Hibs had signed Murdo McLeod as player-coach from Borrussia Dortmund two weeks before this game and he had obviously brought some strength to the side straight away, judging by the improved result from the game at Pittodrie. Other changes may have had an effect too. Gone were Neil Cooper and Gareth Evans, Calum Milne was deputising for Graham Mitchell and Dave Farrell had returned to the reserves. Paul Wright partnered Keith Houchen up front and registered one of his all too rare goals for Hibs. Brian Hamilton had also re-established himself in the midfield. More of those last two below… Continue reading
I only know the score from this match from looking it up. St Johnstone were newly promoted to the Premier league for the first time since 1984 and were making the most of it, riding high in fourth place, three points ahead of Celtic. Managed by Alex Totten and Bert Paton, the Saints were short on household names – Sergei Baltacha and future Jambo Allan Moore being the exceptions.
With only nine goals from 17 starts it was obvious where Hibs’ problems lay. A round up of recent press comments in the programme rubbed it in. ‘It is a painful truism in football that no goals means no victories. The Edinburgh team have perfected this particular art,’ observed The Observer. The Sunday Times added: ‘One is tempted to suggest they should stick to what they are best at – preventing the opposition from scoring.’ Still hadn’t perfected that particular art though…
Pat McGinlay tries not to look too embarrassed to be picking up Augustus Barnett’s Player of the Month treat of a bottle of Asti Spumante. Just reward for his contribution to our ‘sparkling’ record of three draws and one defeat during November. Do we detect a hint of jealousy in Brian Hamilton’s gaze however? If looks could kill he would have been locked up years ago.
Elsewhere, Micky Weir informed us that he got his hair cut in Hayes at Cannonmills by Karen, his most recent clothing purchase was a pair of McKenzie jeans from Ricci, and that the last record he bought was ‘Fear of the Dark Planet’ by Public Enemy. Respec’ wee man.
1955 and all that
On a more serious note the programme also recalled the 1954/55 season. Not a good one for Hibs as it turned out. Not only did we lose 1-5 to Hearts at Tynecastle in the league and 0-5 to them in the Cup, but Bobby Johnstone left for Manchester City, thus breaking up the Famous Five. Johnstone went on to become the first and so far only player to score in two successive FA Cup finals.
Once again I can remember nothing of this game except that we were crap.
Since the win over Rangers on the first day of the season Hibs had won only two Skol Cup ties against East Stirling and Hamilton, though even that run had been recently ended by a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Dundee Utd. The six league games had yielded one win, two draws and three defeats, and John Blackley confessed his anxiety in the programme notes.
Well he might, as it would be October 4 before his team managed to record another league victory, away to Hamilton. This feat couldn’t be repeated on a regular basis and the writing was on the wall. Little did we think at the time that his eventual replacement would be the man in charge of St Mirren, Alex Miller, who was busy nurturing such stars as Steve Clark, Paul Lambert and, er, Brian Hamilton.
Also in the Buddies’ squad this day was Doug Bell, playing for his home town team on loan from Rangers.
The main other point of note in the programme was the announcement that a sponsor had been found to fill the space on the strips vacated by Insave. Under the heading ‘Scottish football is booming!’ P&D Windows introduced themselves and their £80,000 deal with Hibs. This sponsorship didn’t exactly shout big time corporate partnership, especially as the company’s advertising campaign was structured round the embarassing antics of a moronic gumsy fitter who mumbled ‘P’n’D Windaes’ to the camera at every opportunity.
The caption to the front cover of the programme (above) read ‘Mark Fulton and Alan Rough enjoying the view from the dug out.’ Oh if only the view from the terraces had been as sweet…
Since leading the league at the time of the League Cup Final in October, Hibs had slipped to fifth place and Partick were only four points behind us. As the stats below record, Hibs had not enjoyed an easy time of it against the Jags in their previous meetings that season. Two goalless draws in the league came either side of a League Cup tie when Hibs needed penalties to advance to the next round. Continue reading