Pa Saikou Kujabi’s Hibs flying on Ayr after cup win
Monday, March 12, 2012
Pa Saikou Kujabi played 63 minutes on Saturday as first half goals from Roy O'Donovan and Leigh Griffiths launched Hibernian into the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup with a 2-0 victory over Ayr United.
In a lively
start by the visitors O'Donovan headed in a George Francomb free-kick after six
minutes, after earlier having the ball in the net only to see the flag up for
offside. In the 19th
minute, Griffiths made it number two from the spot after Ayr defender Andrew
Geggan had fouled Hibs midfielder Isaiah Osbourne at a corner.
hard to get back into the game but the Clydesdale Bank Premier League side were
always that bit superior and will look forward to tomorrow's draw. Unusually,
these days, both managers fielded unchanged sides for what turned out to be a good
cup tie. Pat Fenlon
started with Griffiths and O'Donovan in attack while Ayr boss Brian Reid kept
the same 11 for the fifth successive match with Keigan Parker and Mark Roberts
leading the line.
travelling support added to a cracking atmosphere inside one of the traditional
football stadia in Scotland. All those
Hibs fans carried the hopes of recent generations, hoping to see the cup back
in Leith for the first time since 1902, and they were treated to an encouraging
on loan from Coventry, had the ball in the Ayr net in the fourth minute after
Ivan Sproule's drive from 16 yards was spilled by Kevin Cuthbert, but the flag
was up for offside.
travelling fans only had to wait two more minutes for the opener. When Francomb
whipped his free-kick in from wide on the left it found O'Donovan drifting into
the box unmarked and his header beat Cuthbert and went in off the post. The Leith
side looked in the mood, swarming around the United box looking to get the
second. But in the 16th minute, after Easter Road defender Paul Hanlon fouled
Parker wide on the right, the home side missed a great chance to draw level.
McGowan's free-kick was met by Ayr defender Chris Smith only six yards out but
he failed to make proper contact, allowing Hibs keeper Graham Stack to smother. Two minutes
later it looked like Geggan grabbed Osbourne at a Francomb corner and referee
Steven McLean pointed to the spot and Griffiths scored number two from the
spot. Such was the force of the penalty that it took the netting away from its
On the half
hour mark, after another swift Hibs break down the left, Sproule's cross was
just behind the on-rushing O'Donovan, with Smith helping to clear. Minutes
later Smith made a great block tackle to foil Hibs left-back Pa Saikou Kujabi
who had raced on to a Griffiths pass inside the Ayr box. While
looking dangerous any time they went forward Hibs also looked fragile at the
back, offering the part-timers a glimmer of hope.
Ayr almost got the lifeline they so desperately needed in the 56th minute but Stack made a great point-blank save from Geggan who had bulleted in a header from a McGowan cross, the Hibs keeper gathering at the second attempt. Then, as the match swung from end to end, Hibs defender Hanlon headed a Francomb corner over the bar from six yards to remind the hosts of Hibs' threat. Griffiths then missed a great chance to finish Ayr off when he raced through clear on goal, only to slash his shot wide of the target.
side kept at it, throwing bodies forward, but in the 76th minute Hanlon's
header from a Francomb corner was cleared off the line by United right-back
Jonathon Tiffoney, before Osbourne miscued in front of goal when he looked
poised to score. There was a
vociferous appeal for an Ayr penalty in the 82nd minute when Hibs substitute
Matt Doherty appeared to handle the ball as he fell in the box but the referee
ignored the claims.
Having given themselves too much to do after going behind so early in the game, the home side ran out of steam, but Hibs can look forward to a semi-final at Hampden
Author: Baboucarr Camara