Classic Teams: Hibernian 2016, Scottish Cup Winners

By Keiran Fleming

Classic Teams - Hibs 2016.jpg

Henderson to deliver…

Their league season was relatively forgettable, with the Hibees finishing third behind champions Rangers and Falkirk. Hibs would also be knocked out by Falkirk in the play-off semi final.  It was their Cup runs that got the fans up off their seats. Hibs had a fantastic run in both the League cup and Scottish cup. They reached both finals, beaten by Ross County in the League cup and winning against Championship rivals Rangers in the Scottish cup.

The start of the league campaign was a dismal one with a loss away to Dumbarton. This defeat was followed by a win at Morton then a defeat away to title rivals Rangers. After that up and down start the Hibees went on a 14 game unbeaten streak including a 2-1 win over Rangers. However, Rangers would be the side that broke that unbeaten streak with a 4-2 victory at Ibrox.

Hibernian did seem to shrug the defeat off however, with another short unbeaten run. This run of games was quickly followed by a drop off in form which saw them lose 4 games on the trot. This bad run of results is probably what put a halt to Hibs title push. After finishing third Stubbs’ men had the play-offs to prepare for.

Their first challenge was fourth placed Raith Rovers and they put up a fight. Raith won the first leg 1-0 meaning that Hibs had to overcome the deficit at home to make it into the semi final against Falkirk. Goals from both James Keatings and Jason Cummings were enough to put Hibs one step closer to promotion. Falkirk were next up and they proved to be too difficult to overcome. The first leg at Easter Road was too close to call with a 2-2 draw. The second leg looked to be ending in the same fashion as the first with both sides scoring twice going into injury time, however, it was a heartbreaking 92nd minute winner from McHugh that would condemn Hibernian to another season in the Championship. 

Although many Hibs fans may have been disappointed with the league campaign the two cup runs they went on were simply magical. Hibs breezed through the first round of the League cup with a 3-0 win against Montrose. Next up was Stranraer and they proved to be tougher than anyone thought. An own goal from Scott Rumsby was enough to put the Hibees through to the third round.

Next up was Aberdeen who were topping the Premiership at the time. Hibs scored two goals in the space of 6 minutes, Cummings scored in the 82nd minute before being subbed off for Dominique Malonga who then scored in the 88th minute assuring the Hibees a place in the quarter finals.

Dundee United were next, the Terrors were in the midst of a dismal season which saw them finish at the bottom of the table. Hibs brushed their future Championship rivals aside with a resounding 3-0 victory. The semi final against St Johnstone would take place at Tynecastle home of Hibernian’s fierce city rivals Hearts. This may have been their toughest test yet, it was a tight game with both sides scoring before half time. 15 minutes from time John McGinn was the hero scoring the winner with a long drive from distance.

The only team left between Hibs and the League cup were Ross County. Both sides had scored before the half time whistle meaning the score was level going into the second half. Hibs would face heartbreak in the 90th minute with Alex Schalk finish from close range giving the trophy to the Staggies. 

Hibs would get a second chance at Hampden park glory and this time they were salivating at the chance to get a hold of some silverware. First up for Hibs were Championship side Raith Rovers who had struggled to get a result against Hibs so far that season. The Hibees put two past Raith which led to a fifth round face off against fierce rivals Hearts.

Their cup run was in the balance before half time with Hearts going two up in the first half. Hearts held onto the lead until the 80th minute when Cummings was able to grab one back however time was running out. Paul Hanlon was able to take advantage of a rebound in the 91st minute which meant the score was level and a replay at Easter road was on the cards. An early Cummings goal was enough to put Hibs through to the Quarter final but they would be without their goalscorer after he was sent off in the 78th minute.

A 1-1 draw with Inverness meant that it was another replay for the Hibees. Antony Stokes scored twice in the first half giving Hibs a 2-0 lead. Inverness were able to get one back but Stubbs’ lads were able to hold them off for a place in the semi final.

Hibs would face against Dundee United again in the Semi final, this time it was a much tighter affair. After 120 minutes neither side had scored. The Hibees were able to overcome the pressure and win 4-2 on penalties.

Next up was a full Championship clash at Hampden for the Scottish Cup. Hibs were dying to get one over Rangers after they had beaten them to Championship title. The Hibees got off to a great start with Stokes scoring in the 3rd minute. Rangers would go level just before the half hour mark, they would later take the lead through Andy Halliday. With 10 minutes Stokes would get Hibs level with his second of the game. The game was looking as though it was heading to extra time but header from club captain David Gray in the 92nd minute meant Hibernian were the 2016 Scottish Cup winners. This Cup game will live in the memory of Hibs fans for years to come.

Where are they now?

John McGinn

John McGinn signed for Hibs from St Mirren at the beginning of the 2015-16 season and he quickly became a fan favourite. He made 52 appearances in his first year at the club and played a key role in their Scottish Cup campaign. McGinn would help HIbs get promoted the season after. During the Summer of 2017 Nottingham Forest had 3 bids rejected for the midfielder. The Scottish international took the Premiership by storm in his first season in the top flight, he would be nominated for players’ player of the season.

At the end of the season Celtic made 3 unsuccessful attempts for McGinn, however he did eventually move but to English Championship side Aston Villa. The Scotsman would quickly become a fan favourite and a key player. McGinn was voted as Villa’s fans’ player of the year and their players’ player of the year at the end of the season.

The midfielder solidified himself into Villa’s history books by scoring the winner in the Premiership play-off final. He has also taken the English Premiership by storm so far scoring 3 goals 6 games. McGinn is being linked with a move to Manchester United so who knows what’s next for the midfielder.

Jason Cummings

Jason Cummings came through the Hibs academy but he was a boyhood Hearts fan. The striker was their top scorer with 25 goals during their Scottish Cup winning season. The twice capped international would have one more season at Easter road scoring over 20 goals for the third year in a row.

Cummings would sign for Nottingham Forest after the promotion winning season. He played 17 times for the Championship side in his first season and scored 4 times, however he has played for the side since.

The striker was shipped out to Rangers on loan where he had a decent run of form. The season after he was loaned to Peterborough United and Luton Town but again struggled for form. He has now signed permanently for Shrewsbury Town. So far he has scored 2 goals in 2 games. Cummings is also looking to change his allegiances from Scotland to Australia due to the fact his mother being Austrailian and the only games he has played for Scotland were friendlies.

Liam Henderson

Henderson was taken on loan from Celtic and was an influential part of the 2015-16 squad making 48 appearances for the side. After returning to Celtic he barely got a look in under Brendan Rodgers only starting 6 times. In January 2018 the midfielder would move Italian Serie B side Bari for just over £100,000. After appearing 18 times in a half a season before the club went bankrupt. The Scot was then signed by Hellas Verona for free where he played a key role in getting the side promoted to Serie A. Henderson became the first Scot to play in the top flight in Italian football since Graeme Souness in 1986.

Fraser Fyvie

Fraser Fyvie signed for Hibs after being released by Wigan in 2014. The Midfielder would spend three seasons at Easter Road helping them win the Scottish Cup and then getting promoted. Fyvie was offered a new contract but took too long to respond so the offer was withdrawn. He would then sign for Dundee United and play there for two seasons where he failed to win promotion, before being released in 2019. He now plays in league 2 for newcomers Cove Rangers under Paul Hartley. 

Anthony Stokes

Stokes moved on loan to Hibs from Celtic during the January transfer window in 2016. He appeared 25 times and scored 9 times. The striker put in a man of the match performance against Rangers during the Scottish Cup final scoring twice. After his half season at Hibs he completed a move to Blackburn Rovers signing a 3 year contract. His tenure was cut short when his contract was terminated after 1 year.

The Irish international returned to Easter Road for one more season scoring 11 goals in 21 games. He only lasted half a season due to his release after breaching team disciplinary rules. A move to Greek side Apollon Smyrni was next, after 2 months Stokes went missing from training and his contract was terminated. His next footballing stint would take place in Iran where he got off to a hot start with 10 goals in 9 games for his club Tractor.

His contract was terminated after Stokes returned to Dublin for personal reasons. Stokes currently plays for Adana Demirspor in the second tier of Turkish football.

Alan Stubbs

Alan Stubbs time at Hibs would be his most Successful as a manager. After winning the Scottish Cup he left for pastures new at Rotherham United. Stubbs lasted for just under 2 months after losing 10 games out of 14. The Englishman would return to Scottish football as St Mirren manager but again he lasted less than 3 months after leaving in September 2018. Stubbs has admitted he made a mistake leaving  Hibs. Stubbs is currently out of a job and acts as a pundit for different newspapers.

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