Christian Doidge netted a Scottish Cup hat-trick as Hibs dumped runaway Championship leaders Dundee United out the cup with a 4-2 scoreline.
The first chance came within three minutes from an unusual source. Steven Whittaker, playing at CDM, bundled his way past multiple United players but could only fire wide.
Then Shankland had a shot on the tenth minute mark, and of course he scored, he always does. He masterfully chested the ball down before firing a brilliant effort from the edge of the box past Ofir Marciano.
Whittaker again found a brilliant opportunity. He raced through on goal but his shot was straight at Benjamin Siegrist, who covered his goal well and then Doidge blasted over.
Shankland had another first half chance. Somehow, he found himself completely unmarked in the box but could only volley over the bar. On the 40th minute, Martin Boyle was fouled in the box and a penalty was given.
Scott Allan showed his composure and slotted it home. Into the second half and Joe Newell inspired Hibs’ second. His mazy run into the box set Doidge up for the easiest of tap-ins. Adrien Sporle shortly equalised for the visitors.
Newell would turn provider for Doidge again though as his corner met the Welshman’s head to give Hibs another advantage. Doidge would get his hat-trick in the closing stages with a powerful close range effort.
BSC Glasgow await Hibs now whilst Dundee United’s focus returns to the Championship title race. Here are three things we learned.
Maybe Neilson had a point
Prior to this game, Dundee United boss Robbie Neilson hailed Shankland as the best finisher in Scotland. It’s a comment that’ll cause debate, but the Tangerines boss may have a point.
Shankland’s first half effort was unreal. He chested and hit the ball towards goal with the confidence of a man who’s now netted 26 in 26 games this season.
Put him in any team in Scotland, he’s scoring. The footballing world is Shankland’s oyster right now if he continues plodding along this scintillating path.
Whittaker could be Hibs’ CDM solution
Since the departures of Marvin Bartley and Mark Milligan, Hibs have missed a real CDM enforcer. Whilst he may be an unorthodox pick, veteran right-back Whittaker could be the key.
For one, the 35-year-old brings experience, something which is slightly lacking. On the basis of this performance too, he provides strong tackling, passing range, calmness and even attacking impetus.
If Ross is looking for a regular CDM fit, Whittaker is far from the worst option to turn to from now on.
Big for Hibs
With Championship glory the target, this Scottish Cup defeat won’t define Dundee United’s season. Winning the Championship is the main aim, and whilst a cup run would be nice, it’s not the big focus.
For Hibs, the Scottish Cup is huge. Sitting eight points off a potential European spot and six clear of the bottom six, a mid-table finish looks likely for the Hibees.
The cup provides fans with a reason to dream, with memories of 2016 still clear in most minds around Easter Road. Taking on BSC Glasgow of the Lowland League provides a huge chance to move into the quarter-finals. Then, Ross’ men are only one game away from a second Hampden appearance of the season.