Hibs debrief: Jake Doyle-Hayes makes difference off the bench as Martin Boyle shines brightest
Hibs defeated St Johnstone 1-0 on Sunday afternoon to move back into second place in the cinch Premiership table.
Martin Boyle netted the only goal of the match from the penalty spot after a contentious award from the official.
Player of the match
There weren’t any real stand-outs in the Hibs team at Easter Road. Ryan Porteous was probably the most accomplished defensively, but the centre-back’s use of the ball wasn’t as crisp as it typically is, and while Boyle can consider himself to have been the most potent threat in attack, it still didn’t get close to the heights of vintage Boyle. For his match-winning contribution we’ll plump for the latter.
It’s hard to pick anything else other than the penalty. Not only did the decision from referee John Beaton give Hibs the opportunity to break the deadlock from 12 yards, it also incensed Jamie McCart to the point where he would eventually be shown a second yellow for an ill-advised sarcastic clapping of the assistant which saw his team reduced to ten men.
It didn’t look like much of a penalty with McCart’s arm tucked into his body when the ball struck. Even aside from that decision, referee Beaton didn’t have a particularly strong game, drawing the ire of both sets of supporters with some unusual decisions.
Benefit of hindsight
The first half was a better spectacle for the neutral with chances at both ends. However, Hibs lacked the control of possession and the midfield battle they gained after the break when Jake Doyle-Hayes came off the bench to replace the ineffective Kyle Magennis. It gave the hosts a natural defensive midfielder, stifled the Saints threat and enabled the hosts to enjoy more of the territorial battle.
Moment you may have missed
Boyle celebrated the winning goal with the aid of a prop. After squeezing his penalty beyond Zander Clark, who got a strong hand to the effort but couldn’t match the power, the Australian international scooped up a water bottle and took a cocky swig as he jigged down the byline in front of the jubilant home fans.