It was a quiet first 45 as both sides looked for more in the second. It did eventually come to life and Christian Doidge smashed an effort into the top corner just after the hour mark to hand Jack Ross’ side another win.
Both teams were heading into this one in good spirits. Micky Mellon’s side secured a brilliant 1-0 away win against Motherwell in their last outing whilst Kevin Nisbet inspired Hibs to a 4-1 win over Livingston.
It was to be a tight affair in the opening 30 minutes with very little to split the sides. There was one shot registered in that period, with the main talking point a sickening clash of heads between Jamie Robson and Paul McGinn. Robson had to be substituted after the nasty clash with McGinn fortunate to continue playing, although it would appear as if both players are ok.
This match was all a bit stop-start, with Hibs probably having the better of pinning back their opposition. Nicky Clark was the first to have a fairly decent attempt on goal, his free kick deflected over the bar.
That was all that really happened in the first half in terms of action as both sides looked for a spark in the second. Benjamin Siegrist and Mark Reynolds almost caused a blunder in the early stages, getting in the way of each other before the ball was eventually scrambled clear under the pressure of the Hibs press.
The game was opening up slightly and Ian Harkes had a great chance, Luke Bolton doing well to find the American on the edge of the box. United’s midfielder could only drag his effort wide.
Nisbet was next to try and force the ball in, Martin Boyle’s charging run eventually finding its way to the forward who wasn’t able to get a clear shot away. The game had taken a while but it was starting to liven up.
And it was that Doidge guy who got the winning moment with an excellent goal. Josh Doig had an effort before it broke to the Welshman, who took a nice touch and blasted past Siegrist. It was a great strike and gave Ross’ men the initiative.
It was a case of trying to add to the scoreline where possible for Ross, but most importantly, get the three points over the line. Dundee United were throwing bodies at them but the Hibees backline were determined to stand tall.
Mark Connolly came close from a corner before Peter Pawlett really should have scored with his effort from inside the box. Hibs held on though for a slender win as Dundee United lose their first game of the season. Here are three things we learned.
Hibs’ front two
There’s a good argument to be made for Hibs having the best strikeforce outside Glasgow in Scotland’s top flight. Nisbet was the hero at the weekend, it was Doidge’s turn to take the limelight midweek.
Once the game got going, they were able to work well with each other, Nisbet’s flick playing a part in the build-up to his new partner’s goal. With six goal contributions between them already, Ross certainly has goals in his team with these two.
Bolton looks a good Tangerine addition
Whilst he couldn’t grab a goal or an assist in this one, Manchester City loanee Bolton did turn in another solid shift for Mellon’s men.
Anytime he had the ball, the first thing he did was look up and take on his man. He created a great chance for Harkes and showed flashes of pace and skill throughout the match until he was substituted.
With Paul McMullan coming back from injury, United certainly have good options on the right.
Exciting times for Hibs?
It’s only three games in, we should stress that, but it’s hard not to be excited by the potential of this Hibs team. They look very good all over the park and their opening three games suggest a strong season.
At the back they’ve looked solid, Doig proving to be a breakthrough star at left-back. Alex Gogic brings steel to the midfield, Joe Newell is the playmaker, Boyle brings pace on the flanks whilst the already mentioned front two of Doidge and Nisbet are lethal.
There’s a great blend of experience and youth in the squad. Could this be the year for Hibs to take that third spot?