Hibs 2-0 St Mirren: Collins and Heffernan earn win

Scott Robertson (right) congratulates goalscorer Paul Heffernan as fellow striker James Collins looks on. Picture: SNS

Scott Robertson (right) congratulates goalscorer Paul Heffernan as fellow striker James Collins looks on. Picture: SNS

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HIBS finally got the home win they had been craving, James Collins and Paul Heffernan bagging the goals against St Mirren at Easter Road.

Scorers: Hibs: Collins (9), Heffernan (61).

Prior to the clash with Saints, Pat Fenlon’s side had only won once in the league on their home patch - against Dundee back in March - and had never scored the first goal in any of their SPFL Premiership games.

But it took just nine minutes for James Collins to fire them in front and Paul Heffernan made sure of the points just after the break.

Collins bagged his first goal for his new club last week in the win over St Johnstone and, inside the first few minutes, he signaled his intent by hassling and harrying the Saints defenders.

He didn’t have to wait long for that second goal, heading home after being teed up by Michael Nelson’s knock-on from a Liam Craig free-kick with just nine minutes showing on the clock.

And Collins almost added to his tally in spectacular fashion when he latched onto a clever ball from Craig.

The Hibs hitman’s turn and shot deserved a goal - but instead curled just a couple of inches wide of goalkeeper Christopher Dilo’s right-hand corner.

Kevin Thomson’s ball over the top almost set Paul Heffernan free, only for the former Killie man to be crowded out by Saints defenders.

Fenlon’s side came close yet again when Paul Hanlon picked out Lewis Stevenson on the left and he fed it into the middle for Heffernan, whose shot was only just tipped around the post by Dilo.

Then a Liam Craig corner was almost converted when it eventually fell to Scott Robertson, but this time a brilliant block from Dilo kept Hibs out.

A long-range effort from Craig pulled out a brilliant stop from Dilo just five minutes into the second half.

Robertson had caused Saints problems throughout the first half and he had a hand in Hibs’ second goal, passing to Alan Maybury.

The right-back fired the ball across the face of goal and Heffernan wasted no time in diverting it in beyond Dilo on an angle.

Collins had the ball in the net again with 69 minutes gone, only to wheel away prepared to celebrate and see the linesman standing with the flag raised above his head.

There could have been a third for Hibs when Craig looked up to see Dilo some distance off his line but the Saints keeper managed to backtrack enough to claw the long, dipping effort away.

In the dying minutes Saints’ misery was compounded when Danny Grainger was sent off for his second yellow card in the matter of just a few minutes.

Hibs: Williams, Hanlon, Nelson, Robertson, Craig, Collins (Zoubir 82), Stevenson, Maybury, Taiwo (Stanton 82), Heffernan, Thomson. Subs: Murdoch, McGivern, McPake, Vine,, Caldwell.

St Mirren: Dilo, McAusland, Goodwin, McGowan (McGinn 90), Thompson, Newton, Van Zanten (Bahoken 66), Grainger, Harkins (Caprice 62), McLean, Teale. Cornell,, Reilly, McGregor, Mair.

Referee: Steven McLean

Attendance: 9417