Hibs 1-2 St Johnstone: Hibs rescue point then lose it late on

Hibs striker Simon Murray lets fly with an early effort against St Johnstone at Easter Road
Hibs striker Simon Murray lets fly with an early effort against St Johnstone at Easter Road
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Hibs stumbled to defeat as St Johnstone ended their goal drought in dramatic fashion. Murray Davidson had scored Saints’ first in 620 minutes of action but a last minute penalty from Anthony Stokes appeared to have salvaged a point for the home side.

In a stunning finale, however, Steven MacLean turned home the winner three minutes into added on time after Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano had pulled off a superb stop from Graham Cummins.

Simon Murray and John McGinn had early efforts go astray as Hibs forced a succession of corners. But it was a game which in the opening 30 minutes were marred by a string of wayward passes from both sides as they struggled to bring any fluency to bear.

But Anthony Stokes should, at least, have worked Saints goalkeeper Zander Clark when Martin Boyle found him at the edge of the penalty area but his shot, too, was off target.

Saints had gone into this match without a goal in 546 minutes of Premiership action and that drought continued thanks to a terrific instinctive save from Ofir Marciano, the Hibs goalkeeper touching former Easter Road midfielder Liam Craig's netbound shot from Michael O'Halloran's cutback onto his cross bar.

A couple of minutes later his opposite number Zander Clark was called into action, beating away Boyle's shot although Hibs continued too show any of the free-flowing football which had seen them win their four previous matches prior to the international break.

Other than Craig's shot Saints had offered little in attack but it took a header from McGinn, deep inside his own six yard box, to turn away Steven Anderson's powerful drive which might well have left Marciano struggling seven minutes into the second half.

At the other end Brandon Barker used his searing pace to get to the bye-line to deliver a dangerous cross which was superbly dealt with at the near post by the intervention of Joe Shaughnessy which left his own goalkeeper needing a brief period of treatment.

Stokes was adamant he should have been awarded a penalty as he appeared to be held back by Anderson before Clark stuck out a boot to divert the striker's attempt to deflect an Efe Ambrose shot beyond him.

However, Marciano again had to look sharp, pushing over a rising, angled shot from O'Halloran after he'd been played in by first half substitute Richie Forster. And Saints finally ended their quest for a goal in the 74th minute, Craig flighting a cross beyond the back post for Cummins to nod across to leave Davidson with a point-blank header for the opener.

There was a last minute reprieve, however, for Hibs as Boyle's shot caught the arm of Shaughnessy, referee Craig Thomson immediately pointing to the spot from which Stokes levelled the scoreline.

However, even that wasn't enough to salvage a point for Hibs as MacLean pounced with that late, late winner.

Hibs: Marciano, Gray (Porteous 64), Ambrose, Hanlon, Stevenson, Boyle, Bartley (Matulevicius 81), McGinn, Barker (McGeouch 64); S Murray, Stokes.

Substitutes not used: Dabrowski, Slivka, Shaw, F Murray.

St Johnstone: Clark, Comrie (Foster 17), Shaughnessy, Anderson, Tanser, O'Halloran, Alston (Cummins 63), Davidson, Paton Craig, S MacLean.

Substitutes not used: Mannus, Johnstone, K McClean, Scougall, Gordon.

Referee: Craig Thomson