Cup heartbreak for Mowbray

TONY Mowbray will have to wait another season to end Hibernian's 103 years search for Scottish Cup glory, writes Derek Davis.A 2-1 defeat by SPL's basement club Dundee United shattered the Hibees' dream although they still have the chance of European football to look forward to.

TONY Mowbray will have to wait another season to end Hibernian's 103 years search for Scottish Cup glory, writes Derek Davis.

A 2-1 defeat by SPL's basement club Dundee United shattered the Hibees' dream although they still have the chance of European football to look forward to.

Instead of leading his side out against his former club Celtic at the end of May, Mowbray will now focus his team on maintaining third place and a UEFA Cup spot.

Mowbray insists what he and assistant manager Mark Venus are doing at Easter Road is very much 'work in progress' and the experience of defeat will benefit the young side's footballing education, starting in the country's capital derby against fellow semi-final losers Hearts, on Wednesday.

He said: “We are all disappointed and I told them that I remember what it feels like to lose a semi-final.

“But they will come back stronger because they are a fantastic bunch of lads and they have accumulated 53 points and there's seven massive games for them to go now.

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“We deserve something from the season and we have to make sure we get enough points to qualify for Europe by making sure we show we're the third place team in Scotland.

“We can do that and the game in midweek gives you the opportunity to get back to winning ways and erase the memories of a big defeat and put it to bed.

“The fans have got to understand that we are always disappointed to lose football matches but the players have done fantastic to get to the semi-final.

“I am confident they will learn from this and there will be plenty more good times, semi-finals and finals down the road.”

Hibs' Stephen Glass, Scott Brown and Riordan all went close in the first half before Stephen Fletcher missed a gilt-edged chance from six yards before Riordan fired them ahead.

Mowbray was forced to take off the injured David Murphy but also introduced teenage Irishman Ivan Sproule for former Arsenal attacker Dean Shiels.

But it was United's caretaker-manager Gordon Chisholm's decision to make three changes that swung the game.

Jim McIntyre tapped in after Hibs failed to stem the three-man attack, despite warnings from Venus and Mowbray just moments before.

Jason Scotland was allowed to run across the edge of the Hibernian box before sending in a left-foot shot.

Mowbray responded by sending on Sam Morrow for Riordan to save the game with 12 minutes remaining but the willing youngster could not make the difference. Another former Town player had to sit watching from the bench with Antonio Murray added to the squad when skipper Ian Murray was suspended.

Former Colchester United keeper Simon Brown was fortunate not to be dismissed along with McIntyre, who will miss the final for his yellow card, after the pair tangled illegally.

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