Hibee History: Riordan double downs battling Dunfermline
A double from Derek Riordan helped dump Dunfermline and earn Hibs an overdue league victory at Easter Road.
The win came after a sticky spell for third-placed Hibs, who had picked up just four points from their previous six SPL matches.
Hibs forward Garry O’Connor began by causing the visitors all sorts of problems and his seventh-minute chip bounced just wide of the target.
But Dunfermline almost snatched the lead against the run of play when Bartosz Tarachulski connected with a cross from former Hibs player Yannick Zambernardi and Simon Brown did well to cling on to the striker’s header as he fell backwards.
Allan McGregor saved Stephen Glass’ stinging shot before watching O’Connor’s header shave the crossbar from the edge of the six-yard box.
But Hibs were ahead in the 17th minute and there was nothing the Dunfermline goalkeeper could do to stop Riordan’s superb effort.
O’Connor played the ball to his strike partner on the edge of the penalty box and he curled a first-time right-foot shot into the top corner of the net.
Michael Stewart sent an effort over the bar from the edge of box and Glass came within inches of curling a shot home.
Scott Brown carved out a glorious chance moments later when he glided past Iain Campbell in the area but blasted a shot across goal and beyond the far post.
Dunfermline were forced to make a change in the 33rd minute when Andy Tod hobbled off to be replaced by Simon Donnelly and the former Celtic man made an instant impact by hauling his side level two minutes later.
Tarachulski nodded on Zambernardi’s free-kick and Donnelly blasted a low right-foot shot past Brown.
The busy Donnelly then hit the post in the final minute of the half after cutting in from the left flank.
Celtic-bound Hibs defender Gary Caldwell went close early in the second half when his overhead kick, from Kevin Thomson’s free-kick, went just wide.
Hibs continued to pile on the pressure and McGregor did well to push Thomson’s fierce drive behind for a corner moments later.
However, Riordan conjured up a wonderful effort from a free-kick in the 71st minute to put Hibs back in front.
Darren Young fouled Brown just outside the area and the youngster curled an unstoppable right-foot shot around the wall and into the far corner of the net.
The points were made safe when substitute Steven Fletcher let fly from 25 yards and found the target in spectacular style in the 89th minute.
Hibs: Simon Brown, Whittaker, Caldwell, Smith, Murphy (Sproule 52), Scott Brown, Stewart, Thomson, Glass, O’Connor (Fletcher 56), Riordan.