Hibernian hosted Kilmarnock in the SPFL Development League on a cold Tuesday night at Ainslie Park. In a dominant performance by Hibs, who ran out 7-0 winners, the presence of Hibs first team regulars Jason Cummings and Martin Boyle played a huge part as both bagged hat-tricks.
The game started at a very nice tempo with both teams playing good passing football. Hibs signalled their intent early on however when Scott Martin found Jason Cummings on the edge of the box. Cummings showed great composure to drill a shot past Devlin Mackay in the Killie goal for 1-0 on six minutes.
Killie looked to respond when Mclean aimed a deep cross in to the Hibs box from out wide on the right hand side, but the ball zipped across the box with no takers for Killie.
Hibs looked to extend their lead with 11 minutes played as Jordan Sinclair found Martin Boyle with a clever through ball. The forward beat two opposition players on a run down the left side and looked to be in a promising position. However, Lewis Clark was quick to react for Killie and closed Boyle down well to force the ball out of harm's way.
Clark must have been angered though to see his efforts come to nothing as Hibs extended their lead just a minute later. First team regulars Cummings and Boyle combined with Cummings showing good presence to hold off a challenge before feeding a ball through for Boyle. The forward ran on to it inside the box and he made no mistake in beating the Killie goalkeeper at close range.
With the score at 2-0 Killie looked to try and get themselves back in to the game. Greg Kiltie delivered in a good ball from a corner on 15 minutes, finding Whittaker on the edge of the Hibs box who let a cross come shot fly. It looked goal bound, but Martyniuk was alert in the heart of the Hibs defence as he produced a good clearance to preserve his teams advantage.
This opportunity for Killie seemed to spur Hibs on as they upped their tempo and pressed high up the park. Aaron Scott and Scott Martin looked composed in the middle of the park as they probed for an opening.
With 19 minutes played, two became three for Hibs. Jason Cummings played the ball out to the left side for Jordan Sinclair and the wide man showed blistering pace to deliver a cross at the byline in to the box. Cummings, who himself had shown a good turn of pace to get in to the box, reclaimed the ball before taking a touch to take Devlin McKay out of the game and slot the goal in to the now open goal. Cummings was showing all the signs of having played at senior level with his awareness, movement, and composure when finishing plain to see.
With the score now 3-0 Hibs continued their domination of the ball, reducing the Killie midfield and strikers to chasing and trying to reclaim at least some possession. Euan Smith, the former Hibs youngster, looked like a man with a point to prove against his former employers. He was a beacon of hope for Killie as he battled with the Hibs midfielders and constantly looked to close his opponents down.
Confidence was surging through the Hibs team by this point and perhaps this was the reason for goal number four. Jordan Sinclair tried his luck from a good 25 yards out on the left side with the ball cannoning off the unfortunate McKay before finding its way, rather fortuitously, in to the back of the net.
With a four goal advantage most teams may have taken the foot of the gas. Hibs however had other ideas and just two minutes later would add number five. Sinclair was once again on hand to provide a through ball for Boyle. He still had lots of work to do and found himself faced with centre back Lewis Clark, who unlike the score would suggest, had actually had a solid game up to this point. Lady lucked smiled on Hibs again however as Clark slipped and allowed Boyle in to the box to apply a simple finish.
Hibs were now in complete control. A lot of credit must be given to Killie for still giving 100% effort despite the score. Indeed with 30 minutes played Kilmarnock would play a lovely passing move as they looked to claw a goal back and give themselves at least some hope. Hawkshaw found Smith from deep and the midfielder played a lovely ball for Mclean who found himself in space and looked ready to strike. Once again however the Hibs defence came out on top Dunsmore coming out of position to clear the ball just before Mclean could pull the trigger.
Hibs would add a sixth before half time. Aaron Scott won possession in midfield and played a short ball to Cummings who had once again shown brilliant awareness and movement to drop deep. The forward, showing brilliant skill, played a defence splitting through ball for the onrushing Boyle to complete his hat trick with a calm finish on 31 minutes.
The final 14 minutes passed without any real chances for either side with Hibs looking content to keep the ball and have Kilmarnock chase them.