LiveSt Johnstone 1-0 Hibs: Craig goal consigns Hibs to defeat despite second-half performance
Liam Craig’s first-half goal was enough to secure the three points for St Johnstone despite a spirited performance from Hibs in the second period.
Former Easter Road midfielder Craig rifled the opener past Ofir Marciano from distance following a poor clearance on 16 minutes, and from then on St Johnstone did well to stifle Hibs, who had half-chances through Paul McGinn and Joe Newell.
The visitors started the second half strongly with Jackson Irvine sending a header just wide shortly after the break as Hibs turned up the pressure on the Saints.
Josh Doig, Paul Hanlon, and Kevin Nisbet all went close for Hibs but the hosts held on to secure the three points.
A draw would have been a fair outcome given Hibs’ second-half showing but St Johnstone felt that about Hibs’ smash-and-grab win earlier this season.
Hibs remain in third place with Aberdeen and Hamilton drawing 0-0 at Pittodrie but will need to step things up next week at Ross County.
St Johnstone v Hibs live
Last updated: Saturday, 06 March, 2021, 17:28
- Hibs travel to Perth looking for a return to winning ways after last weekend’s defeat
- Hibs have lost just three away games in the league this season
- Four change to starting team
Hibs dominated proceedings in the second half but were unable to find a way through the St Johnstone defence. Doig, Irvine, Nisbet, and Hanlon with chances but there was no rub of the green for the visitors.
There wasn’t a great deal between the two teams but the difference was the hosts took their best chance and Hibs didn’t. Jack Ross will have been cheered by the second-half performance but frustrated that his side drew a blank for the second week running.
The Easter Road boss made four changes but he may be tempted to make some in the middle of the park next week as Newell and Irvine lacked something in the engine room. Both had half-chances either side of half-time but more is needed in the engine room againt teams that have Hibs’ number.
13 shots and 65 per cent possession speaks for itself - Hibs were in the ascendancy for large parts of this game.
This wasn’t a bad performance as such; Hibs created plenty in the second half, but just couldn’t find a way through. If they can start the next game as they finished this one then they should give themselves a better chance of a positive result.
The referee brings an end to proceedings after St Johnstone desperately cleared their lines after a Nisbet effort
Jack Ross booked for complaining about some of the referee’s decisions.
Four minutes injury time added on
Time running out for Hibs here. A point would be a fair reflection on how the second half has panned out, with Hibs much better than they were in the first half. St Johnstone have scored with their only real chance, but Hibs still pushing for an equaliser.
Porteous with a wicked cross into the penalty area, there are several Hibs bodies there but it doesn’t fall for anyone and St Johnstone clear their lines
Murphy lays it off to Hanlon who is steaming into the box but his powerful effort is deflected off a Hibs player for a goal kick. Hibs not getting the rub of the green at all this afternoon.
St Johnstone sub
Tanser on for Wotherspoon
Doidge goes for a high ball but it looks like he’s nudged in the back. He’s then penalised for high feet as he tries to win the ball back
Doig again! Drifts in from the left flank, and lets fly from the edge of the box - again with his weaker foot - but it’s just wide of the post.
Doig with a cross that Clark flaps at, Boyle tries to drive it back in but it’s cleared
Hallberg on for Newell
Ball falls to Doig on the edge of the box, he hits it nicely with his weaker foot but it’s just over the bar. Melker Hallberg preparing to come on for Hibs