3 talking points as Hibs and Hearts battle it out in another tie at the Edinburgh Derby

Hibs rookie goalkeeper Kevin Dabrowski earned his team a draw in the Edinburgh derby with a trio of saves to deny Hearts.

The goalkeeper was recruited to replace the injured Matt Macey and played a key role in Shaun Maloney’s side earning a point at Easter Road.

Dabrowski, making his club debut, frustrated Jambos striker Ellis Simms three times in a thrilling game that ended goalless.

The Everton striker on loan came up against the 23-year-old three times in the second half but was unable to get a winner for Robbie Neilson’s men.

Hibs had his own chances to score a priceless victory at Leith.

Kevin Nisbet couldn’t convert in a first half that Maloney’s men took advantage of.

And near the end, substitute Josh Campbell had a golden chance at close range, but Scotland number one Craig Gordon kept him out.

A lot of passion and desire was shown, but the 90 minutes lacked any real quality, with neither side deserving of victory.

The draw was a better result for the visitors who finished third in the Premiership, 12 points clear of their city rivals.

3 talking points

Jambos defense stands firm

There was pressure on the Hearts defense going into the derby without regular top picks John Souttar and Craig Halkett.

But Robbie Neilson’s patched-up rearguard held its own in the hostile atmosphere of Easter Road, which bodes well for the Jambos going forward, especially when Souttar departs for the Rangers in the summer.

It was always going to be a change for the visitors’ back three against a Hibees attacking duo of Kevin Nisbet and Christian Doidge.

But Taylor Moore and new signing Toby Sibbick did not let their manager down and were solid throughout, with Stephen Kingsley by their side.

Sibbick, who arrived just a few days ago from Barnsley, had a loose pass in the first half that put his side in trouble but came back brilliantly to avoid danger.

Souttar and Halkett are great players for the Tynecastle side, but Neilson would have been delighted with his replacements fighting tooth and nail for a clean sheet.

it’s never a classic

These games never seem to change and it’s unlikely they ever will when so much passion and pride is at stake.

It was never going to be a classic with fluid football, regardless of how each coach put his team to play.

And from minute one it was frenetic football, with very few players capable of putting their foot on the ball and making something happen.

The crowd was whipped up before kick-off by a Hibees singer on the field, whose ‘get up’ gesture towards the other end increased the excitement even further.

EHibs Lewis Stevenson (left) battles with Ellis Simms of Hearts but is not penalized on derby day

The likes of Barrie McKay and Joe Newell tried to slow down and pass him. But before they could think, they were being harassed with tackles flying all over the place. There were so many turnovers in possession, that neither side could get a proper foothold.

With both teams not giving an inch, it seemed inevitable that it would end in a stalemate.

At times, it felt like they were playing with a bomb instead of a ball, but honestly that’s why we love this accessory.

The quality wasn’t there, but you couldn’t take your eyes off the action.

Roll to the next.

Dabrowski steps forward

Hibs were hit hard before kick-off with the news that ‘goalkeeper Matt Macey was out, but his backup Kevin Dabrowski, who made his debut for Hibees in the derby, performed superbly under the sticks.

The Easter Road team used to have problems with goalkeeping, particularly against Hearts.

But the 23-year-old should be proud of his performance last night. After Hibs prevailed in the first half, the Jambos stepped up in the second and put pressure on the home team.

He was called up three times in quick succession as forward Ellis Simms came in to face him.

But Dabrowski pulled off a trio of fabulous saves to deny Everton’s loan man at close range.

It was a great test for the goalkeeper, who has had spells at Cowdenbeath and Dumbarton.

But he proved to his boss Maloney that he can be trusted when Macey is away.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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