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Sunday, 16 September, 2001, 16:51 GMT 17:51 UK
Hibs thrash Dunfermline
Tom McManus celebrates scoring Hibs' third goal
Tom McManus celebrates scoring Hibs' third goal
Hibernian 5-1 Dunfermline

Hibs ensured that confidence will be sky-high going into Thursday's rearranged Uefa Cup tie against AEK Athens with a highly impressive win over Dunfermline.

Two first half goals from Craig Brewster and one by Tom McManus was countered only by a Stevie Crawford strike.

But Hibs confirmed their superiority in the second half and added two further goals to their tally thanks to substitute Paco Luna.

Dunfermline's misery was completed when Barry Nicholson was sent off just before full time.

The home fans were out of their seats for the first time in the seventh minute when Tom McManus went down under the challenge of Youssef Rossi, but Hugh Dallas rightly waved away the protests.

Matthias Jack and Barry Nicholson tangle
Matthias Jack and Barry Nicholson tangle
Marco Ruitenbeek brilliantly kept his side on level termsin the 13th minute with an acrobatic finger-tip save from Paul Fenwick's point-blank header after O'Neil's flighted cross.

Hibs' pressure paid off in the 17th minute when Craig Brewster broke the deadlock when he side-footed Orman's cross past Ruitenbeek from close range.

Ruitenbeek again produced a diving save on the half-hour mark to turn Franck Sauzee's long-range effort around the post.

Brewster grabbed his second from 12 yards in the 32nd minute with Dunfermline temporarily down to ten men - Youssef Rossi was off the pitch getting treatment.

Ruitenbeek almost gifted Hibernian another moments later when he spilled Orman's fierce long-range effort, but he made amends to save at the feet of McManus.

Dunfermline grabbed themselves a lifeline in the 38th minute which was totally against the run of play.

Gary Mason's header fell to Stevie Crawford, with his back to goal and his audacious back-heel wrong-footed Colgan and ended up in the bottom corner.

Youssef Rossi shields the ball from McManus
Youssef Rossi shields the ball from McManus
McManus missed a glorious chance from seven yards two minutes before the break - the ball skidded off the side of his boot and flew wide.

But the youngster made no mistake in the dying seconds as he latched on to Smith's chip forward to fire home.

De la Cruz should have given his side three-goal cushion in the 71st minute when Smith sent him clean through on goal, but Ruitenbeek denied him with his feet.

But substitute Luna did extend Hibernian's lead in the 74th minute when he slotted home from Orman's cross.

And Luna gave McLeish plenty to think about with nine minutes remaining when he headed his second from O'Neil's cross.

The substitute should have bagged a hat-trick with four minutes remaining when Zitelli's corner found him unmarked, but he headed straight at Ruitenbeek.

Barry Nicholson was shown the red card late on for his second bookable offence to compound Dunfermline's misery.

Hibernian: Colgan, Smith, Sauzee, Fenwick, Orman, De la Cruz, Jack, O'Neil, Laursen, McManus, Brewster.

Subs: Caig, Murray, Luna, Brebner, Zitelli.

Dunfermline: Ruitenbeek, MacPherson, Skerla, Rossi, Petrie, Scott Thomson, Nicholson, Mason, Nicholls, de Gier, Crawford.

Subs: Scott Y Thomson, Doesburg, Hampshire, McGroarty, McLeish.

Referee: H Dallas

BBC Sport's Andy Gillies
"The visitors were overwhelmed"
Hibs manager Alex McLeish
"It was good to see the strikers on the scoresheet"
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