BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Hibs star Darren McGregor reckons he knows the secret behind Jason Cummings’ sensational derby strike against Hearts – the amount of hairspray he uses!
The Scotland under-21 forward launched the Hibees’ dramatic Edinburgh derby comeback after 80 minutes, looping a wonderful header beyond Neil Alexander to bring the score back to 2-1.
Lifting the lid on a rigorous pre-match grooming schedule, McGregor believes Cummings’ hair product should get some of the credit for his 19th goal of a prolific campaign.
“He puts about a bottle on it each day. I said to him: ‘If that hits a soft head then it might not have gone in!’ He gets that wee bit extra with the hairspray.
“But Jase is a poacher and a goalscorer and he scores all sorts of goals now. With his feet, his head, whatever. That gave us the platform.
“The gaffer told us that if we could get a goal we’d be right back in it and, if the ref had given us another five minutes, we would have definitely gone on to win the game.”
Following Cummings’ heroics on Sunday, Paul Hanlon then secured a replay in injury time by scrambling home a low drive after McGregor had seen his own header blocked by Alexander.
The boyhood Hibee added: “It was one of the best feelings ever to contribute to the equalising goal, especially at Tynecastle after being two goals down.
“It was a wee centre-half double-act there. When I got hold of the header I thought there was a god chance it was going to go in.
“But the keeper made a really good save and thankfully Paul was there to react. I was delighted for him, he showed great anticipation to turn in the rebound.”
Meanwhile, McGregor heaped praise on “young whippersnapper” Kevin Thomson following the experienced midfielder’s THIRD Hibs debut.
The 31-year-old, who had not played since Dundee’s 2-1 derby win over United on January 2, replaced the injured Dylan McGeouch after just 31 minutes and settled into the familiar contest.
As well as being tenacious in the tackle and calm on the ball, he was in the right place at the right time to clear a Blazej Augustyn header off the line in the dying embers of a breathless contest.
McGregor told Hibs TV: “I said to Thommo: ‘You look like a 21-year-old whippersnapper out there!’ It was like when he first broke through.
“He was exactly what we needed. On the face of it, with Thommo and Marvin Bartley – two defensive midfielders – you do think you might not get the attacking flair of a [Dylan] McGeouch, but it worked.
“I thought Kevin was amazing when he came one. He will admit that he maybe can’t get about the way he would like, but he came on and broke up the play, played the ball to teammates and showed a bit of aggression.”