Hibs 1 Vetra Vilnius 1

By Meganjack
Last updated : 03 July 2004
The first foray by Hibs into the InterToto cup was badly affected by the torrential rain that hit the capital today. It did not stop Vetra Vilnius scoring that all important away goal just after the hour mark. However, Garry O'Connor made sure that Tony Mowbary did not start off his managerial career with a loss by scoring an equaliser near the end of the game. This leaves the tie evenly balanced for next weekend's second leg in Lithuania. The game was threatened and the services of the Easter Road ground staff were called upon to clear water from the playing surface right up to the start of the game. Both sides found the conditions near impossible to master but Vetra appeared to be able to cope better in the initial stages. Hibs earned an early booking as a Tom McManus tackle on Nerijus brought the referee into play and he was not of a mind to made allowance for the conditions,

The conditions were not helping players keep their tempers as the rain continued through the game. Scott Brown was sent free in the area by a ball from O'Connor but the offside flag halted any problems for Marius in the visitors goal. Brebner was next in the book as he slid into a tackle. Any attempt at playing delicate football fell foul of the weather with just one example being O’Connor losing his feet in the area as he latched on a ball from Brebner. The yellow card count was soon to be 2-1 as Vytautas was booked for a foul on McManus. Hibs tried to make something from the resultant free kick by attacking down the right but conditions made it impossible to play any controlled football. While Vetra managed to get the better start to the game, the visitors failed to capitalise with a goal. They did have their chances such as when Karvelis Vytautas sent Sernas Darvydas clean through. However he was disappointed to watch as see his shot slid narrowly wide from 20 yards out.

Hibs were a different team in the second half and started to exert some control on the game. It was disappointing, therefore, to see the visitors break the deadlock. Against the run of play, Vetra won a corner and, during the ensuing scramble in the home goalmouth, defender Nerijus Sasnauskas pounced to score the opening goal in the 63rd minute. Mowbray will have been pleased to see that his Hibs youngsters did not let their heads go down and pressed for an equaliser from the restart. Scott Brown was his usual combatative self and was making his presence felt. It was from a Brown pass that the Hibs managed to score the gola to even up the tie. Stephen Glass sent over a corner which fell to Brown in the box. He calmly played the ball back to O'Connor who shot home from 16 yards. Honours even on the day and all to play for in the second leg of the tie.

Hibernian: Alistair Brown; Whittaker, Reid, Caldwell, Murdock, Nicol, McManus, Brebner, O’Connor, Scott Brown, Orman.
Subs
: Reid, Smith, Glass, Morrow, Dobbie, Shields, McDonald

FK Vetra Vilnius: Marius, Zydrui, Nerijus, Julius, Zilvinas, Gintaras, Gedi, Darvydas, Rollandas, Neriju, Vytautas.
Subs
: Ramunas, Saulius, Sarunas, Ramunas, Awenayeri, Valerijus


Referee: Tony Asumaa (Finland)

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