Dundee 3, Hibs 1: Lacklustre Hibs crumble as Dark Blues earn first win in 13

Matt Macey saves from Zak Rudden during Hibs' 3-1 defeat by DundeeMatt Macey saves from Zak Rudden during Hibs' 3-1 defeat by Dundee
Matt Macey saves from Zak Rudden during Hibs' 3-1 defeat by Dundee
Second-half goals from Josh Mulligan and Charlie Adam gave Dundee a vital 3-1 win against a lacklustre Hibs side at Dens Park on Tuesday night.

Niall McGinn opened the scoring after three minutes with James Scott equalising on the half-hour, but Mulligan nodded on 67 minutes and Adams made the points safe with a trademark rocket towards the end.

David Gray made three changes to his team; Paul Hanlon missing out and Jake Doyle-Hayes and Elias Melkersen dropping to the bench with Rocky Bushiri, Lewis Stevenson, and Scott coming in.

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It was a sluggish start by Hibs but even so, the ease with which Niall McGinn scored the opener was alarming. Jordan Marshall’s forward pass to Zak Rudden was inch-perfect and Matt Macey got a strong hand to the forward’s shot, but McGinn arrived at the back post almost nonchalantly, and completely unmarked, to fire in the rebound with three minutes on the clock.

The shock of losing such a simple goal seemed to shake Hibs into action and it was largely one-way traffic towards Harry Sharp’s goal for the next half-hour. Harry Clarke and Scott were the chief instigators but Dundee’s goal led a charmed life until Scott opened his account in green and white.

It has taken Scott a while to get off the mark for Hibs – his equaliser was his first goal since a strike for Hull City against MK Dons in November 2020.

The 21-year-old notched an assist against Aberdeen at the weekend but it was perhaps fitting that he opened his account for the Easter Road side at the same venue where he put in an impressive debut display back in August.

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Scott took his goal well, latching onto a through-ball and slotting it under Sharp, who might have got a touch on it but not enough to keep it out.

Josh Mulligan had the ball in the net not long after, powering a header in off the underside of the bar from a free kick on the left but the midfielder was flagged, perhaps erroneously, offside. Relief for Hibs, but a reminder of their Achilles heel this year of more often than not going to pieces when defending a cross ball.

The second half brought more of the same. The 5,000 or so home fans were making their feelings clear when players in dark blue misplaced a pass or were easily dispossessed.

Scott tested Sharp from range, the ‘keeper gathering at the second attempt. A corner skidded off Jordan McGhee and out. Clarke put in a dangerous near-post cross that just evaded Scott.

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Then Mulligan got his goal and the pendulum swung. Marshall crossed from the left and substitute Luke McCowan headed it back across the face of goal to the local boy who made no mistake from close range – and this time it counted.

From then there only really looked like being one winner. Dundee toyed with Hibs at times, Rudden a handful up top and the Capital club making plenty of unforced errors.

Clarke cleared another Mulligan header off the line, Macey clawed an Adam corner out from under his own bar, and Rudden shot narrowly wide.

When Adam spanked one in from 30 yards after getting the break of the ball it was no more than the Dee deserved, and they live to fight another day in their valiant attempt to avoid relegation.

For Hibs, the end of the season can’t come quickly enough.

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