Hibs make it three wins out of four under Bobby.

Last updated : 23 March 2002 By
Hibs bounced back from that derby day defeat to take all three points from Tayside this afternoon.

There was only one change to this side, with Tony Caig taking over in goal for the suspended Nick Colgan.

And Caig was nearly picking the ball out of the net after just eight minutes. United won a free kick which was swung in by young David Winters. The kick was met by Stephen Thompson, who powerfully headed toward goal, but luckily for Hibs the ball clipped the far post and behind for a goal kick.

Thompson went even closer minutes later, when he found space just outside the box after nice work by Venetis. The striker fired the ball low toward the inside corner, but Hibs' Matthais Jack got a boot to the ball on the line and over for a corner.

Hibs decided they wanted to play in this match after around twenty minutes, and almost took the lead. A Caig kick out found de la Cruz, who bounded forward. The Ecuador international fired in a lovely cross which was met by Garry O'Connor, but Paul Gallacher in the United goal made a great save from a fantastic header.

Another O'Connor effort just missed the target and de la Cruz was thwarted by the alert Gallacher, but just before Hibs took the lead, Tony Caig had to look smart to turn away a Venetis header.

Ulises de la Cruz picked up a ball from the industrious Jack and played a sublime pass to Frederic Arpinon. The Frenchman did the rest, firing in a tremendous shot past the despairing Gallacher and into the net. It was Arpinon's first goal for the club and what a way to open your account.

Hibs looked for another to extend their lead before half time, but had to be content with the one goal advantage.

The second half was a pretty torrid affair, with neither 'keeper being forced to work in the first twenty minutes, as defences managed to stay on top. Garry O'Connor had a decent chance after being released by captain John O'Neil, but Gallacher managed to capitalise on some poor control.

Charlie Miller had a chance after some indecision by the Hibs defence, but his shot was easily picked up by Caig. O'Neil forced Gallacher in the United goal into tipping the ball over the bar from a decent chip, but soon after Hibs doubled their lead in a quite fortunate fashion.

Some clever work between substitute Paco Luna and Garry O'Connor resulted in the young Scottish hotshot firing goalward. The ball took a wicked deflection off Jim Lauchlan and into the net.

That should have been the game settled, but on 77 minutes United pulled one back. Steven Duff, who was having a good game, crossed deep into the Hibs goalmouth. His inviting cross was met by Stephen Thompson, who gleefully headed the ball past Tony Caig and Alex Smith's men right back into the game.
This signalled the cavalry charge by United, and Caig stopped Craig Easton equalising only minuted later. The home side piled to more pressure and spurned half chances that fell to Miller and Easton, but Hibs clung on to leapfrog Motherwell in the SPL table, now just one point behind the Tannadice Park oufit.