Hibernian 5-3 Morton
Allan (20), Vela (32), Kamberi (55, 104), Coidge (120); McHugh (39), Stevenson (45 og), Whittaker (90+1 og)
by Ewan Boyle
Morton left Easter Road with their heads held high on Saturday after a courageous effort against Hibs when the Premiership side went to extra time with the Ton in a 5-3 victory for Hibs.
The game began with a quick fire attack from Hibs on 5 minutes as Daryl Hogan floated a ball into the box and looked as though it was meeting the head of Florian Kamberi however the ball just sailed over his head and out for a goal kick.
A huge chance arose on 16 minutes for Morton when a low driven cross by Nicky Cadden was cleared out to an unmarked Reece Lyon who sent an ambitious effort from just inside the box over the box.
The inevitable opener came for Hibs on 20 minutes as Scott Allan worked his way past the Morton defenders and created space for himself in the box and sent the ball past the Morton goalkeeper to give Hibs their first goal of the day.
Debutant Danny Rogers pulled off a great save on 27 minutes as the ever-present Florian Kamberi had his effort on goal denied by the Morton goalkeeper.
Morton’s appeals for a penalty were waved away by the referee on 32 minutes as Aidan Nesbitt went down following a tackle on the Morton playmaker but it was not to be and play continued.
Shortly after the penalty appeal, Hibernian looked as though they had put the game to bed on 32 minutes as a ball along the box from the right hand side was met by Josh Vela who sent the ball home for the second of the day.
The Ton fans were treated to a lifeline on 39 minutes as Bob McHugh was able to meet a low driven cross by Nicky Cadden and send the ball after what seemed to have been a touch from one of the Hibernian defenders before the ball hit the net.
The sensational comeback was complete shortly before half-time as Aidan Nesbitt crossed the ball from the left side of the box which saw Bob McHugh’s header being met by Hibs defender Lewis Stevenson who was unable to prevent the ball from hitting his body and heading into the goal to give Morton the equaliser.
Hibs took the lead once again on 55 minutes as a precise long ball over the top of the Morton defence saw Danny Rogers come out for the ball but Florian Kamberi was able to get there before the Ton goalkeeper and take it around him to set up a chance to send the ball into an empty net.
Another chance came on 78 minutes for Morton as a corner was met by the head of Kyle Jacobs who was unable to direct the ball into the net and the ball went out for a goal kick.
Danny Rogers was called into action again on 81 minutes as two incredible saves in quick succession meant the game remained with a one goal lead for Hibs.
But an unforgettable moment for all the Morton faithful came on 90 minutes as the Ton got a remarkable equaliser when a shot from Reghan Tumilty hit off the leg of Steven Whittaker and flew into the back of the net to create scenes of joy and jubilation in the Morton end.
The game was sent to extra time at Easter Road and the end-to-end game did not stop as a header from Fraser Murray smashed the post on 94 minutes and was a let off for the Sinclair Street side.
Following this chance, a three-on-two scenario occurred for Morton as Reghan Tumilty’s effort was sent cruising just wide of the post.
Disappointment came on 104 minutes as what looked a certain foul on Cameron Salkeld was ignored and caused another long ball through on goal for Florian Kamberi to capitalise on and finish the ball into the net to give the Hibees the lead.
The goal saw outrage from the Morton dugout and was shortly followed by the referee taking the decision to send David Hopkin to the stands after his protests against the ignoring of the foul.
Morton looked as though they had caused another shock on 107 minutes as a sublime save from Hibernian keeper Chris Maxwell denied Reghan Tumilty’s effort on goal as the first-time shot was cleared.
The winning goal came on 120 minutes as Christian Doidge got on the end of a long ball over the Morton defence and lobbed the goalkeeper to seal the victory for Hibernian.
The final whistle was blown and the very proud Morton fans rose to their feet as the players and staff of the club showed their appreciation for their support after the courageous effort of the Morton players in the capital.
6. Jacobs 8. McAlister (c) 4. McLean 16. Strapp
18. Blues 7. Millar 17. Lyon
10. Nesbitt 11. McHugh 19. Cadden
Subs used: 2. Reghan Tumilty (for Blues, 76), 21. John Sutton (for Millar, 80), 14. Cameron Salkeld (for Nesbitt, 84), 12. Kalvin Orsi (for Jacobs, 117)
Subs not used: 5. Grant, 9. Muirhead, 1. Ramsbottom,
Booked: Cameron Salkeld (105′)
Hibernian F.C.: 28. Maxwell, 2. Gray, 24. McGregor, 4. Hanlon, 16. Stevenson, 19. Middleton, 8. Slivka, 6. Vela, 7. Horgan, 23. Allan, 22. Kamberi
Subs not used: 1. Marciano, 11. Newell, 32. Shaw
Booked: Kamberi (111′)
Referee: Gavin Ross
⭐️ Star Man: Nicky Cadden
image: Gary Bradley