Scottish Championship
HibernianHibernian0MortonGreenock Morton3

Hibernian 0-3 Greenock Morton

By Chick YoungBBC Scotland at Easter Road

Hibernian suffered a surprise defeat as Morton dented the Easter Road side's hopes of automatic promotion.

Thomas O'Ware's header and strikes by Denny Johnstone and Ross Forbes ensured Alan Stubbs' side remain eight points behind Championship leaders Rangers.

Jim Duffy's visitors, meanwhile, moved to within a point of the promotion play-off places.

Jason Cummings had Hibs' best chances, including a close-range header in the first half.

Few saw the result coming with Morton having last won a league game at Easter Road in 1982.

Missed chances cost Hibs

Stubbs made seven changes from the side that beat Alloa Athletic on Sunday; but Lewis Stevenson kept his place and was made captain, playing his 300th game for the club under his eighth manager.

Duffy gave a debut to Celtic loanee Paul McMullan, who had been with St Mirren earlier this season.

Jason Cummings playing for Hibernian against Morton
Cummings (second from left) had a frustrating night in front of goal

Before the match, Stubbs said the fixture came under the 'must-win' category, and from the kick-off his players seemed to be underlining his message, taking the game to the Greenock side.

The passing was slick, they were patient in possession and Hibs came close on a number of occasions in the early stages through Kevin Thomson with a sizzling shot, Cummings with a header and two inventive efforts from Stokes.

John McGinn even netted, only to be judged offside, and there was a ridiculous miss from Cummings when he nodded past the post from around two yards out.

But Morton weathered all of that and began to create their own pressure.

Mark Oxley had to produce an alert piece of goalkeeping following an O'Ware header and it became clear that, from the home side's perspective, the evening may not be quite as straightforward as some might have imagined.

Their fears were confirmed when Forbes' whipped corner from the right was met by a courageous header by O'Ware, who attacked a crowded area and forced the ball home.

Easter Road, bar for 100 or so joyous travellers from Greenock, was silenced.

Suddenly it was all change. Morton looked energetic and creative, Hibernian nervous and predictable. They looked like they craved the half-time advice of their manager.

But whatever Stubbs said had no effect. In fact it went from bad to worse when Morton doubled their lead shortly after Stokes claimed unsuccessfully for a penalty following a challenge by Forbes.

Anthony Stokes and Ross Forbes
Stokes (left) thought Hibs should have been awarded a spot-kick

Declan McManus delivered a hopeful cross and Oxley made a dreadful hash of dealing with it, spilling to the feet of Johnstone. It was a tap-in job and Hibs were deep in trouble.

Bobby Barr thundered down Morton's left on the counter-attack and delivered a telling pass for Forbes to produce a sweeping finish into Oxley's net.

It rounded off a stunning performance by the visitors and one which left the Hibs fans looking on in disbelief.

Line-ups

Hibernian

Formation 4-1-2-1-2

  • 1Oxley
  • 2Gray
  • 24McGregor
  • 5Fontaine
  • 16Stevenson
  • 30ThomsonSubstituted forKeatingsat 60'minutes
  • 3Henderson
  • 18McGinn
  • 10McGeouchSubstituted forBartleyat 72'minutes
  • 28StokesSubstituted forEl Alaguiat 74'minutes
  • 35Cummings

Substitutes

  • 4Hanlon
  • 6Bartley
  • 9El Alagui
  • 19Keatings
  • 27Gunnarsson
  • 29Dagnall
  • 32Virtanen

Morton

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Gaston
  • 15PepperSubstituted forLamieat 59'minutes
  • 2Kilday
  • 4O'Ware
  • 17Russell
  • 16BarrSubstituted forQuitongoat 90+1'minutes
  • 7McKee
  • 8ForbesBooked at 71mins
  • 21McManusBooked at 74mins
  • 9Johnstone
  • 33McMullanSubstituted forMcCluskeyat 73'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Lamie
  • 11McCluskey
  • 12Scullion
  • 20McNeil
  • 28Quitongo
  • 36Tennant
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
8,655

Match Stats

Home TeamHibernianAway TeamMorton
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home16
Away11
Shots on Target
Home6
Away6
Corners
Home12
Away5
Fouls
Home9
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Hibernian 0, Morton 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Hibernian 0, Morton 3.

  3. Post update

    Liam Henderson (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Ross Forbes (Morton).

  5. Post update

    Marvin Bartley (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Jai Quitongo (Morton).

  7. Post update

    Liam Fontaine (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Denny Johnstone (Morton).

  9. Post update

    Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Declan McManus.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Lee Kilday.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Morton. Jai Quitongo replaces Bobby Barr.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Liam Henderson (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Derek Gaston.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Marvin Bartley (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Lewis Stevenson (Hibernian).

  16. Post update

    Stefan McCluskey (Morton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Declan McManus (Morton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Lee Kilday.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Farid El Alagui (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Joe McKee (Morton) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Wednesday 24th February 2016

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers25203267175063
2Hibernian25174441202155
3Falkirk25148341202150
4Raith Rovers239592628-232
5Morton2587102627-131
6Queen of Sth2394102229-731
7St Mirren2476112433-927
8Dumbarton2464141942-2322
9Livingston2545162438-1417
10Alloa2534181349-3613
View full Scottish Championship table

Top Stories