Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Hibs (3) v Dumbarton (0)

Saturday 21st February 2015, Kick Off 3pm

SPFL Championship

HIBERNIAN coasted to a comfortable 3-0 win at Easter Road this afternoon, as Dumbarton struggled to get out of first gear.

Goals just after the half hour sealed the visitors' fate, with a third added early in the second half.

In truth, Dumbarton never looked in the match, and from the Edinburgh side's point of view it was little tougher than a training game at times.

Sons' gaffer Ian Murray admitted: Hibs are a great club who are flying right now, and it was always going to be tough.

“However, we didn't play particularly well and that was the most disappointing thing, although we could have no complaints with the efforts of the players.

It is difficult being on the run we have recently had. I thought we were pretty poor in this game. But out of the three games against Livingston, Falkirk and Cowdenbeath, I thought Falkirk was our poorest display and it was the one where we took a point.”

The opening half hour of the encounter proved to be almost completely one-sided, with Hibs monopolising possession and virtually setting up camp in the Sons' half.

Even so, opportunities remained few and far between.

Dominique Malonga missed a couple of early chances for Hibernian.

Then Danny Handling shot straight at Sons 'keeper Danny Rogers from the edge of the area, but he held comfortably.

It was Dumbarton's failure to clear their lines that eventually allowed Keith Watson to set up Franck Dja Djedje for a shot into the bottom corner on 29 minutes to give the home side a deserved 1-0 lead.

Watson was again the provider three minutes later, when a simple Malonga header made it 2-0 to Hibernian, after some lax marking at the back by Sons.

It should have been three-nil only moments later, but thankfully from Sons' point of view, Malonga missed out on a hat-trick by curling a tempting effort wide of the post.

Rogers again came to the rescue of the beleaguered men from the Rock when he beat away a Fraser Fyvie strike not long before the break.

The home team's dominance continued into the second half, as they began immediately to apply pressure on Dumbarton's back line.

It only took ten minutes for Hibs to add to their score. A deflected Malonga shot made it 3-0 to the Leith outfit on 55 minutes, not long after they had been denied what looked to be a likely penalty.

Sons gaffer Ian Murray decided to shake the pack by making a double substitution just before the hour, bringing on Chris Duggan and Chris Turner for Dylan Easton and Mark Gilhaney.

Hibernian were still well in control, but seemed to take their pedal off the gas at this point. That allowed Dumbarton the odd foray forward.

Scott Linton cut in from the left and shot from one raid, but missed the target.

Garry Fleming then registered Dumbarton's first serious attempt on goal, getting a decent header onto the end of a Mark Wilson cross.

But it was easily saved by Mark Oxley in the Hibs goal. The Easter Road men then countered, and it was nearly four-nil as Scott Agnew put in a crucial clearance off the line.

The final substitution for Dumbarton came when Darren Petrie was brought on in place of Linton.

However, little changed in the final minutes of the game, with Hibs continuing to pile on the pressure, relieved by only the briefest movements out of their own half by Sons.

Next up is a testing home matches against promotion play-off contenders Queen of the South (28th February) followed by fellow strugglers Alloa Athletic (7th March).

Dumbarton: Rogers, Linton (Petrie 80), Gilhaney (Turner 58), Agnew, Megginson, Taggart, Fleming, Easton (Duggan 58), Findlay, Campbell, Wilson. Subs: Grindlay (gk), Mair, McCallum.

Hibernian: Oxley; Hanlon, Fontaine, Robertson, Stevenson (Gray 80), Watson, Handling (Duthie 85), Fyvie, McGeouch, Malonga (Boyle 80), Djedje. Subs: Cerny; Forster, Cummings, Martin.

Referee: Greg Aitken. Assistants: John McCrossan, David McKniff.

Attendance: 8,330 (175 from Dumbarton).

Simon Barrow