HIBS ended their away-day drought as a comprehensive second-half performance against a disappointing Dundee United secured their first away league victory in nine months.
Manager Tony Mowbray often lamented that Hibs’ youth and inexperience cost them points despite dominating many matches.
The Edinburgh side are renowned for flowing football but there was little in the first half, with Scott Brown and Kevin Thomson, the Hibs midfielders heralded as two of the best young talents in Scotland, particularly disappointing.
The visitors were nearly caught out in the second minute when Noel Hunt, in for suspended winger Barry Robson, shot just wide of the left-hand post.
Hibs defender Rob Jones was then fortunate not to concede a penalty when he lunged at Hunt but no award was given.
Mowbray’s team were not at their best but Hibs had the best chances of the first period.
Abdessalam Benjelloun had a shot deflected over the crossbar and then scuffed an effort wide when he should have done better. From close-range, Jones hooked over when he might have hit the target, and at the other end Collin Samuel tested Zbigniew Malkowski with a low drive.
The visitors appeared to be more hungry after half-time and Chris Killen latched on to a 51st-minute long ball from Shelton Martis after beating Alan Archibald for pace and he half-volleyed the opening goal past Derek Stillie from 18 yards.
The Kiwi could have doubled his tally when the skilful Merouane Zemmama threaded the ball into Killen’s path but his acute-angled attempt was halted by the feet of Stillie. When United player-manager Craig Brewster entered the fray he almost put United level, his initial shot well saved by Malkowski, then his header sailed high.
United lived to regret that as Hibs substitute Dean Shiels lobbed a perfect finish over Stillie after the home ’keeper had saved Benjelloun’s long-range smash.
Substitute Ivan Sproule rounded off a fine afternoon for Hibs by slotting home calmly in the closing moments after Shiels had teed him up.
Hibs: Malkowski, Whittaker, Murphy, Martis, Jones, Thomson, Stewart, Zemmama, Brown, Benjelloun, Killen.