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12 February 2020 22:30

Raith Rovers F.C. Hibernian F.C. Scottish Cup

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Scott Allan congratulates Marc McNulty on his slick finish from the Hibs midfielder's pass Goals by Marc McNulty, Christian Doidge and Adam Jackson eased Hibernian past Ross County and cemented their sixth place in the Scottish Premiership. Scott Allan's pass set up McNulty to slot past Nathan Baxter for the early opener and Doidge headed home from 10 yards just before half-time. McNulty had the chance for a second but his 82nd-minute penalty kick was saved by Baxter's parry to his left. From the resultant corner, Jackson took advantage of slack marking to head in. Having drawn 2-2 at Easter Road in October and lost 2-1 in Dingwall in December, it was a league victory at the third time of asking for Hibernian.

christian doidge

Goals from Marc McNulty, Christian Doidge and Adam Jackson secured an easy 3-0 win for Hibs over Ross County at Easter Road. Hibs almost had an opener four minutes in. Greg Docherty's brilliant ball across the floor and into the box found Doidge, but he could only fire wide. The Reading loanee was put through on goal by Scott Allan and he slid the ball under onrushing Staggies keeper Nathan Baxter to give Jack Ross' men a 1-0 lead. Iain Vigurs almost drew County level less than ten minutes later but Ofir Marciano pulled out a good stop to deny him.

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It was an action-packed opening 15 minutes as the game pinballed from one end to the other. A second goal was inevitable, with both teams piling on attacking pressure. Doidge was the one to get it, heading in from a Joe Newell corner to put Hibs in full control. It was a killer blow for the Dingwall side just before half time as they were left with a Leith mountain to climb. It was wave after wave of Hibs attack in the second half and the home side earned a penalty late on.

Marcus Fraser produced a handball in the penalty area but Baxter denied McNulty a second goal. A third was added though as another corner routine allowed Jackson to seal a home win. The Hibees are sixth following this win whilst County are ninth. Ross opted for three at the back and two up top against BSC Glasgow in the Scottish Cup. He said after the game that playing with one centre-back might not occur in the league but the formation from that 4-1 win made a reappearance. It allowed McNulty to play off Doidge whilst Allan had the creative freedom he needs in the final third to express himself. Newell even filled in to do a job at left wing-back, having shone as an attacking midfielder in recent times. It got the job done against County and it'll be interesting to see whether this becomes a regular option for Ross. County miss final piece of the puzzle The Staggies had a couple of opportunities in this game but they weren't a menacing threat to their hosts throughout. They weren't able to pierce the Hibs armour and head back up to Dingwall empty handed. Ross County sit six points clear of the relegation danger zone. Docherty's had his plaudits since swapping Govan for Leith but this may have been his most professional performance in Hibs colours so far. He has an engine that drives Hibs' attacks forward from deep and his ability to find the perfect pass is exceptional. Ross County's hopes of making it two wins on the spin ended in disappointment as they succumbed to a 3-0 defeat against Hibernian at Easter Road. Marc McNulty, who scored a hat-trick against BSC Glasgow on Sunday, fired the hosts in front after seven minutes before Christian Doidge nodded in the second just before the interval. Scotland international McNulty missed a late spot-kick before Adam Jackson headed home the third on a comfortable night for the hosts. The Staggies will look to bounce back when they host St Johnstone this weekend. The Staggies ended an eight-game winless streak with a 2-0 success against Livingston the previous week but had not won on the road since a 2-1 victory against Motherwell in September. County have struggled for momentum this season but had performed well against Hibs, drawing 2-2 in Edinburgh in October before registering a 2-1 win in Dingwall in December. The visitors made one change with former Hibernian defender Keith Watson replacing Callum Morris, while the Hibees, who went into the game on the back of a 4-1 Scottish Cup win against Lowland League side BSC Glasgow, made four alterations. Lewis Stevenson, Steven Whittaker, Daryl Horgan and Stephane Omeonga made way for Adam Jackson, Vykintas Slivka, Joe Newell and Scott Allan as they searched for a first league win in four attempts. County had only failed to net on one of their previous seven visits to Easter Road and the visitors were handed an early sniff of goal when Billy Mckay nearly profited from Greg Docherty's slack back-pass. Hibs passed up a glorious chance to break the deadlock inside five minutes when Docherty sent a delicious pass across goal but Boyle fired over from close range. But the home faithful didn't have to wait long for the breakthrough with McNulty afforded too much space to race onto a clever through ball from Allan and the on-loan Reading striker poked the ball beyond the advancing Nathan Baxter. The Scotland international had another strike ruled out for offside in an ominous start for the Staggies before the visitors carved up their first opening with Iain Vigurs linking up well with Lee Erwin but Ofir Marciano was equal to his close-range effort. Some frantic defending at the other prevented Doidge from doubling the advantage as Jack Ross' men pressed for the second. But, after several near misses, Hibs finally got a second four minutes from the interval with Doidge nodding home from a Newell corner. The Staggies struggled to deal with Hibernian's superior movement and speed during long spells of the first half and the trend continued early in the second period with Boyle flashing a powerful drive over the crossbar from distance. Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson's charges looked far more accomplished with the ball and caused problems for the Hibernian rearguard on the rare occasions they reached the final third. Hibernian, however, appeared the more likely to grab the next goal with Boyle jinking past Sean Kelly before crossing for Allan who fired wide in another well-constructed move. Don Cowie was introduced to proceedings at the expense of Ross Draper as County looked to gain a foothold and curtail the increasing influence of playmaker Allan. Former Hibernian forward Oli Shaw and Josh Mullin entered the fray soon after in place of Erwin and Harry Paton. The change almost had the desired effect with Mullin finding Mckay at the back post but his knockdown for Shaw was headed clear by Paul Hanlon. Hibernian substitute Fraser Murray whipped a finely-struck free kick inches over before Shaw was denied a goal on his Easter Road return by an alert Marciano. The home side had a chance to make it three from the sport with nine minutes to go when McNulty missed from the spot after Marcus Fraser was penalised for handball. But Jackson added the third when he headed home from another Newell corner to put the result beyond doubt.