Martin Boyle’s jaw-dropping winner against Livingston is sure to live long in the memories of the Hibs fans but the winger insists he was so overcome with emotion that he temporally succumbed to amnesia.
The former Dundee player’s 25-yard half-volley rocketed into the top corner and capped a spirited comeback as Hibs reignited their promotion hopes.
It looked like being another night of frustration for Alan Stubbs’ side when Jordan White stunned the home fans with a 23rd minute opener but after Anthony Stokes levelled in the 73rd minute, Boyle came up with his moment of magic three minutes later.
The 22-year-old’s unforgettable contribution made sure Hibs once again savoured that winning feeling following a five-game winless stretch, but more crucially the victory closed the gap on second place Falkirk to just three points.
And with the Leith outfit having two games in hand over the Bairns, Stubbs’ team are now back in the driving seat in their bid to claim a play-off semi-final place.
Boyle said: “Have I scored a better goal than that? Nah! I can’t say I have.
“It was a fluke and you will probably never see me do anything like that again.
“I am looking forward to seeing it back a few times although hopefully I can do an even better one than that at some time in my life. But I just can’t see it.
“I actually forgot everything about it after because everyone was just coming in and piling on top of me. I was just blank.
“I couldn’t believe what had happened but the victory was the most important thing.
“Coming on I knew the win was important because it was one of our games in hand and it was a special moment to get a goal like that, especially as it was the winning goal.”
Boyle hovered outside the box and was perfectly placed to strike White’s defensive header after Liam Henderson floated a free-kick into the box but the pacey winger admits he was actually out of position.
Boyle explained: “I was actually told that I should have been up the pitch so I wasn’t supposed to be in that area but John (McGinn) didn’t go forward so I thought i would just float about there and see what happens.
“I was thinking ‘should I go forward a bit?’
“Then obviously the ball came out and I just leathered it as hard as I could, to be honest with you.”
A worrying combination of conceding goals at one end and failing to take their chances at the other saw Hibs’ title challenge go up in smoke in recent weeks.
Falkirk even capitalised to charge into second but Boyle hopes their sticky patch is behind them.
He added: “It is very difficult but we usually have a lot of chances and we just haven’t been as ruthless as we know we can be in the last few weeks, but hopefully this is the start of a wee run again, like we had earlier in the season. We want to kick on from here.
“Sometimes it can get quite hard when the fans are getting on your back.
“People needed to take things into their own hands and try not to lose concentration and, obviously, we were able to grind out result and I think we deserved it at the end of the day.
“We know we have been leaking goals and it hasn’t been ideal but we have missed chances as well and we haven’t been as ruthless as we had been.
“We know all that ourselves but hopefully we can take a lot from this game and then look ahead to Alloa.
“We will recover well from this and we will take it game by game. We are getting boys back now and we can reshuffle the squad and still have a strong team.”
There was joy for Boyle but further agony for Farid El Alagui after the injury-jinxed striker was forced after after just 38 minutes with a hamstring problem on his first start in nearly a year.
Boyle added: “You definitely feel for Farid. You see the injury problems he has had and we all feel sorry for him.
“But it’s also what he brings to the team, his aerial ability and his strength and his goals as well.
“But hopefully it is not too bad and we can get Farid back for some games.”