a very good performance by the Nations protector. Subs were made to freshen up the team and to drive on for the win. Unfortunately for Casuals the equaliser inspired Hibs who came back in to the game and started to get a foot in to the middle. Casuals were still creating chances with Jake and Kaz continuing to torment the full backs at times the 2 young lads were perhaps a little too honest when being kicked and pulled in and around the box. Alas, Hibs broke away with 5mins to go and with Casuals switched off they attacked with numbers down the left and squared for a tidy finish near the back post. 3-2 the game ended! The mood after was deathly, the Casuals really need the xmas break and to figure out the downturn in results – commitment has been better the past few games however there are still a number that aren’t putting it in and its showing – less chat more action. Well done to Hibs, after the equaliser they could have surrendered but took the impetus to grind out the win. MOM Casuals – Jake & Kaz were close but Angus for his energy in the middle. MOM Hibs – Jamie at the back, solid performance from the Brummie.