Fenlon glee after goal-fest

  • Last Updated: September 25 2013, 8:00 BST

Hibs boss Pat Fenlon felt his side's 5-3 League Cup win over Stranraer could have been won be an even more freakish scoreline.

Liam Craig: On target in Hibernian's victory over Stranraer
Liam Craig: On target in Hibernian's victory over Stranraer

Liam Craig struck his first-ever hat-trick in a breathless victory for the Easter Road side as the plucky League One visitors gave as good as they got against their top-flight opponents.

And Fenlon conceded the open nature of the game could have seen even more goals.

He said: "It was a good game, plenty of goals and end-to-end action. It was a decent cup tie I suppose.

"Did we lose concentration? I don't know. We were criticised for being too negative, now we are being criticised for being too attack minded. You can't win.

"It was a decent game and you have got to give them some credit. They scored some decent goals and there was a lot of chances at both ends. The score could have been a lot higher, maybe 7-6."

Stranraer knocked Ross County out of the competition in the previous round and took a shock lead in the third-round tie as Jamie Longworth headed them in front after four minutes.

Craig nodded home a leveller after nine minutes before the impressive Abdellah Zoubir found the net with a deflected strike, while an own goal from Scott Rumsby put them two to the good at the break.

Former St Johnstone midfielder Craig grabbed a second two minutes after the restart but Hibs were panicking as Chris Aitken - brother of Stranraer boss Stephen - curled home a fine strike 60 seconds later and then home defender Michael Nelson put through his own net on 54 minutes to close the gap to 4-3.

But Craig blasted home his 50th career goal from the penalty spot after Rumsby handball to complete his treble and see Hibs through to the quarter-finals.

Fenlon added: "We're delighted to be in the next round. We knew it was going to be a tough game for us. In the last round they beat Ross County so we were on a hiding to nothing.

"We knew we had to win the game and that we should win the game. But we have to give them a lot of credit for their performance.

"I also have to give my own players a lot of credit as we played well at times.

"We reacted well to losing the early goal but the confidence is in them right now and you can see that from how they came back from that early set back."

Stephen Aitken said of his Blues players: "I'm proud of the lads. Although we got beat I thought they were great, especially in the second half. When it went to 4-1 it could have been difficult but we rolled our sleeves up and at 4-3 we had a couple of chances that could have made a difference."


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