Saturday 24th August 2019
Skipper Jason Kerr scored a last minute goal to earn Saints a well deserved point at Easter Road this afternoon.
The Leith side took the lead on 25 minutes thanks to an Adam Jackson header. However, Michael O’Halloran levelled the match for Saints on 68 minutes with a stunning angled strike only for Hibs to regain the lead 60 seconds later as Florian Kamberi converted from close range.
Then deep into 4 minutes of added time Kerr pop up to head home a Danny Swanson cross to prompt ecstatic scenes in the away end.
Next up for Saints is they welcome Kilmarnock to McDiarmid Park next Saturday, kick off 3pm.
After having a free weekend last week Saints returned to action this afternoon as they took on Hibs at Easter Road. Tommy Wright made three changes to the side that fought back to earn a point against Livingston a fortnight ago in a 2-2 draw at McDiarmid Park. Out went Richard Foster, Madis Vihmann and Danny Swanson to be replaced by Wallace Duffy, Liam Gordon and Liam Craig. Hibs needed extra time last week to defeat Championship side Greenock Morton 5-3 in a Betfred Cup tie at Easter Road and Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom made four changes to his starting line-up. Ofir Marciano, Christian Doidge, Stevie Mallan and Adam Jackson all came in to replace Chris Maxwell, Darren McGregor, Vykintas Slivka and Daryl Horgan.
It was a glorious warm and sunny afternoon in Edinburgh as Saints got the match underway.
The first chance of the match came after 5 minutes as Florian Kamberi saw his deflected effort go behind for a corner which came to nothing. The hosts created another chance 3 minutes later as Adam Jackson sent a long ball forward and it looked like that Liam Gordon had everything under control. However, Christian Doidge dispossessed the Saints defender before squaring to Kamberi whose effort hit the post. The loose ball then fell to Doidge but his attempted rebound was from an offside position as play was pulled back for a Saints free kick.
On 13 minutes good play down the left by Scott Tanser and Matty Kennedy saw the later send an inviting ball into the Hibs box. However, Michael O’Halloran couldn’t make a connection with the delivery as Hibs cleared the danger.
Saints were creating chances and on 21 minutes an O’Halloran pass was flicked on by Chris Kane to Kennedy. The Saints man advanced with the ball before having a shot at goal which was straight at Ofir Marciano who comfortably held the ball.
Despite the good pressure by Saints it was Hibs who took the lead on 25 minutes. The Leith side were awarded a free kick after Kamberi was fouled by Ali McCann and it was taken by Mallan. The midfielder’s delivery was perfect for Jackson who rose to head the ball past Clark and into the corner of the net.
On 38 minutes the Easter Road were awarded a free kick following a foul on Doidge by Jason Kerr. However, this time Mallan’s free kick was straight at the Saints wall and then the rebound was deflected behind for a corner which was comfortably dealt with by the Saints defence.
With 5 minutes of the first half remaining a Liam Craig pass picked out Kennedy who had got himself into a good attacking position to have a shot at goal which was blocked before the Hibs defence turned the ball behind for a corner.
4 minutes into the second half Saints were awarded a free kick just outside the box after Marciano came rushing out his area and made a late challenge on O’Halloran and was subsequently booked. Craig took the free kick as he cut it back to Kennedy however, his effort went well over Marciano’s crossbar.
Saints were awarded another free kick in a dangerous position on 55 minutes after Tanser was fouled by Scott Allan. Kennedy took the free kick but his delivery into the box was cleared.
Then 2 minutes later Marciano made a great low save as he got down well to a Craig effort. The loose ball fell to Murray Davidson but play was pulled back as the midfielder was in an offside position.
Arguably against the run of play Hibs created a chance to double their advantage on 58 minutes as the Saints defence was sliced open by an Allan pass to release Doidge however, the Welshman couldn’t convert as Clark comfortably gathered.
Saints were pushing for the equaliser and on 62 minutes O’Halloran played the ball into Davidson however, he couldn’t get enough on his effort as the danger was cleared.
The pressure by Saints eventually paid off on 68 minutes as Craig passed to O’Halloran, who got in behind the Hibs defence, and he sent a great strike from a tight angle past Marciano for a deserved equaliser.
However, Saints were not level for long as a minute later the hosts regained the lead. Glen Middleton attacked the Saints rearguard down the left before slipping the ball into the feet of Kamberi and the Swiss striker coolly slotted the ball past Clark from close range.
Saints went back in search of a second equaliser and on 73 minutes O’Halloran slipped the ball into the path of Kennedy who broke into the Hibs box before seeing his effort deflected behind for a corner. Then shortly after substitute Callum Hendry saw his effort hit the side netting.
Tommy Wright’s men were knocking on the door again and with 10 minutes remaining Tanser floated a free kick into the box which Gordon headed back across goal to Hendry but Marciano made a good save to deny the Saints striker.
The flow of traffic towards the Hibs goal continued and as the match entered 4 minutes of added time Hendry had a snap-shot at goal which hit the side netting. Tanser was next up as he had a shot which was deflected for a corner.
Then in the final minute of added time Saints got the goal their play deserved. A cross from the left by substitute Danny Swanson picked out Kerr at the back point and the captain sent a great header back across goal and in off the post to spark wild celebrations amongst the Saints support in the stand behind the goal.
Hibernian: Marciano, Gray (Whittaker 56), Hanlon, Vela, Doidge (Slivka 61), Mallan, Stevenson, Jackson, Middleton, Kamberi, Allan (Horgan 61)
Unused Substitutes: Maxwell (GK), Newell, Porteous, Shaw
Scorers: Jackson (25), Kamberi (69)
Saints: Clark, Duffy, Tanser, Davidson, Kane (Swanson 79), Kerr, O’Halloran, McCann, Gordon, Craig (Hendry 74), Kennedy
Unused Substitutes: Parish (GK), Callachan, Vihmann, McClean, Denham
Scorers: O’Halloran (68), Kerr (90)
Referee: Don Robertson
Match Report by Daryl Scott
Picture: Jason Kerr scores the last minute equaliser
©Copyright 2016 - all rights reserved by St Johnstone Football Club
Registered in Scotland 7629
Unless otherwise stated all photographs on this site are ©Perthshire Picture Agency and may not be used without permission.