Hibs made their way to Turf City for the last time for a tough test against high-flying 1TM. The changes to our game-plan paid off as Harry and Marv, playing as a pair upfront, caused 1TM a lot of problems. Hibs took the lead when Will clipped a lovely ball through for Dan to dash onto and he committed the 'keeper and was tripped to win a penalty. Marv waited for the 'keeper to commit and scored from the spot. It didn't take long for 1TM to respond. A cross finished with an unusual face cushion into the corner and it was 1-1. Hibs reshuffled with Xav struggling with illness and Panda joined the line-up earlier than planned, but Harry was causing 1TM problems and half-chances came and went. Marv extended the 'keeper who saved smartly while 1TM started to figure out ways to cause Hibs problems, but created little. HT saw two changes and a formation change with exciting signing, Luqman, brought into the game on the wing and Matt joining the midfield. Luqman had an encouraging 10 minutes as he cut inside and drilled a shot straight at the 'keeper. Unfortunately, Hibs lost Luqman and Liam early in the half to injuries and Hibs' momentum stalled with other players struggling with issues. Nevertheless, the men in green dug in and Bill, Joey, Panda and Jack stood up when needed to repel the 1TM attacks. Frustration was building for 1TM with Leo on megging Will and the game entered added time Hibs looked like they would get a hard earned point. However, Sharples and Jamie overloaded the left and Jamie's cross/shot snuck in at the far post to the disappointment of the greens with 2 minutes left of added time. MoM was Joey who just pipped Jack because he kept Sharples really quiet. Thanks to 1TM and congratulations and the officials were very good and communicated well with the players all game.
As we took to the Turf City pitch for the final time, memories of the 1TM legends, who have played there previously, came flooding back: Pet Shop lining up countless free kicks after barely leaving the centre circle, JT defying the rules of human anatomy with his gigantic long legs covering every blade of astro; Woody Wildebeest marauding down one of the channels and Dazza out-sprinting many young strikers whilst yelling the year he was born. Good times. Our opponents for the game was Hibs, which was fitting considering the many close Cosmo contests we’ve had over the years on pitch 1 or 2. The game started at a typical Cosmo pace with both sides trying to lay down an early marker. Although 1TM carved a couple of half chances, it was Hibs who were able to strike first. A ball through our defence set Dan Martin on his way, POB came out and the striker cleverly won a pen by dangling a leg into the ‘keeper’s body. The penalty was dispatched confidently. 0-1 No need to panic as we were playing well and finding space in the Hibs box. We continued to probe and on 23 minutes our equaliser came from one of our academy stars, Boggy. A whipped cross from Ruby was met by the young winger with a good header that bounced across the ‘keeper and into the goal. 1-1 Both sides had good chances before half time with Billy saving well on a couple of occasions and Sharples was unlucky to be flagged offside after a great ball by Tinks and a cool finish from our number 9. At the other end, Didge and JCG coped well with the aerial threat that Hibs constantly posed and POB made a smart stop from Bolton to keep the teams level at the break. In the second half, we continued to press for the lead but Hibs defended extremely well and utilised the long ball as an outlet. We were still creating chances but some more great goalkeeping and shots that were just off target prevented us from going ahead. It looked like the game was going to end in a draw when the referee indicated 5 minutes of stoppage time remaining, but we continued to believe that we would get one more opportunity. That belief materialised in the 94th minute when Caramba anticipated a pass out from the Hibs backline and successfully won the ball back. The Brazilian played it into Sharples, who then laid it off to Ruby and his curling effort to the back post nestled in the corner to set up jubilant scenes. FT 2-1 Thanks to Hibs for a great game and the match officials for their part. Thanks to Tard, Random and Steve for supporting. MOM - Billy MOM 1TM - Ruby DOD - POB