Hibs match report and player ratings v St Johnstone as 8 score 7/10
John Greechan provides the Hibs match report and player ratings v St Johnstone
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Nick Montgomery’s home debut as Hibs manager ended in triumph as his team battled their way to a 2-0 win over visitors St Johnstone – lifting the Easter Road club above rivals Hearts in the Scottish Premiership table.
Lewis Miller’s first goal for the club, a towering header ten minutes before half-time, saw Hibs – and Joe Newell, in particular – rewarded for their patient probing and dangerous deliveries into the visitors’ penalty box.
And, on a day when substitute Rory Whittaker became the youngest ever Hibs debutant at 16 years and 44 days, Dylan Vente doubled the lead just over 20 minutes from time.
The win, combined with results elsewhere, saw Hibs jump to fifth in the table.
With Jair Tavares, Jordan Obita and Adam Le Fondre all drafted into the starting XI, Hibs looked to carry a decent amount of threat going forward in the early stages.
After 35 minutes of fairly scrappy endeavour, the game got the goal it needed, Newell – who had seen his free-kick into the box only half cleared – returning the ball with interest.
His left-footed in-swinging cross from the edge of the D picked out Miller at the back post, the right back rising virtually unmarked to send a header down and beyond Dimitar Mitov in the Saints goal.
A goal up and suddenly energised, Hibs had chances to double their lead before the break.
First Le Fondre sent a right-footed shot wide after a driving Boyle run. Then Boyle himself sent a shot over the bar with a swing of his right boot.
After a horribly scrappy start to the second half, Hibs seemed to remember what they were all about. Up to a point.
Elie Youan, on for a tiring Tavares who had run his race in a first start since August of 2022, missed an absolute sitter from a Boyle cut-back. Then very nearly beat Mitov with a low shot, the keeper pushing the ball just away from a lurking Le Fondre to prevent his team from falling two goals behind.
In between those chances, the old problem of defending corners very nearly did for Hibs, Andy Considine rising unchallenged at the back post to force a blinding point-blank save from David Marshall.
But it was the hosts who struck next, Le Fondre’s delicate flick finding Vente for a fine finish.
Young Whittaker nearly blew the roof off Easter Road when a chance fell his way inside the closing 10 minutes, Mitov again showing his quality to make a save.
David Marshall – 7/10
Brilliant point-blank save from Considine kept Hibs in the lead.
Lewis Miller – 7/10
Bagged his first Hibs goal to open the scoring. Very impressive performance by the right back.
Will Fish – 7/10
Solid in the centre of defence and good on the ball. Played a big part in clean sheet.
Rocky Bushiri 6/10
Didn’t need to get involved in running battles. But dominated Saints strikers.
Jordan Obita – 6/10
Given the nod ahead of Lewis Stevenson, the left back offered good options going forward.
Jair Tavares – 6/10
Lasted 52 minutes in his first start since August 2022. Always going to be tough.
Jimmy Jeggo – 7/10
Central midfield was a tough shift for the Hibs two versus St Johnstone’s three. Did the dirty work.
Joe Newell – 7/10
Real leader’s performance by the captain on both sides of the ball. Some touches of real class.
Boyle - 7/10. A constant threat with his pace and direct running at Saints defence.
Adam Le Fondre – 7/10
In the starting XI in place of the injured Christian Doidge, provided deft touch to assist second goal.
Dylan Vente – 7/10
Hibs fans were singing his name, again, after he doubled the lead – capping a fine performance.
Elie Youan – 6/10
Replaced Tavares early in the second half. Played well despite missing a sitter.
Rory Whittaker – 6/10
Youngest ever Hibs debutant, at 16 years and 44 days, nearly scored in 20-minute cameo.
Lewis Stevenson – 6/10
On for Obita for the final 20 minutes. Never lets anyone down.
Paul Hanlon – NA
Came on with 10 minutes remaining.
Christian Doidge – NA
Replaced Vente after 80 minutes.