Youngsters shine as Hibs beat Zeeland select 4-0
Hibs youngsters have given Pat Fenlon a welcome selection headache for the coming season with fine performances against a Zeeland select this afternoon. Goals by Sam Stanton, Danny Handling (2) and Ross Caldwell secured an emphatic victory in the seering heat of the Sportscomplex in Vlissingen.
Fenlon made ten changes from the team which narrowly lost to OH Leuven last night, with only trialist Alan Maybury retaining his place although he changed position from centre midfield to his more familiar right back. As expected, skipper James McPake returned to the starting line up with Sean O’Hanlon as his defensive partner.
Youngsters Calum Antwell, Danny Handling and Sam Stanton all made their first starts in the famous green and white jersey alongside new loan signing Lee Griffiths, as Fenlon clearly wanted to give all his squad some game time.
Fenlon continued with the new-look 4-2-3-1 formation with Callum Booth handed a holding midfield role, and after a slow start Hibs began to take total control of the match against a Zeeland side containing semi-professional players from the region.
This dominance eventually led to an opening goal on 24 minutes. A Jorge Claros throughball allowed Pa Kujabi to get to the by-line and his cross was stuck in the net by Stanton on the second attempt.
The Easter Road men then doubled their advantage on 37 minutes when Danny Handling met Leigh Griffiths’ cross at the back post to score from close range.
Just before half-time, Paul Cairney had a goal disallowed for offside.
After the break, Hibernian moved up a gear and Handling struck again with a superb finish, rifling a low right-footed shot into the far corner of the net to make it 3-0.
Handling was involved in the fourth when he set up Ross Caldwell to score from close range for his second goal of the pre-season tour.
Hibs final game will be against Union Berlin on Tuesday night, before they return to Edinburgh to prepare for their friendly match against Huddersfield Town on Saturday 28 July.
Hibernian: Calum Antell, Alan Maybury, James McPake, Sean O’Hanlon, Pa Kujabi, Jorge Claros, Callum Booth, Danny Handling, Paul Cairney, Sammy Stanton, Leigh Griffiths.
Subs: David Stephens for Maybury, Caldwell for Griffiths, Doyle for Stanton