He’s had a torrid time with injury over the past year, but Saturday was a brilliant day for Hibs‘ Martin Boyle.
Two knee injuries have limited his playing time. His first was suffered in December 2018 and it ruled him out for the rest of 2018/19. After making his return in pre-season, a second was had away to Elgin City in the League Cup.
Boyle’s second return came against Livingston, in which he salvaged a point for the Hibees. The Australian’s star studded performance against Aberdeen though really was proof Boyle is back to his pacey best.
Running the opposition into the ground
Featuring for 76 minutes, Boyle had a hand in all three goals as Hibs swept Aberdeen aside 3-0. In the first half he was hassling Andy Considine, which is no mean feat.
The Australian’s pace was too much to handle at times and the Dons left-back felt the full brunt of this. Boyle spread his speed to other areas of the park though, making runs across midfield and other areas of the park at blistering pace multiple times.
No end product was added in the first half, but in the second, Boyle turned up the heat. Just five minutes into the half and his pace left Aberdeen reeling with deadly consequences.
Scott Allan’s brilliant through ball put him in on goal and Boyle finished calmly. He burst behind the backline, leaving goalkeeper Joe Lewis on the floor before rolling the ball into the empty net.
It was a brilliant goal by Boyle but he wasn’t finished there. After another opportunity of his was blocked, Boyle was put through by Florian Kamberi. He showed brilliant determination to hold off Considine and slot the ball into the bottom corner.
Boyle turned provider for Hibs’ third, driving forward and passing the ball to Kamberi, who did a brilliant job of getting the ball into the net.
It was Boyle at his best and the Australian was subbed to rapturous applause from the Hibees support who were delighted that one of their favourite players had put on a stunning show for them.
His co-workers were pretty pleased too. Speaking after the game, Jack Ross didn’t hide his praise for Boyle: “He’s a really good player. He’s quick but is also a good footballer, he helped us. He is a terrific character and has desire to do well. He is a good all-round footballer as well as being quick.”
Allan was also full of praise for his Hibees teammate, hailing his pacey traits and his reputation as one of the loudest in the changing room.
“Boyler is one of the quickest players in the league, so making a pass like that becomes slightly easier,” Allan said with a smile.
“The team has missed him. You can’t buy that kind of natural pace. He gives defenders all sorts of nightmares because they don’t want to leave space in behind them and that frees up space for other players. When you’ve got someone like that, you play the ball into the space and you know he’s got a great chance of catching it.
“He still had a lot to do at the first but he dinked it over the keeper and slotted it away to get us up and running. It was a massive game from Boyler and I’m delighted for him, especially after the year he has had with injuries.
“He was skipping around at the end but he was skipping around like that even when he was injured! That’s just him in general, he’s a good character. We’ve got a few in this squad and he’s definitely the loudest.”
It was a terrific weekend of work from Boyle and he’s certainly left one or two Hibees in no doubt over his performance levels. His quality was on full display at the weekend as his quick showing wowed spectators.