Hibernian's dramatic 2016 Scottish Cup campaign is summarised, round by round.
From a breathless final ten minutes at Tynecastle to a debutant's sterling penalty shootout performance at Hampden Park, Hibernian's road to Scottish Cup glory is noted below.
SCOTTISH CUP FOURTH ROUND
Raith Rovers 0 - 2 Hibernian
Saturday 9th January 2016, Stark's Park
(pic: Scottish Sun)
Written by Hibernian Media
Hibernian’s route to the William Hill Scottish Cup Final kicked off with an away trip to Kirkcaldy against fellow Ladbrokes Championship side Raith Rovers on 9th January.
The match saw two new debutants for the Club in the form Chris Dagnall, who joined from Indian side Kerala Blasters, and Niklas Gunnarsson, who arrived on loan from Valerenga of Norway, writes Conor Rafferty.
A very balanced first half saw both side have little in the way of clear-cut chances, the best coming from Ross Callachan after he almost converted James Craigen’s cross, but Mark Oxley was quick to pounce before it crossed the line.
The game eventually swung into life in second half and Hibernian began creating more chances when Liam Henderson was introduced into the action. However, it was Paul Hanlon who forced Kevin Cuthbert into a save when he drove from the defence and struck an effort at goal from distance.
The breakthrough goal eventually came when substitute Darren McGregor’s let fly with an effort on goal from a Lewis Stevenson’s cross. His first-time effort found was rifled beyond Cuthbert from the edge of the box, sparking celebratory scenes from the away supporters at Stark’s Park.
Hibernian doubled their lead and confirmed their passage into the William Hill Scottish Cup Fifth Round courtesy of Dominique Malonga.
The Congolese internationalist’s stunning right footed effort curled into the top corner of the Raith goal only three minutes after the opening strike. The strike completed the scoring in the tie, whilst also completing Malonga's goalscoring in his Hibernian career. The forward would play one more match for the greens and leave the Club at the end of that month to join Italian Serie B side Pro Vercelli.
Although Malonga's goal may have missed out on the Goal of the Round competition, it will be fondly remembered by those in attendance as it sealed Hibernian's safe passage into the next round.
After a bitterly cold yet successful afternoon in Kirkcaldy, the journey to the Scottish Cup Final continued.
Raith Rovers: Cuthbert, Matthews (Anderson 65'), Benedictus, Davidson, McKeown, Robertson, Callachan, Craigen, Bates, Daly and Megginson (McCord 79')
Unused subs: Petrie, Ellis, Ford, Court and Law
Hibernian: Oxley, Gunnarsson (McGregor 54'), Hanlon, Fontaine, Stevenson, McGeouch, Bartley (Henderson 59'), Keatings, McGinn, Malonga (Boyle 84') and Dagnall
Unused subs: Anier, Forster, Brennan and Shaw
Scorer(s): McGregor (61') and Malonga (64')
Referee: William Collum
SCOTTISH CUP FIFTH ROUND
Heart of Midlothian 2 - 2 Hibernian
Sunday 7th February 2016, Tynecastle Stadium
(pic: Evening Times)
Written by Hibernian Media
In what is probably one of the most dramatic Edinburgh Derbies in recent memory, Alan Stubbs’ side staged a dramatic second half comeback, after being 2-0 down at Tynecastle in the William Hill Scottish Cup Fifth Round to secure a replay at Easter Road.
The first 45 minutes at Tynecastle were forgetful for Hibernian fans. Dylan McGeouch left the field injured after half an hour before Hearts took the lead through goals from Arnaud Djoum and Sam Nicholson. The first half did see Kevin Thomson make his third debut for the Club after joining Hibernian in a player-coach capacity from Dundee.
Following the half time interval, Hibernian began to press for a route back into the tie for the majority of the second half, penning their Edinburgh rivals back in their own half.
Niklas Gunnarsson almost found the back of the net, but Neil Alexander got a hand to his header, before Anthony Stokes fired a shot into the side netting.
Hibernian looked to be unable to find a way beyond Alexander in the Hearts goal, until ten minutes from time. Jason Cummings looped a phenomenal header from a Liam Henderson cross over the former Rangers goalkeeper, leaving him with the duty of picking the ball out the back of his net with a slender advantage to hold onto.
The Leith side kept pushing forward in search of the equalising goal and were made to wait until deep into injury time to secure a replay at Easter Road.
From an 'all or nothing' corner kick, Darren McGregor managed to latch onto the ball with a header, forcing a quick reaction save from Neil Alexander. The ball was pushed into the middle of the six-yard box, with Paul Hanlon first to pounce as he guided the ball home in front of a jubilant set of fans in the Roseburn Stand.
After euphoric celebrations from both the Hibernian supporters and players, the hosts almost found a late goal of their own when Gunnarsson’s clearance crashed off the top of the crossbar and out for a corner. From the resulting set piece, debutant Kevin Thomson was called into action as he cleared Augusyn’s effort off the line, before a scramble in the box saw the ball cleared up-field.
The game finished 2-2, meaning the sides were to meet again in another Edinburgh Derby, in what would be at a pulsating sold out Easter Road Stadium.
Heart of Midlothian: Alexander, Paterson, Augustyn, Ozturk (Oshaniwa 50'), McGhee, Buaben (Cowie 10'), Pallardo Gonzalez, Reilly, Sutchuin-Djoum (Walker 82'), Nicholson and Dauda
Unused subs: Hamilton, Delgado Lloria, Souttar and Zanatta
Scorer(s): Sutchuin-Djoum (32') and Nicholson (44')
Hibernian: Oxley, Gray (Gunnarsson 54'), McGregor, Hanlon, Stevenson, Bartley, McGeouch (Thomson 31'), McGinn, Henderson, Stokes and Cummings
Unused subs: Fontaine, Boyle, Keatings, Dagnall and Virtanen
Scorer(s): Cummings (80') and Hanlon (90'+1)
Referee: Craig Thomson
SCOTTISH CUP FIFTH ROUND REPLAY
Hibernian 1 - 0 Heart of Midlothian
Tuesday 16th February 2016, Easter Road Stadium
(pic: Daily Record)
Written by HHT media
After dramatic proceedings during the Edinburgh Derby at Tynecastle, the resultant replay match came nine days later at Easter Road, with Hibernian picking up where they left off in Gorgie – on top and searching for goals.
Starting very brightly, David Gray’s right-wing cross was whipped into the danger area of the Hearts box, with Jason Cummings pouncing on the ball and slamming it into the back of the net after just four minutes.
In a very tense affair, Hearts found the net twice through Abiola Dauda and Juanma, but both chanses were adjudged by the linesman to be offside.
Cummings and Blazej Augustyn both saw reds in the second half, with Hibernian holding on to claim the bragging rights in Edinburgh.
A hair-raising rendition of 'Sunshine of Leith' was proudly orchestrated by the Hibernian support, as the team circled the pitch to absorb the atmosphere at a sold out Easter Road.
Hibernian: Oxley, Gray, McGregor, Hanlon, Stevenson, Bartley, Henderson (Boyle 88'), Thomson (Carmichael 69'), McGinn, Stokes (Keatings 90'+2) and Cummings (sent off 78')
Unused subs: Fontaine, Gunnarsson, Dagnall and Virtanen
Scorer(s): Cummings (4')
Heart of Midlothian: Alexander, Paterson, Augustyn (sent off 76'), Rossi (Souttar 77'), McGhee, Cowie, Sutchuin-Djoum, Pallardo Gonzalez (Nicholson 59'), Walker (Zanatta 84'), Dauda and Delgado Lloria
Unused subs: Hamilton, Oshaniwa, Reilly and Beith
Referee: John Beaton
SCOTTISH CUP QUARTER FINAL
Hibernian 1 - 1 Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Sunday 6th March 2016, Easter Road Stadium
(pic: Scottish Sun)
Written by Hibernian Media
Hibernian would have to do without top goal scorer Jason Cummings for the quarter final tie against Inverness Caledonian Thistle, so in stepped summer signing James Keatings who partnered Anthony Stokes up top at Easter Road.
Alan Stubbs’ men had a spectacular chance early on. A David Gray header from Liam Henderson’s free kick forced keeper Owain Fon Williams to parry it back into the path of Liam Fontaine, but the central defender saw his effort stopped before it found the back of the net.
Later, Keatings thought he had given Hibernian the lead, tapping the ball in following Stokes’ lovely turn and shot as the strike came off the post. However, the flag was raised for offside on the former Hamilton Academical and Celtic forward.
It was in the second half when the deadlock was broken, with Hibernian taking the lead.
After some lovely play down the right side between Gray and Stokes, the latter teed up Keatings for a first time finish beyond Fon Williams.
The home side looked to hold onto their narrow lead as Inverness grew into the game. John Hughes reacted by making two substitutions that would salvage a replay for his side, with former Hibernian player Lewis Horner and striker Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo linking up well after entering the field of play.
Horner burst beyond the defence down the right hand side and cut the ball back to Mbuyi-Mutombo, who smashed the ball into the roof of the net to send the tie to a replay in the Highlands.
Hibernian: Oxley, Gray, McGregor, Fontaine, Stevenson, Henderson, McGeouch (Gunnarsson 26'), Thomson, McGinn, Keatings (Dagnall 86') and Stokes
Unused subs: El Alagui, Boyle, Virtanen, Shaw and Donaldson
Scorer(s): Keatings (54')
Inverness Caledonian Thistle: Fon Williams, Polworth (Horner 72'), Warren, Devine, Tremarco, Roberts, Tansey, Draper, Vigurs (Mbuyi-Mutombo 73'), Williams and Storey
Unused subs: Esson, Williams, Foran, Wedderburn, L Hughes
Scorer(s): Mbuyi-Mutombo (77')
Referee: Crawford Allan
SCOTTISH CUP QUARTER FINAL REPLAY
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1 - 2 Hibernian
Saturday 16th March 2016, Caledonian Stadium
(pic: Scottish Sun)
Written by Hibernian Media
Hibernian ventured to the Highlands three days after a narrow defeat in the 2016 League Cup Final. The side were looking to book their second trip of the season to Hampden Park by winning the Scottish Cup Quarter Final Reply with Inverness.
Anthony Stokes struck twice in the first half to give the Edinburgh side a secure lead at half time. The Irishman's first was a finish from inside the box following a cross from Lewis Stevenson, before adding a second after Cummings had an effort save and Stokes pouncing on the loose ball.
Iain Vigurs then gave the home side hope of getting back on level terms, converting from Richie Foran’s header in the 77th minute to ensure a nervy finish.
Mark Oxley was booked in the second half, not long before being forced off after losing a contact lens and suffering from blurred vision. The booking signalled the goalkeeper's suspension from the next round of the tournament should Hibernian progress.
Despite the change of goalkeeper with Otso Virtanen coming on for Mark Oxley, Hibernian held on to book their place at Hampden Park in the William Hill Scottish Cup Semi Final against Dundee United the following month.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle: Fon Williams, Meekings, Warren, Devine, Tremarco (Polworth 73'), Horner (Storey 62'), Draper, Wedderburn (Williams 62'), Vigurs, Foran and L Hughes
Unused subs: Esson, Williams and Roberts
Scorer(s): Vigurs (77')
Hibernian: Oxley (Virtanen 88'), Gray, McGregor, Fontaine, Stevenson, Keatings (Gunnarssoon 80'), Bartley, Henderson, McGinn, Stokes, Cummings
Unused subs: El Alagui, Handling, Boyle, Dagnall and Thomson
Scorer(s): Stokes (36', 41')
Referee: Stephen Finnie
SCOTTISH CUP SEMI FINAL
Hibernian 0 - 0 Dundee United (AET)*
Saturday 21st May 2016, Hampden Park
*Hibernian win 4-2 on penalties
Written by Hibernian Media
Despite Hibernian coming out on top against Dundee United when the sides met in the League Cup Quarter Final presented by Utilita earlier on in the season, it took for a penalty shootout to separate the sides at Hampden Park in the William Hill Scottish Cup Semi Final.
With goalkeeper Mark Oxley suspended for the semi final, Alan Stubbs reacted to the predicament by signing former Leicester City goalkeeper Conrad Logan on a short term contract. Much to the surprise of the Hibernian support that made their way to Hampden for the Scottish Cup encounter, Logan was in the starting eleven ahead of Otso Virtanen, who had been reserve keeper for the majority of the season.
Prior to signing for Hibernian, Logan had not played a senior match for sixteen months and he was never going to get an easy debut in a national semi final. The limelight was firmly on the goalkeeper as he was called into action early on to stop Billy McKay, who had raced in behind to go one-on-one with the former Leicester City goalkeeper. Logan spread himself well and stopped the Wigan loanee breaking the deadlock for his side.
It was Alan Stubbs’ side however that had the best chance to open the scoring in the first half, when defender Coll Donaldson raised his hand in the box to stop a cross. Despite his protests as he argued that it hit his head, referee John Beaton was adamant in his decision to award Hibernian a penalty.
The onus was on top scorer Jason Cummings to convert from the spot, but his chip down the middle sailed over Eiji Kawashima’s goal and the score remained 0-0.
Before the first half finished, McKay forced debutant Logan into another spectacular one-on-one stop. Paul Hanlon opted to let the ball roll through for the goalkeeper to collect and McKay, despite actually being offside, raced in before Logan but the striker again was unable to find a way past him.
In the second half, Dundee United had an effort cleared off the line by Paul Hanlon. A shot from Ryan Dow was deflected into the ground by Darren McGregor, with the ball bouncing high towards the goal. However, Paul Hanlon dealt with the danger by heading clear.
A tiring period of extra time for Hibernian meant that the greens were happy for the game to be decided by penalties. The Leith side were in the midst of a busy fixture list and it was evident on the pitch, with exhaustion levels increasing as the minutes ticked by.
Logan was called into action a couple of times in the extra time period. Former Hibernian player John Rankin hit a low long range effort which Logan had to be down quick to push around the post. Another former Hibernian man, who had only just been on loan for the first half of that season, Henri Anier, had a great one-on-one chance after being fed through by McKay. However, Logan stood strong and smothered Anier's shot before safely collecting a rebounded effort from Dow. The Hibernian fans reacted to the keeper's performance by giving Logan a standing ovation.
Logan confirmed his man of the match performance when the tie eventually ran its course and ended with a penalty shoot-out.
Blair Spittal of Dundee United was first up to the spot, with his penalty parried away to safety by Logan to boost Hibernian’s chances of reaching the final. John McGinn was next and he emphatically converted his penalty, leaving Billy McKay with the arduous task of salvaging the penalty shoot-out for Dundee United.
McKay, who had already been thwarted by Logan twice in the match, shot his penalty low to the goalkeeper’s right, with the debutant spectacularly getting down to save his effort to cap off a fantastic performance. Following this, Hanlon’s assured penalty then gave Hibernian a two-goal cushion in the shoot-out.
Martin Boyle’s successful spot-kick in between Paul Dixon and Guy Demel scoring for United allowed Cummings the opportunity to atone for his earlier penalty miss. The striker took his chance, slotting the ball into the net and sending Hibernian into their third William Hill Scottish Cup Final in five seasons.
Hibernian: Logan, Gray, McGregor, Hanlon, Stevenson, Bartley, Fyvie, McGinn, Henderson (Boyle 85'), Cummings and Stokes (El Alagui 79') (Dagnall 96')
Unused subs: Handling, Gunnarsson, Thomson and Virtanen
Dundee United: Kawashima, Knoyle, Morris (Dixon 34'), Donaldson (Demel 74'), Dillon, Paton, Rankin, Spittal, Dow, Erskine (Anier 76') and Mckay
Unused subs: Ofere, Fraser, Zwick and Sinama-Pongolle
Referee: John Beaton
SCOTTISH CUP FINAL
Rangers 2 - 3 Hibernian
Saturday 21st May 2016, Hampden Park
(pic: Getty Images)
Written by Richard Payne
The Hibernian team of 2016 etched their names into the history books on Saturday 21st May 2016, defeating Rangers 3-2 at Hampden Park and winning the Club's first Scottish Cup for 114 years.
Over a century of hurt was washed away in 90 minutes as Alan Stubbs side created history at the National Stadium.
Anthony Stokes got Hibernian off to the perfect start when he fired the team ahead after only three minutes before Kenny Miller and Andy Halliday turned the tie on its head.
That is until late on when Stokes scored his second of the afternoon to level it before captain and talisman David Gray nodded home a dramatic winner to spark scenes of wild celebration.
There were two changes to the Hibernian line-up following their last outing. A week prior to the Scottish Cup Final showpiece, Hibernian had suffered promotion heartache at the hands of Falkirk. A stoppage time goal gave the Bairns a 3-2 win in the second leg of the Premiership Semi-Final Play-Offs, consigning Hibernian to a third consecutive season of second tier Scottish League football. The Leith side had to dust themselves down however, with Liam Fontaine and Jason Cummings replacing Liam Henderson and James Keatings for the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden Park.
The Easter Road men got off to a dream start when John McGinn held off a couple of challenges before finding Cummings. The young Scot fed fellow striking partner Stokes on the left and the Irishman drove into the Rangers penalty box before firing beyond Wes Foderingham to score.
Hibernian were flying and had a good chance to extend their lead soon after when Cummings' close range shot was blocked and Stokes' effort from the rebound was deflected wide.
In the 10th minute, Cummings raced in behind the Rangers defence, but a heavy touch when trying to take it round Danny Wilson allowed the defender to clear.
Rangers had their first opportunity at goal moments later from a free kick on the edge of the Hibernian penalty box, however Halliday's strike was blocked by the defensive wall.
Hibernian were quickly back on the offensive with Stokes drawing a save from Foderingham before McGinn’s dink landed on the roof of the net.
Against the run of play, Rangers levelled as James Tavernier’s cross from the right saw Miller rise above Darren McGregor and the former Hibernian player’s header gave Conrad Logan no chance.
The equaliser was a bitter pill for Hibernian to swallow having dominated the opening stages, however the Easter Road men almost immediately restored their lead as Stokes’ powerful 25-yard shot slammed into Foderingham’s near post with the goalkeeper beaten.
The Hibernian goal then survived a major scare. Miller was allowed to connect unchallenged with a Barrie McKay corner kick and his header crashed back off the crossbar.
A pulsating opening 45 minutes would come to a close with Hibernian on top and carving out a number of opportunities.
The first came when Stokes peeled off the left flank before beating Tavernier and shooting for the near post - only for the fingertips of Foderingham to push it around the post for a corner kick.
Then a dummy from Liam Fontaine carved open Rangers, allowing Cummings in, however Foderingham again saved.
In the final opportunity of the first half, McGregor’s cross from the right flashed across the face of the Rangers goal before the stretching Stokes headed wide.
The on-loan Celtic striker had the first opportunity of the second half when he picked up the ball wide left before unleashing a powerful drive that kicked up just in front of Foderingham, who did well to push it round the post for a corner kick.
Hibernian kept pressing and from a McGinn free kick Fontaine was just off target with a diving header.
Then, out of nothing, Rangers took the lead. Halliday unleashed a stunning left foot drive that fizzed past Logan into the far corner of the net. It looked to be another disappointing day at Hampden for Hibernian.
The Leith side then introduced Liam Henderson and James Keatings, whilst moving to a 4-4-2 formation, and it paid off in the 79th minute when Henderson’s corner kick was headed in at the near post by Stokes.
From then on in there was only going to be one winner and in the 92nd minute a driven Stokes cross was pushed away for a corner kick by the fingertips of Foderingham.
From the set piece, again delivered by Henderson, Gray rose highest to power home a header that broke Rangers’ hearts and ended over a century of hurt down Leith.
Rangers: Foderingham, Travernier, Kiernan, Wilson, Wallace, Zalalem (Shiels 63'), Halliday, Holt, Waghorn (Clark 75'), Miller, McKay
Unused subs: Bell, Law and Burt
Scorer(s): Miller (27') and Halliday (64')
Hibernian: Logan, McGregor, Hanlon (Gunnarsson 83'), Fontaine (Henderson 70'), Gray, Fyvie, McGeouch, McGinn, Stevenson, Stokes and Cummings (Keatings 65')
Unused subs: Oxley, Bartley, Boyle and Dagnall
Scorer(s): Stokes (3', 80') and Gray (90'+2)
Referee: Steven McLean