Match Report: Hibernian 0-3 Hearts23 January 2023
Josh Ginnelly scored the opener after ten minutes before second-half strikes from Lawrence Shankland and Toby Sibbick wrapped up an impressive afternoon for the boys in maroon.
It was Sibbick's first goal for the club, whilst Shankland's strike was his 20th of the season as he became the first Hearts player since John Robertson to score 20 in a season.
Robbie Neilson, unsurprisingly, stuck with the same Hearts team that comfortably dismantled Aberdeen at Tynecastle in midweek – a back three of Kye Rowles, Toby Sibbick, and James Hill was boosted by a midfield pairing of Robert Snodgrass and Cammy Devlin. Michael Smith and Alex Cochrane claimed the wing-back spots whilst Lawrence Shankland, Barrie McKay and Josh Ginnelly made up the Jambos’ forward line.
After a typically frantic start to the derby, which saw the Maroons soak up the pressure as Youan and Cadden squandered decent chances, Hearts raced into a dramatic lead after ten minutes. The ball fell favourably at the feet of Ginnelly in the box following a Snodgrass delivery, and he took his chance with aplomb - drilling home into the bottom left corner of David Marshall’s goal.
Hibs’ spirits had dampened somewhat, but they still made an effort to get back at Hearts. Aiden McGeady was able to glide into the box and test Zander Clark properly for the first time, forcing a stop from the ‘keeper after 21 minutes.
Alex Cochrane was a marauding danger down the left side, weaving his way through a sea of green shirts before sending a low delivery into the path of Michael Smith. The Northern Irishman didn’t have the same luxury of time as he did for his strike against Aberdeen, but still worked Marshall with a shot and forced a scrambling save.
Hibs kept going at Hearts, but their attacks kept crumbling before it could reach a crescendo; Josh Campbell rippled the side netting with a wayward header before Lewis Stevenson screwed a 20-yard raker wide. Despite enjoying spells with the ball, they were struggling to break through a firm Hearts rearguard.
HT: HIBERNIAN 0-1 HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN
Hibs started the half in much the same way it ended: wildly coming at Hearts in intense bursts. Zander Clark was quickly summoned into action to claw a Youan effort up into the air and away from danger.
Aiden McGeady, one of the hosts brightest attackers, cut inside and let loose from 35-yards – his effort sailing well wide of the Hearts goal. This parsimony in front of goal would ultimately prove to be disastrous for Hibs.
There was only man who would have his say on derby day in the capital and it was the captain: Lawrence Shankland! After some delightful interplay between himself and Stephen Humphrys, Shanks carved through a sea of green shirts before unleashing a ripper of a strike past Marshall. A history-making strike as he equalled a 31-year record set by the club’s record league scorer, John Robertson, to become the first Hearts player to hit 20 goals in a season.
The Jambos were reduced to ten men late on in the game after Lawrence Shankland picked up a second yellow following a 50/50 challenge with Rocky Bushiri.
The game wore on, with the board going up to signal eight minutes of added time to end the game, but Hearts weren’t done yet at Easter Road! Stephen Humphrys led Hearts up the park on the break, sliding in Toby Sibbick who lifted the ball over Marshall to wrap up the win, and spark scenes of jubilation in the away end!
Hibs: Marshall, Cabraja, Porteous, Cadden, Jeggo (McKirdy 73’), Nisbet, Stevenson, Youan, Campbell, Bushiri, McGeady
Subs: Schofield, Miller, Hanlon, Jair, Henderson, McKirdy, Fish, MacIntyre, Laidlaw
Hearts: Clark, Smith, Rowles, Sibbick, Hill (Atkinson 81’), Cochrane (Kingsley 60’), Snodgrass, Devlin, Ginnelly (Humphrys 65’), McKay (Grant 65’), Shankland
Subs: Stewart, Kingsley, Grant, Atkinson, Forrest, Humphrys, Kuol, Oda