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Report: Hibernian 3-1 St Mirren



By Colette Carr at Easter Road Stadium

Despite hopes of rescuing a point, St Mirren left the capital empty handed as Hibs’ Liam Henderson, John McGinn and Anthony Stokes’ goals bettered a brilliant Stephen Mallan free-kick just before the break.

Hibs proved too strong for the Buddies in the end despite good spells of fighting pressure for the Paisley side who now prepare for Alloa at the Paisley 2021 Stadium.

It didn’t take Hibs long to open the scoring, as Henderson curled his free-kick past Jamie Langfield after being brought down just outside the box with only nine minutes on the clock.

The Buddies’ first real chance came around the twenty minute mark after a lovely bit of movement starting in the middle, as Agnew picked out Kelly on the left who drove forward before sliding it in for Shankland into the box, but after a few touches and fighting off pressure the striker placed it wide.

Jason Cummings continued to cause trouble for St Mirren, taking the ball on a mazy run in the Saints’ area before being shut down by Baird, then finding himself one-on-one with Langfield as he chased down the long ball, but Langfield stood strong to deny.

Chris Dagnall was next to get in on the action with chances sandwiching a Mallan effort. Dagnall caught the end of a slack St Mirren pass to force a save from Langfield, before Mallan’s long range effort was met well by Oxley with five minutes till the break. A few minutes later Dagnall again called Langfield into action who went to ground to block his low drilled shot.

Hibs looked to be going into the second half with a two goal cushion as ex-Buddie McGinn slotted neatly under Langfield after wrong-footing the Saints back two on the 44th minute. But the Buddies had the last word of the half, as Mallan whipped a brilliant free-kick from 20 yards in after Marvin Bartley brought down Calum Gallagher to give the visitors a lifeline on the stroke of half-time.

Half-Time: Hibernian 2-1 St Mirren

The Buddies tried to get off the mark early in the second period, with Sean Kelly whipping a cross in for the onrushing Shankland who couldn’t beat Oxley, before Cameron Howieson headed Rocco Quinn’s cross over.

The hosts then forced a number of corners forcing St Mirren onto the back foot, seeing Langfield tapping over Paul Hanlon’s effort before Shankland cleared his diving header off the line to keep the deficit at one.

Hibs then introduced Stokes and tried to find another through him, with Fraser Fyvie and Lewis Stevenson trying to link up with the Irishman. The hosts continued to pressure the Buddies winning a free-kick near the corner taken by Henderson for Cummings to be denied and Liam Fontaine to head over, keeping the Buddies on their toes.

Any hopes of a point for the Paisley side were dashed though as James Keatings worked his way along the bye-line to cross for an unmarked Stokes to knock in with a minute of normal time to go.

Full-Time: Hibernian 3-1 St Mirren

Hibernian: Oxley, Gray, Henderson (McGregor 88), Hanlon, Fontaine, Bartley, Fyvie, Stevenson, McGinn, Dagnall (Stokes 71), Cummings (Keatings 84).
Subs Not Used: Malonga, Boyle, Gunnarsson, Reguero (GK).

St Mirren: Langfield, Kelly, Webster, Howieson (Stewart 71), Mallan, Baird, Agnew (Thompson 76), Watson, Gallagher (McMullan 88), Shankland, Quinn.
Subs Not Used: Gow, Cuddihy, McAllister, Wilks (GK).

Referee: Don Robertson.
Assistant Referee: Gary Hilland.
Assistant Referee: Jordan Stokoe.

Attendance: 10,160 (391 St Mirren fans)

St Mirren manager, Alex Rae said after the match: “I think there was a few positives, but we’re obviously disappointed, the first goal for them was a terrific strike and it was our own uncoming for the second, we tried to play it from the back and put ourselves into trouble from that.

“But you have to give the boys credit, they responded well and managed to get the goal from Stephen which was a terrific strike, and we just said at half time we’d work our way into the game, don’t concede too much, we rode our luck at times.

“We tried to go four-four-two for the last eighteen minutes just so we could get back on level terms, but in the grand scheme of things I thought the boys did really well for us.”

Match report and gallery pictures © John Millar.

Match Report,The Match