HIBS bounced back from a mauling at the hands of their greatest rivals to grab their first three points of the season with a comfortable win at Easter Road.
Just six days previously, the Hibees found themselves on the wrong end of a derby 4-0 defeat by Hearts. However, in this encounter, the Leith men were on the front foot for the duration of the 90 minutes.
Hibs almost drew first blood after just ten minutes, when Michael Stewart’s mis-directed cross sailed towards goal and just sneaked over the crossbar.
Dean Shiels then did well to fight off three opponents, before trying to set up David Murphy, but his cross was diverted for a corner. That gave Derek Riordan the opportunity to pinpoint Guillaume Beuzelin in front of goal, but he nodded just wide of the target from about a yard out. At the other end, James McPake’s flick was met by Martin Scott, but his angled drive curled away from goal at the last minute.
Hibs were unlucky not to break the deadlock midway through the first half, when Stewart fed Riordan on the right flank and he squared the ball into the box, presenting Gary O’Connor with a shot from a few yards out. However, a block from David McKay was enough to send the effort over.
The breakthrough finally came after 40 minutes when Hibs took the lead after a superb individual goal from Murphy, which saw the left-back take the ball to the edge of the area before sending his shot into the top corner of the net.
Hibs were celebrating again within a minute when Shiels exchanged a one-two with Scott Brown, before rounding Livingston goalkeeper Roddy McKenzie and slotting home.
Livingston were given little respite after the interval and soon O’Connor was tearing into the box, with Riordan trying to keep up on his left. With Livi keeper McKenzie bearing down on O’Connor, he tried to set up Riordan for the shot but the youngster failed to meet the pass.
Seconds later, Stewart robbed Gabor Vincze of possession before threading the ball through to the burly striker and, this time, O’Connor sent the ball low and hard past McKenzie.
Riordan became the provider shortly after, but substitute Steven Whittaker’s shot was held by the goalkeeper.
With ten minutes remaining, there was an air of resignation about Allan Walker’s feeble attempt at pulling a goal back and the effort sailed harmlessly over the crossbar. Emmanuel Dorado’s deflected drive a few seconds later was little better and Hibs goalkeeper Zbigniew Malkowski was barely troubled.
Most of the fight had gone out of Livingston by the time the final whistle sounded, and they looked like a team willing to settle for the defeat long before then.
Hibs: Malkowski, Whittaker, Murphy, Hogg, Smith, Brown, Beuzelin, Stewart, Shiels, O’Connor, Riordan.