Highlights of the 1st leg of the final play-off for the last spot in the Scottish premiership.
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Good evening. As the latter months of the Premiership season passed,
Hibs' dismal form saw them plummet down the table as they finished
second bottom in the play-off place. Tonight, the first half of their
battle for Premiership survival took place at New Douglas Park against
Hamilton Acadmical. With me to review the first leg of this
Premiership play-off this evening, Michael Stewart. Let's get straight
to the action. Unlike Hibs, Accies went into this match with their
tails up having seen off Falkirk in the play-off semi-final. Commentary
comes from Liam MacLeod. Alex Neil has resisted the urge to
pick himself, but he brings back Antoine-Curier. He was a subat -- he
was a sub at the weekend. The onus on Paul Heffernan for Hibs, can
Cummings up front with him. Neither wanted to be playing tonight. Hibs
certainly didn't. Accies would have rather won the title. It is a very
different kind of second chance for these two clubs. They played their
respective seasons at different levels, but Accies have scored twice
as many as Hibs this season, including the 10 they banged in
against Morton. It is 180 minutes to decide which team will be team 12 in
next season's Premiership. It must have been a long ten days day for
Terry Butcher and everyone associated with Hibs, since that
defeat to Kilmarnock. Cummings has drawn the free kick.
Alan Maybury, 35 years of age. I bet he didn't think he would be seeing
this kind of pressure at this stage of his career.
Robertson! He is very unlucky. Both he and his boss with their head in
their hands here. Hamilton uneasy in defence. Wonderful play by Stanton.
It broke back to Robertson. The woodwork prevents Hibs going in
front here. Antoine-Curier is waiting in the
middle. A very tight angle there though. A difficult take and an
excellent move between Andreu and Keatings. Eventually Antoine-Curier
doing well to do anything better than that.
Harries has won -- Harris has won the corner. Liam Craig over this
one. In it comes towards Robertson.
Surely it will be tucked in. But it wouldn't have counted, Bobby
Madden's whistle blows and Robertson is left frustrated again. It was
blocked by his own man Heffernan. It came off his hand as it was bulleted
down wards. Antoine-Curier was on the line too. Barry Ferguson, the
former Scotland and Rangers captain watching on, his home town team.
Hibs are without a win in so long, since they beat Ross County if
February. Hamilton have only lost one of their last 15 games. Cummings
goes for goal and that is a stunning start for Hibs! They will feel a
heck of a lot better now. A massive moment in this play-off final
provided by Jason Cummings, with his first for the club and what a time
to get it. Well, he has just lashed this past Cuthbert, who didn't have
a hope really. Sized it up and thundered it beyond the Accies
keeper. The first goal could well be crucial in this tie and it has come
for Hibernian and by the left boot of Jason Cummings. Delight for
Butcher and no wonder - the pressure is huge. Accies have not found
goal-scoring this season. No one has scored more than them in the
Championship last season, including Dundee, who went up as champions.
For weeks things have not been falling for Hibernian and suddenly
Williams makes the save. Excellent goalkeeping from the Hibs No 1
there. A crucial intervention. Accies cannot afford to concede
again before the break. Mackinnon is not going to get a chance to bear
down on the Hibs defence. Cummings has given Hibs a priceless 1-0 lead
in this play-off final first leg. Cuthbert couldn't get anywhere near
it. It was all about the pace and power from Jason Cummings. At half
time it is Hamilton 0, Hibernian 1. We are about to find out what Accies
are made of the last time they failed to score was when they lost
in February. Hibs last away victory was Boxing Day at Ross County.
Remember, without a win in their last 13. He would have been much
happier in the dressing room at half time on this occasion, Terry
Butcher. That hasn't been the case a lot recently.
It comes to Cummings! Was it over the line? Was it over the line? Yes,
it was, says the referee, who consults with his assistance and
Cummings doubles up for Hibs! That will go a long, long way to
Premiership survival. A dream evening in Lanarkshire for young
Jason Cummings. Great play from Hibs. Missed by Robertson it. Came
kindly to Cummings. That a definite goal. Despite the best efforts of
Ziggy Gordon on the line, he couldn't prevent it from crossing.
Hibs are two to the good. The assistant referee on the near side
saw it perfectly. It is well over. It is Accies nil, Hibs two.
This is from Routledge. It took a touch on its way through. Accies
corner. Happy days, for Terry Butcher. He knows, the Hibs fans
know, relegation just isn't an option.
Another deep corner kick. It's won. It's headed just past.
Canning won the initial header. Just knocked past the post.
Another good challenge from Stevenson that time for Hibs.
Stanton, grains his chances. Such a long season for both these teams.
Hibernian started in the Europa league qualifying away back in the
middle of f July last year. Looking for space to shoot. Good ball
through for Ryan. Good save, Ben Williams. Great goal keeping. --
goalkeeping. Slammed the door on the face of Ryan. Well onside. Paul
Cairney prepares to come on for Hibs. He has single-handedly edged
them so close to safety now. A goal in either half. They are singing his
name, and little wonder. A pat on the back from Paul Cairney. He
hasn't played much recently. This is Scotland, outmuscling
Cairney. He wants in the middle. Just outside the penalty area. A
spill from Williams. Crawford shot causing the hub Hibernian number one
problems here. Williams gets away with the spill. 90 minutes have been
played. Four being added on at the end in stoppage-time, only for
Hamilton to try and get something back from this game. Otherwise they
are heading through to the capital with a task almost as tall as
(inaudible) out for the goal kick. Looked for a split second as though
it was going to break to him. Lovely reverse pass from . -- Andreu. It
was Scotland going on to it. It was his final touch.
Canning, back to his keeper. Cuthbert. Seconds remaining. Of this
play-off final, first-leg. The referee has checked his watch.
It's not quite job done, but they are almost there are Terry Butcher's
Hibernian. A goal either side of half-time, from 18-year-old Jason
Cummings. His first two goals for the club, they are priceless goals
for the club. Hibernian are on the brink of Premiership safety. They
will now head into Sunday's second-leg at Easter Road with a
two-goal cushion, thanks to that man. It finished here at New Douglas
Park, Hamilton Academical 0-Hibernian 2. 2-0 to Hibernian. We
asked Terry Butcher how much he enjoyed tonight's match. It's
horrible on the sidelines watching it. So much is at stake. We are not
doing this and that. Odd -- all of a sudden Jason scores. Not used to
scoring two goals and keeping a clean sheet. The boys in the
dressing room don't know what to do. It's a lovely feeling. Not being
blaza about it. It's a situation we love being in. The players came back
after the Kilmarnock game. Their attitude has been spot on. I said
before the game they have done remarkably well in terms of how they
bounced back. It's testament to them, because they did that, it
showed tonight. It wasn't to be on the night. We are disappointed. We
felt particularly in the first half we played really well. The better
team and created opportunities. Then on the counter tack you get in
trailing. I can't fault the players. They worked their socks off. For
large parts of the game we controlled the ball. I thought the
decision-making could have been better. The first goal and the
second goal, I thought I took them well myself. The players help me and
the gaffer, they believed in me and the fans believed in me. I knew it
was coming. Now the first goals have come in, I hope they will flood in
for me, hopefully, fingers crossed. Job done? They are a good side. We
have to be professional treat it as 0-0 and get on with it. We are
playing at Easter Road. It will be a bumper crowd. The fans will be
cheering us on. Lovely surface much we want to make the most of it and
enjoy the occasion. Make sure that we play well and finish the job off.
Hibs taking a massive stride towards Premiership safety with that result
this evening. Michael, they deserved it, you have to say that? Yeah. I
think over the piece that you wouldn't argue with the fact that
Hibs were worthy winners. You heard Neil Feltham I will tonne controlled
the ball for large swathes of the game. They maybe did. In the fine
third they lacked a cutting-edge. They didn't put Hibs under pressure.
Hibs have tethered towards second bottom place in the Premiership.
There was a difference about them tonight, wasn't there? A bit more
character. Robertson, early on, symbolised that shift, would you
say? Robertson is a massive player for Hibs. They missed him with being
out for a huge period of time. Good quality. Passing into the top
corner. Unfortunate. You see that with his instep. Unfortunate it
didn't Nestle in the top corner. Right through the game you said he
had an influence and impack on the game. He gets a booking. Box to box,
he is a box to box midfielder. Put tackles in. Wanting to help the team
out and have an impact on the game. He gets flagged for a free-kick.
Paul Heffernan did his best to miss that opportunity when she a good
finisher. Trying too hard at times? There was an impact in the game
there. They wanted to do well. That has been missing in recent weeks for
Hibs. No doubt about who was the star tonight, Jason Cummings grew up
a Hearts fan. It didn't work out for him in football. He game a gardener.
Tonight he sows the seeds for Hibs staying in the Premiership next
season? This is a fantastic strike. I know people will question, you
know, whether the goalkeeper should have saved that or not. I think it's
just that it is such a good strike. When you look at this, it dip as
little bit. Look how quickly that comes off his boot? In the back of
the net before you know. It you get a good picture here. The keeper, the
ball is almost past him before he gets a chance to react. It was so
quick. Butcher was loving it. Of course he was. Not often you see
that recently. . No. Jason Cummings coming to the forefor Hibernian.
They needed a goalscorer. You were impressed with the second goal? It
was fantastic. Heffernan gets into the corner. He fires the ball
across. It takes a deflection off the defender. Robertson making an
effort to get in the box. Look at that. Fantastic compose sure. Not a
great angle. Pushed out wide. A question mark here with Heffernan
whether he is offside. He doesn't let it affect him. He gets on with
the game. When he gets to the corner here, fires in at the box. Robertson
comes in at the top of the picture. Determination to get on it again.
Look at Cummings? That is a tight angle. Three defenders and the
goalkeeper between him and the goal. Dinks it over the goalkeeper. A
height and angle where none of the defenders could get to. Clearly over
the line. Real compose sure. With someone so young and having scored
one goal early in the game, great to see that from a youngster. He grew
up a Hearts fan be could be the saviour for Hibs tonight -- but he
could be the saviour for Hibs tonight? There has been a shaft of
light from a number of the youngsters. Stanton, they are
putting in performances, sometimes they have no fear. Cummings showed
it tonight. He was on top form. Two fantastic goals. It was strange
tonight. A lot of people had Hamilton as favourites. They were
coming off a good run of form. Hibs had been absolutely dismal of late.
What did you make of Hamilton's overall performance? As I said
earlier, you heard Alec Neil saying it, they kept possession of the
ball. They huffed and puffed a little bit. This was their best
opportunity. It never looked like they were under control or Longridge
could get the strike in. You question whether it was the pitch.
Sometimes the ball slides away. It never looked like it was in his
grasp to get that. Another example of horrendous defending from Hibs
that dogged them. Antoine-Curier couldn't convert on it. They knocked
it around nicely. That killer touch was lacking for them tonight.
Lacked, as you say a killer touch in the final third. Unable to crack a
Premiership side? This is good football here. To be honest, we will
get a better angle on this one. It shows horrendous defending. Look at
McGivern. Right in front of the two centre halfs. Couldn't get it back
in the net. Good play from Hamilton, they lacked the killer touch in the
final third. If you want to get promoted to the Premiership that is
vital. What does it mean for Terry Butcher, it has been an awful 2014,
since he came into Hibs. He didn't smile much, but it would have meant
so much to him? He was light hearted after the game. A horrendous 2014.
For him, he has been desperate to get to the end of the season and get
changes into the team so it is the team he really wants. His team. That
is something that is reminiscent at his time at Inverness. You haven't
seen much of that recently? You haven't. That typifies how much of a
tough time it has been for Terry Butcher at Hibs. Thoughts now to the
game at Easter Road. A lot of people will say the tie is virtually over
because obviously Hamilton had their advantage at home. That is now gone.
Hibs have a 2-0 advantage they will be expected to see this home and
dry. Do you see it being pretty much plain sailing? It will not be plain
sailing. The next goal will be massive. Hibs have not had a good
record at home for a number of seasons. There is that expectation.
There is pressure now everybody is talking about that, the game is over
already. The next goal is vital. If Hamilton got the first goal of the
game at Easter Road, there would be pressure put on Hibs. The supporters
would get nervous that will ill filtrate through to the players. On
tonight's showing they have to perform better. As I said before, in
that final third they have to find a kill touch in that final ball or the
strike on goal or Hibs will be comfortable. Are Hibs staying up? I
think Ithink so. . There is plenty of football still to come on the BBC
pre-World Cup this season. The second-leg of the Premiership
play-off, as we have been talking about, is on Sunday at Easter Road.
Join us for highlights of that, 10.00pm on BBC Two. Then a week
tonight, we have live football for you on Sportscene. Nigeria verses
Scotland from 8.00pm, life live from Craven Cottage. That is it for
tonight. A case of the second Cummings. Jason the saviour tonight.
Terry Butcher's side half way to Premiership survival. From Michael
and from me, until next time, good night.
# I'll never let you down # I'll be what you're dreaming of
# I will never let you down... #
Highlights of the 1st leg of the finalplay-off for the last spot in the Scottish premiership.