Hibernian 1-2 Saints

Saturday 18th November

Steven MacLean netted a dramatic stoppage time winner against Hibernian at Easter Road this afternoon for Saints first win in the league since they defeated Hamilton Accies on the 23rd September.

Saints took the lead with 16 minutes remaining when Murray Davidson nodded in Liam Craig's header across goal to bring Saints' 620-minute goalless run to an end.

The home side were then awarded a controversial penalty in the 90th minute after Joe Shaughnessy was deemed to have handled a Martin Boyle effort. The penalty was taken by Anthony Stokes and he coolly slotted the ball into the corner of the net.

However, Saints showed great character and they snatched all three points with virtually the last kick of the game when MacLean netted from close range after Marciano failed to hold a Murray Davidson effort.

MATCH REPORT

After last weekend’s international break Saints returned to action today when they travelled to Edinburgh to take on Hibernian. Tommy Wright made three changes to the side that started last timeout against Celtic as David Wotherspoon, Richard Foster and Stefan Scougall dropped out to be replaced by Murray Davison, Michael O’Halloran and Liam Craig. Neil Lennon made one change to the Hibernian side that defeated Dundee 2-1 a fortnight ago as Anthony Stokes came in for Dylan McGeouch.

Hibs got the match underway and they created the first chance of the game on 7 minutes as after some good link up play Simon Murray turned on the edge of the box and unleashed an effort which went well over. Then 3 minutes later the hosts created another chance however, John McGinn’s effort didn’t trouble Zander Clark.

Saints were forced to make a change on 17 minutes as Richard Foster came on for the injured Aaron Comrie.

Both teams were matching each other for long spells of the first half as neither keeper was really tested. On 27 minutes Joe Shaughnessy made a great sliding tackle to deny Simon Murray as the Hibs attacker broke into the Saints box.

Then a minute later referee Craig Thomson waved away appeals for a foul on Michael O’Halloran. Play continued as the home side broke with Marvin Bartley and Martin Boyle working together to set up Anthony Stokes on the edge of the box however, the striker blazed over from 18 yards.

On 34 minutes Saints came very close to breaking the deadlock as Michael O’Halloran setup Liam Craig in the box but Hibernian keeper Ofir Marciano brilliantly pushed the midfielders’ effort onto the bar.

Saints got the second half underway and they were awarded a corner on 48 minutes as David Gray headed behind a Paul Paton cross that tried to pick out Craig at the back post. Then 3 minutes later a Paton strike hit Paul Hanlon before going behind for a corner. It was taken by Craig and his ball into the box picked out Anderson at the back post. The central defender headed the ball back across goal. There was then a scramble in the box before the ball broke back to Anderson who unleashed a volley at goal that was cleared off the line by John McGinn.

On 63 minutes Saints broke well from a Hibs corner as Murray Davidson advanced with the ball. The midfielder then played the ball to the overlapping Foster. He then slipped the ball into the path of O’Halloran and the on-loan attacker broke into the box before having a shot at goal that was pushed over for a corner by Marciano.

Then on 68 minutes Clark made an excellent save with his feet as Efe Ambrose’s shot was deflected towards goal by Simon Murray.

Paton did well to intercept the ball on 72 minutes before passing it to Steven MacLean and the Saints striker broke into the box before trying to square it to substitute Graham Cummins but the home defence got back to clear the danger.

Saints good play got it’s just rewards 2 minutes later as Foster crossed the ball into the box and Liam Craig headed it back across goal to Murray Davidson. The midfielder made his trademark late run into the box before heading the ball past Marciano to give Saints the lead. It was Saints first goal since Murray netted against Hamilton Accies on the 23rd September.

The home side tried to find a way back into the game and with 4 minutes remaining Stokes played a short free to McGinn who fired a vicious strike inches wide of Clark’s goal. Then in the 90th minute Hibs were awarded a controversial penalty as Shaughnessy was adjudged to have handled Boyle’s shot. Stokes stepped up to take the kick and although Clark guessed correctly he was unable to keep it out as the Irishman found the bottom corner of the net.

Saints were not to be denied as deep into added on time Marciano failed to hold a Davidson shot from 12 yards. The ball then broke to MacLean and the striker tapped it into the net from close range to spark off wild celebrations amongst the travelling 513 Saints fans behind the goal.

Hibernian: Marciano, Gray (Porteous 65), Hanlon, Bartley (Matulevičius 81), McGinn, S. Murray, Stevenson, Boyle, Barker (McGeouch 65), Ambrose, Stokes

Unused Substitutes: Dabrowski (GK), Slivka, Shaw, F. Murray

Booked: McGinn

Scorer: Stokes (90 pen)

Saints: Clark, Tanser, Alston (Cummins 63), Shaughnessy, Anderson, Davidson, MacLean, O’Halloran, Comrie (Foster 17), Paton, Craig

Unused Substitutes: Mannus (GK), Johnstone, McClean, Scougall, Gordon

Booked: O’Halloran, Davidson, Shaughnessy, MacLean

Scorers: Davidson (74), MacLean (90)

Referee: Craig Thomson

Attendance: 17,042

Match Report by Daryl Scott

Picture: Murray Davidson scores Saints first goal of the match