AR020221 0837
Tue 02 Feb 2021
SPFL Premiership
HT 0-0
St Mirren St Mirren FC
1
Hibernian Hibernian FC
2
Alnwick (
36')
Obika (
74')
Porteous (
55')
Boyle (pen.) (
71')
Match Report

Hibernian moved up into third place in the Scottish Premiership following a 2-1 victory over St Mirren.

Hibs, who have now won each of their last five visits to Paisley, deservedly claimed the full three points and their ninth win on the road this term.

St Mirren impressed with their intensity in the opening spell, but a red card for goalkeeper Jak Alnwick swung the match in the visitors’ favour.

Ryan Porteous bulleted home a header shortly after coming on as a second-half substitute and Martin Boyle doubled Hibs’ lead from the penalty spot.

St Mirren substitute Jonathan Obika reduced the deficit soon after and the Saints pushed hard for a leveller without testing Ofir Marciano too much.

Jack Ross returned to his old stomping ground and kept faith with the same starting XI that defeated Dundee United at the weekend.

The hosts went into the match in a buoyant mood after victories over Dundee United and Celtic in recent weeks.

After a tame opening, it was St Mirren that did most of the early pressing, carving out the game’s first opportunity when Kristian Dennis’ snapshot from the edge of the box drifted harmlessly wide of Marciano’s near post.

The St Mirren striker had another effort soon after, this time from distance following Marcus Fraser’s lay-off, and again he dragged his shot wide.

Dennis came close to a breakthrough when a cross from the right was flicked on by the boot of Ryan Flynn and Dennis was a whisker away from connecting as Marciano gathered.

The Easter Road men had a penalty appeal in the 33rd minute when Chris Cadden burst into the St Mirren box before going down under the challenge of Richard Tait. Referee Alan Muir was unmoved by Hibs’ appeal and award the hosts a goal kick.

Two minutes later St Mirren were reduced to 10 men. Jake Doyle-Hayes was short with a pass-back and Boyle pounced to race through on goal. The Hibs man knocked it beyond Alnwick, only to be taken out and referee Muir had little choice other than to send off the goalkeeper.

Jim Goodwin sacrificed Dennis, who had until then enjoyed a good showing, with substitute keeper Dean Lyness quickly called into action to hold a powerful low drive from Paul McGinn.

from @HibernianFC

During the break both teams would make changes, with Obika and Porteous on for their respective sides.

It did not take Porteous long to make an impact as the substitute rose above Tait to powerfully head an in-swinging Boyle corner kick into the net and give his side the lead.

Boyle’s pinpoint delivery for Porteous was as impressive as the finish itself and the winger produced another fantastic cross moments later, which Christian Doidge glanced goalward and Lyness acrobatically pushed over the crossbar.

Boyle was proving to be a real asset in the second period and he again carved out an opportunity when he got beyond Tait and whipped a terrific delivery across the face of goal. However, on this occasion, there were no takers for Hibs.

Hibernian extended their lead in the 69th minute when Jamie Murphy was taken down in the box by Fraser and Boyle smashed home the penalty for his seventh goal of the campaign.

Hibs' two-goal advantage lasted only four minutes as St Mirren broke down the left through Dylan Connolly and he squared to the unmarked Obika, who slotted it away.

Almost immediately Hibs were back on the attack and from Boyle’s cutback Murphy was unlucky not to score as his shot struck the outside of Lyness’ near-post.

The winger had another effort, five minutes from time, when his angled drive was deflected just wide of goal.

Despite being down to 10 men, St Mirren deserve credit for throwing caution to the wind and putting Hibs under late pressure.

The Leith men stood tall and resolute to see the game out and extend their unbeaten run over the Buddies to 10 games.

Image: Alan Rennie.

Report: Richard Payne.