Hibs 2-1 Ross County: Oli Shaw winner provides Christmas cheer

Hibs came from behind to claim victory over Ross County with teenager Oli Shaw steering home the decisive goal 15 minutes from time.

Saturday, 23rd December 2017, 4:02 pm
Updated Saturday, 23rd December 2017, 4:07 pm
Anthony Stokes rises above Ross County's Marcus Fraser to power home a header to haul Hibs level against the Staggies

The Dingwall outfit had silenced the home fans by taking an early lead against the run of play, Craig Curran turning home Chris Eagles cross only for Anthony Stokes to take his tally for the season into double figures as he headed home the equaliser seven minutes later.

The Easter Road side again passed up a succession of chances to get themselves in front but Shaw finally did so, guiding home Brandon Barker's low cross at the front post.

Martin Boyle had already shown he was in the mood before whipping a low ball across the Staggies goal to find Stokes beyond the back post. The Hibs striker was happy to take on the shot despite the tight angle and he could well have scored had his effort not been deflected for a corner which came to nothing.

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Despite that bright start Hibs found themselves behind in the 14th minute, Jason Naismith's speculative ball into the danger area missing everyone but Chris Eagles alone in space out on the left, the winger delivering a low cross with the outside of his right foot which Curran poked home at the near post from a couple of yards out.

However, the Easter Road side were behind for only seven minutes, Dylan McGeouch clipping in a hanging, inviting cross which was met by the head of Stokes who directed it in to the net via goalkeeper Scott Fox's left hand post.

That goal had put a renewed spring in the step of Neil Lennon's players and they went seeking a second goal which almost came when Brandon Barker used his searing pace to split the County defence before laying the ball into the path of Boyle who saw his shot pushed aside by the diving Fox.

Stokes should have grabbed his and Hibs second six minutes before the interval when McGeouch's glorious 40-yard ball over the head of Marcus Fraser found the striker who steadied himself only to blast wildly over.

Hibs continued to probe but County got every man behind the ball as often as they could, making it difficult for the Capital outfit to find a clear opening, Boyle just unable to keep Efe Ambrose's ball inside Kenny van der Weg in play before the winger passed up a superb opportunity to put his side ahead. Stokes terrific pass left him in plenty of space but with only Fox to beat he hammered the ball off the goalkeeper.

Little had been seen of Shaw but the teenager was in the right place to meet Boyle's cross with his head but succeeded only in sending it into the arms of Fox as the home fans began to get a little agitated in seeing their side again unable to turn their domination into goals.

And it took a fantastic save from Fox, throwing up a hand, to divert another great effort from Stokes finding the net as Hibs kept County pinned down inside their own half.

Hibs finally made the pressure tell as Barker got to the bye-line to send in a low cross which allowed Shaw to show his predatory instinct, the youngster getting in front of his marker to steer the ball high into Fox's net.

Hibs: Marciano, Ambrose, McGregor, Hanlon, Stevenson, Boyle, McGeouch, McGinn, Barker, Stokes, Shaw.

Substitutes not used: Dabrowski, Gray, Bartley, Slivka, Swanson, S Murray, Porteous.

Ross County: Fox, Naismith, Fraser, Davies, Chow, Draper (Lindsay 60), Van der Weg. Routis, McKay, Curran, Eagles.

Substitutes not used: McCarey, Dow, Schalk, Mikkelsen, O'Brien, Keillor-Dunn.

Referee: Nick Walsh