Martin Boyle stars on return as Hibs bounce back in style from Andorra humbling
Martin Boyle made a triumphant return as Hibernian bounced back from their shock defeat in Andorra to move safely into the next round of the Europa Conference League with a 6-1 win over Inter d’Escaldes.
Boyle hit an early double on his first appearance in nine months to set Hibs on their way to a 7-3 aggregate victory at Easter Road.
Josh Campbell also scored twice and Christian Doidge and Elie Youan were on target as Hibs made up to the travelling fans who launched a vitriolic response to their team’s defeat seven days earlier.
Hibs survived injuries to two goalkeepers to progress to a tie against Swiss side Luzern, who edged past Swedes Djurgarden 3-2 on aggregate.
Boyle was a surprise inclusion in a team which showed six changes to the one that lost last week. The Australia international’s previous game for Hibs was in late October, when he suffered a knee injury which ruled him out of the World Cup.
Boyle had been taken to Andorra for what manager Lee Johnson described as “cheerleading” duties on the bench but he was drafted straight into the starting line-up after playing 45 minutes of a friendly against Blackpool on Saturday.
The winger made his mark inside 10 minutes. Boyle ran on to Joe Newell’s pass over the full-back and rolled the ball into an empty net after the goalkeeper raced off his line only to palm the ball off the wide player.
Hibs suffered a blow when Jojo Wollacott’s debut was cut short by a thigh problem after replacing David Marshall when the former Scotland goalkeeper suffered an injury in the warm-up. Max Boruc came on for his own debut.
Hibs doubled their lead midway through the half when the unmarked Boyle headed home Newell’s cross from seven yards.
Doidge netted an overhead kick in the 29th minute after Will Fish had headed against the bar and the goals continued three minutes after the interval.
Campbell took advantage of hesitancy in the visiting defence to loop a header home after Doidge’s flick-on, and the midfielder tapped home his second in the 61st minute following good wing play from Youan.
Youan soon smashed the ball high into the net to make it six and there were other chances for Hibs to give their supporters further cause to wonder how they had managed to lose so poorly in the first leg. Substitute Dylan Levitt saw long-range volley tipped over and Doidge had a goal ruled out for offside.
There was a late reminder that their opponents had some quality in their ranks in the 83rd minute when Angel De La Torre arrowed an excellent finish into the top corner for a consolation goal which prompted applause from some of the 13,840 crowd.
It was Inter’s first effort on target of the night but Boruc went on to make a decent late stop with his foot.
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