Saints 1-1 Hibernian

Sunday 12th August

Saints and Hibs fought an entertaining 1-1 draw at very wet McDiarmid Park this afternoon.

It was an end to end game and Saints took the lead on 22 minutes. Tony Watt did well to rob Stevie Mallan of possession and his shot took a wicked deflection off Ryan Porteous to beat Ross Laidlaw.

Zander Clark made some very good saves throughout the game however he was finally beaten on 51 minutes when Martin Boyle’s deep cross was headed home from close range by Oli Shaw.

Both sides had chances to win it in the closing stages with Blair Alston’s thunderous drive being deflected over by Efe Ambrose the closest Saints came to snatching all 3 points.

Today’s point is Saints first of the season and they will be looking to build on that when they welcome Dundee to Perth in a fortnight.

MATCH REPORT

Saints faced Neil Lennon’s Hibs in their first home league game of the season at McDiarmid Park this afternoon. Following their away defeat to Kilmarnock last Saturday, Tommy Wright made 3 changes to the team as Richard Foster, Blair Alston and Liam Craig came into replace Aaron Comrie, David Wotherspoon and Liam Gordon.

Murray Davidson got the game underway for Saints at a very wet McDiarmid Park.

Some great build up play around the edge of the area from Hibs at the beginning of the game saw Martin Boyle pick out Oli Shaw in space, 8 yards out his great header was fantastically saved by Zander Clark, the resulting corner came to nothing.

An absolutely brilliant run from Martin Boyle, once again, through the centre of the Saints defence found him at the byline, his cut back was latched onto by Jamie Maclaren and the Australian was superbly denied by Clark.

Up the other end a great corner whipped in by Liam Craig glanced over Jason Kerr’s head, which found a surprised Murray Davidson; his scuffed effort trickled past the post.

With 22 minutes on the clock, some pressure finally paid off, Tony Watt picked up the ball in the middle of the box and his shot deflected off Ryan Porteous to take it away from Ross Laidlaw and into the back of the net.

Hibs almost instantly hit back, danger-man Boyle drove into the box his shot was palmed away by the heroic Clark between the sticks.

Some great counter attacking football from Saints found Alston picking up the ball in the middle of the pitch and driving forward. He found Davidson who in turn found Matty Kennedy he cut in on his right and his 20-yard effort was tipped around the corner of the post by Ross Laidlaw, the resulting corner came to nothing.

Saints were putting in a good performance and flowing football from Kennedy and Watt found Davidson in space inside the box and he tried to cut in but the midfielder’s touch was too heavy and the Hibs defence were able to sweep clear the danger.

Hibs got the second half underway.

With 51 minutes gone, Oli Shaw nodded the visiting team level. A great ball from the right was guided to the far post and the youngster headed in with ease.

A well worked corner from Kennedy found Scott Tanser arriving, the Englishman’s whipped in ball met the head of Murray Davidson but it went just wide of Laidlaw’s post.

Lewis Stevenson attempted to finish off a great piece of play for the Edinburgh side, but his 25-yard effort was whiskers wide. The game was end to end; Tony Watt was next to try his luck after a great touch just outside the box, he was able to get his shot away but he dragged just wide of the target.

Saints had a big shout for a penalty in the closing minutes of the game as a cross seemed to brush the arm of Efe Ambrose while the defender attempted to clear the ball but the officials waved away any claims and play continued.

An entertaining game with end to end action sees the teams share the spoils, Saints first of the season with a much-improved performance to match.

Saints: Clark, Tanser, Alston, Anderson (Gordon 60), Wright (Wotherspoon 86), Davidson, Kerr, Foster, Craig, Watt (McMillan 90), Kennedy

Unused Substitutes: Mitchell (GK), McCann, McClean, Scougall

Booked: Davidson

Scorer: Watt (23)

Hibernian: Laidlaw, Ambrose, Porteous, Hanlon, Boyle, Whittaker, Mallan, Hyndman (Horgan 62), Stevenson, Shaw (Swanson 86), MacLaren (Kamberi 63)

Unused Substitutes: Dabrowski (GK), Gray, Bartley, Slivka

Booked: None

Scorer: Shaw (51)

Referee: William Collum

Attendance: 4,637

Match report by Hannah Klatschak

Picture: Tony Watt celebrates his goal