Goals from Danny Handling (pictured) and Dominique Malonga secured the three points as Hibs cruised past Alloa Athletic this afternoon at Easter Road.
Before the game Head Coach Alan Stubbs had demanded that his players shake off their ‘hangover’ following last week’s defeat at Falkirk and they responded positively with a comfortable win.
On a bitterly cold day, Stubbs was able to recall two of his most experienced and influential players, skipper Liam Craig and Malonga for the visit of the Wasps.
A minute’s applause was held before the game in tribute to former Hibs’ wing half John Baxter who sadly passed away earlier in the week.
Hibs dominated from the first whistle with Alloa getting everyone behind the ball at every opportunity.
Hibs almost took the lead in the 20th minute when Malonga’s strike was well saved by Craig McDowall in the Alloa goal, then Paul Hanlon went close before the Easter Road side eventually broke the deadlock when McDowall spilled Jason Cummings’ shot and Handling was in the right place to slot the ball home to the delight of the home fans.
McDowall then did well to save at the feet of Scott Robertson just before half time.
Six minutes after the break, David Gray limped off and was replaced by Callum Booth with Lewis Stevenson moving to right back, Cummings had two great chances to increase the lead before Scott Allan almost scored direct from a corner kick.
The second goal eventually arrived in the 72nd minute when Malonga looped a Robertson pass over McDowall and into the net.
Matt Kennedy almost added a third shortly after coming on as a substitute and Liam Fontaine went close near the end as Hibs secured a vital three points to remain in fourth place.
Hibs: Oxley, Gray, Hanlon, Fontaine, Robertson, Craig, Stevenson, Handling, Allan, Malonga, Cummings. Subs: Perntreou, Booth, Stanton, Kennedy, Sinclair, Martin, Heffernan.
Alloa Athletic: McDowall, Doyle, Gordon, Benedictus, Meggatt, McCord, Simmons, Docherty, Hetherington, Spence, Ferns, Subs: Cawley, Holmes, Gibson, Marr, Forsyth,Wilson
Photo by John Preece