Hibee History: Chris goes in for the Kill

Hibs striker Chris Killen is challenged by Dunfermline's Scott Wilson
Hibs striker Chris Killen is challenged by Dunfermline's Scott Wilson
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Chris Killen’s double increased Dunfermline’s relegation woes as Hibs won a dour battle at Easter Road.

Jamie McCluskey was denied by a fine save from Dorus De Vries in a first half otherwise devoid of chances.

But New Zealand striker Killen fired Hibs into the lead after the break with a drive from 18 yards.

And, after Sol Bamba’s needless handball, Killen slotted in a second from the spot past Roddy McKenzie, who had replaced the injured De Vries – with the defeat leaving Dunfermline nine points adrift at the bottom of the Scottish Premier League. Hibs manager John Collins dropped error-prone goalkeeper Zibi Malkowski from his squad, with teenager Andrew McNeil making his debut and Simon Brown on the bench.

Young McCluskey was given a rare outing with wingers Dean Shiels and Ivan Sproule serving suspensions.

Stephen Crawford returned from suspension to replace the banned Jim Hamilton up front for Dunfermline, still seeking their first win under their new manager Stephen Kenny, while Stephen Simmons returned after two games out with a hip injury.

Steven Fletcher almost unlocked the visiting defence after 11 minutes, but his ball into the box from a dangerous Steven Whittaker cross found no takers in the six-yard area.

Scott Brown screwed a shot wide after Pars goalkeeper De Vries had palmed away McCluskey’s right-wing cross.

The home fans were growing frustrated at Hibs’ failure to carve out clear chances, while McNeil remained a virtual spectator at the other end.

In a rare attack from the visitors, Mark Burchill hooked a weak shot into McNeil’s arms.

Prompted by second-half substitutes Kevin Thomson, the fit-again captain, and Abdessalam Benjelloun, Hibs were a changed team after the interval.

Whittaker fired an angled drive just over and then Rob Jones nodded a back-post header into the side-netting from Thomson’s free-kick.

The Pars passed up their best chance when Burchill did brilliantly on the left to pull a cross back for Crawford, who turned to sidefoot a 16-yard shot just past the right-hand post. And, seconds later, Brown fed Killen on the edge of the box and the striker turned superbly to drive a shot into the bottom left-hand corner.

De Vries then injured himself palming away another Killen effort and the Dutchman was replaced with Roddy McKenzie.

Hibs struck again after 71 minutes when Bamba was adjudged to have handled Thomson’s corner in the area and Killen fired the spot-kick home for his 14th goal of the season.

Michael Stewart, Benjelloun and Brown all could have added to Hibs’ tally before the final whistle.

Hibs: McNeil, Whittaker, Martis, Jones, Murphy, Beuzelin, Stewart, Brown, McCluskey, Killen, Fletcher.