Hibs progressed to the last 16 of the Scottish League Cup thanks to a second half own goal from Stranraer’s Scott Rumsby at Easter Road earlier tonight.
The last time these teams met, Hibs won an eight goal thriller but fans expecting a similar scoreline were to be disappointed.
Following another busy week in the transfer market, Head Coach Alan Stubbs made two changes to the starting XI that lost narrowly to Rangers on Sunday. New signing Darren McGregor took over from injured skipper David Gray while Dylan McGeouch replaced Dan Carmichael in midfield. Summer signing James Keating was listed amongst the substitutes for the first time following a period on the sidelines due to injury.
There was a familiar face in the Stranraer line up with Paul Cairney returning to Easter Road after a spell with Kilmarnock.
Hibs started brightly and Fraser Fyvie brought out a good save from Conor Brennan then Jason Cummings went close with a long range effort.
In the 22nd minute John McGinn found Fyvie on the left. The midfielder cut inside and fired a powerful effort against the crossbar.
Although Hibs continues to dominate possession, it took a world class save from Mark Oxley to keep the scores level. A hopeful ball into the box was headed down by Mark McGuigan into the path of Craig Malcolm and the striker’s effort was heading to the top left hand corner of the goal but Oxley managed to tip the ball over the bar.
Hibs eventually grabbed the lead that their pressure deserved when McGinn won the ball in midfield and sent an inch perfect pass into the path of Fyvie, The former Wigan midfielder cut the ball across the face of the box and with Cummings waiting to pounce, Rumsby intercepted the ball but could only knock it past his own keeper into the net, much to the relief of the home supporters.
Six minutes later Fyvie had to leave the field with a tight hamstring and was replaced by Carmichael. The wingers first act was to fire a long range shot goalwards which clearly struck a defender’s arm inside the penalty area, but the referee waved play on to the fury of the Hibs’ fans. considering the similarity to the decision against Rangers at the weekend.
Cairney was booked for a foul on McGeouch then substituted, leaving the field to a standing ovation from both sets of fans.
Hibs continued to create chances although Stranraer looked dangerous on the break.
Keatings replaced Cummings with six minutes remaining and Hibs held on to secure the victory.
Hibs: Oxley, McGregor, Stevenson, Hanlon, Fontaine, Fyvie, McGinn, McGeouch, Henderson, Boyle, Cummings. Subs: Reguero, Bartley, Stanton, Carmichael, Keatings, Malonga, Martin
Stranraer: Brennan, Robertson, Pettigrew, Rumsby, Mair, Thomson, Cairney, Bell, Malcolm, Stirling, McGuigan. Subs: Currie, Keenan, Aitken, McCloskey, Longworth, McGill, Rowan.
Referee Kevin Clancy