BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
ALAN Stubbs insists Hibs have given themselves a ‘fighting chance’ of overhauling Falkirk to clinch second place in the Championship after their 4-0 victory over Dumbarton left the runners-up race on ‘an edge’.
A James Keatings hat-trick and an injury-time Anthony stokes strike left the Bairns with an advantage of three in their goal difference as the sides head into Sunday’s final day equal on points.
“It’s probably a little bit more intriguing for Sunday. It still leaves things on an edge,” said Stubbs. “We’ve certainly got a fighting chance.
“But the most important thing is we’ve got to make sure we win on Sunday first, because I think we’ve both got difficult games.
“There’s a lot of people looking at the goal difference but the most important thing is you win the game first.”
Jamie Ewings was in inspired form in the Dumbarton goal, saving brilliantly from Stokes and Liam Henderson, whilst Lewis Stevenson hit the post and both Stokes and Niklas Gunnarsson should have converted close-range opportunities.
Stubbs added: “We’ve scored four and if it wasn’t for their keeper it could have been seven. If that’s anyone else you were probably lauding the performance.
“I was quite relaxed with it because I knew we would create chances and I knew Dumbarton would tire.
“But their keeper’s really kept the score-line down to four.”
The extent of Hibs’ victory ensures that a turn around in goal difference is now at least plausible as they prepare to host Queen of the South on Sunday at the same time as Falkirk are at home to Morton.
There is even the scenario where both teams could end up with exactly the same points and goals record.
A 1-0 success for Falkirk and a 4-0 triumph for Hibs would mean both were on the same points, with 61 goals scored and 34 conceded.
In that circumstance it is believed that second place would come down to the head-to-head history of the teams this term, with Hibs having the better record thanks to one win and three draws.
It all adds up to a tense climax to a campaign that will still not be over either way, as the play-offs loom large for both clubs.
Stubbs commented: “I’m sure there will be radios on on Sunday and I’m sure there’ll be cheers and bits of quietness.
“But all I’m thinking about, firstly, is performing as well as we have tonight on Sunday – and if we do we’ll have a good chance of getting a result.”