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Hibernian 2006

Football Aid Championships, Sunday 9th April, Easter Road, att 250

Hibs 6 Hibs 4

Reilly’s Home side fought back from two goals down to claim a decisive victory over Preston’s men this weekend.

1 cracking goal and a penalty from striker Wilson gave Hibs Away an early lead before Hibs Home rallied and levelled the score line before half time.

Centre Forward, Maclure latched onto McRae’s pass in the second half to steal the lead for the Home team but Hibs Away swiftly came back with substitute Bruce confidently sliding the ball past keeper Haynes to make the score line 3 all.

The crucial turning point for Reilly’s side came early on in the second half after the ball richoted off the Hibs Away defence and into goal. Maclure moved in for the kill after keeper McCardle failed to hold Carr’s sizzling strike minutes later, taking the score to 5-3, and although Hibs Away substitute Rae scored a stormer in the 25th minute, it failed to stop Home’s momentum with Carr finding the back of the net on the half hour to round off the scoring.

Sunday 9th April was the official start of the Football Aid Championships 2006 and to celebrate, a feast of former Hibs heroes were onside to ensure the event kicked off with a bang. For the Home side, Lawrie Reilly acted as manager with Keith Wright, the celebrity player whilst Tommy Preston and Mickey Weir expertly managed the Away team. With such a strong management team to impress, there was everything to play for and both teams proved up for the challenge…

The first half proved to be a fantastic battle that left the noisy, appreciative crowd gasping for breath. Both sides began well, attacking hard in search of that all-important early goal. Both teams enjoyed numerous close chances but it wasn’t until the 24th minute, that the deadlock was broken. Hibs Away took the lead when silky striker Wilson caught Reilly’s defence napping, running unchallenged towards keeper, Haynes and slotting the ball confidently home. That clearly rattled the Home side as only minutes later a handball in the penalty area allowed Wilson to score his second.

However, after some beautiful forward play, midfielder Lannin hammered in a great header to bring Reilly’s side back into the game in the 29th minute. Hibs Home continued to apply the pressure and their hard work was soon rewarded after a mix up between Away’s defence and keeper, McCardle, allowed David Wilson’s strike to find the back of the net. The score line at half time, a tight 2-2.

The second half kicked off at a furious pace with the Home side looking to build on their flurry of late first half attacks. Hibs Away continued to press also but failed to make the most of a free kick awarded in the 8th minute after Home’s McManus took down Mickey Weir in a mistimed tackle. Home were quick to take advantage and midfield maestro, McRae swept down the left wing in a counter attack. His cross in found Maclure’s right boot, giving Reilly’s men the lead for the first time in the match.

Undaunted, Hibs Away responded 3 minutes later as substitute Bruce rounded the Home keeper, slotting the ball into the right hand side of the goal to once more even the score line.

Celebrations for the Away side were short-lived though as once again, Home lifted a gear and took control of the match. An own goal by Away’s defence was swiftly followed by an attack from substitute Carr. Keeper, McCardle failed to hold Carr’s formidable shot and Maclure was waiting to pounce, powering in his second goal of the match.

Despite being two goals down, Away continued to battle. Striker, Wilson was in search of a hat trick but despite his best efforts, failed to round the ever-vigilant Haynes. It was substitute Rae that reduced the gap, scoring a magnificent half volley in the 70th minute to take the score to 5-4.

With Rae’s goal giving Hibs Away hope, suddenly the Home team were on dangerous ground as Preston’s men piled on the pressure. Again, Wilson broke free from the pack in search of a dramatic equaliser and once more a heroic save from Haynes at a point blank range foiled his attempts.

But it was to be Home’s day and with less than 15 minutes to go, substitute Carr sent in his second and the final goal of the match. The final score, a deserving 6-4 to the Home team.

Man of the Match went to Captain Greig Haynes (Home) for his match winning saves and Jim Rae, the defensive dynamo with an eye for goal. As Jim commented after the match, “Thanks so much for giving me the chance to play at Easter Road. The whole day was superb, even Mickey Weir was ecstatic about playing back at his beloved Easter Road. That shows you how much something like this means to everyone."

"My son has not stopped talking about it. All his friends now know that his dad scored a "beauty" at Easter Road and won man of the match! Can't get any better than that. All the families were well looked after and the players were treated like professionals for the day, which was fantastic. Again, my thanks to Football Aid and Hibs FC, it truly was a dream come true.”