Matty Fairnie, Longbangers podcast, external
Hibs returned from their Dubai training camp to face Forfar in the slightly less glamourous surroundings of Station Park to see off a stubborn home side and progress in the Scottish Cup.
It was far from plain sailing from the visitors, who are continuing to misfire on matchdays. Forfar started the game brightly, hitting the woodwork twice and having an effort cleared off the line as we struggled to get a foothold in the game.
The Hibees saw a Joe Newell penalty saved, before they eventually made the breakthrough just before the 70-minute mark when Christian Doidge’s headed flick found the net. The goal and the win wasn’t enough to quieten the discontent from the travelling support though, and the need for new signings to freshen up this squad was evident.
Hibs have recalled Kanayo Megwa from his loan spell at Airdrie, however the young full-back was cup-tied for this game, leaving the even younger Rory Whittaker as Hibs’ only recognised right-back. Rudi Molotnikov made his first start for the first team, having impressed in the draw with Motherwell before the break.
This reliance on young players highlights the selection issues Nick Montgomery has, the manager joked about needing to pull on his boots after being unable to fill the bench.
Montgomery spoke post-match about missing out on a centre-half last week, with a deal falling through at the last minute. It’s reassuring to know that this is an area that is being looked at, as Hibs’ deficiencies in dealing with balls into the box was there for all to see on Saturday.
While glad to be in the hat for the next round, a big improvement is needed on Saturday’s performance to progress further in the competition, and with Rangers up next for the Hibees, that improvement needs to come quickly.