Hibernian 0-0 St Johnstone

Hibernian's misery in front of goal continued as St Johnstone, playing for an hour with 10 men, held on for a point at Easter Road.

Paddy Cregg was sent off for a late tackle less than a minute after coming off the bench.

Hibs pressed in the second half but they could not break down Saints.

Alan Mannus made a great late save to keep out a James Collins header and the Hibs striker had a strong penalty claim waved away in the dying seconds.

Terry Butcher, serving a touchline ban, has been in charge of Hibs for five games but many of the shortcomings he inherited remain painfully evident with the Edinburgh side now having scored just twice in nine games and remaining four points behind sixth-placed Saints.

There was no shortage of endeavour but Hibs lack guile in the final third and there is a chronic lack of pace.

Jason Cummings, who has scored a barrowful of goals at Under-20 level, was given a first start but the teenager and strike partner Collins were largely feeding on scraps.

And when Collins did divert a header on target in injury time Mannus made a fantastic save, while the Hibs striker can feel aggrieved not to have won a spot-kick when Tam Scobbie clipped his leg as he shaped to shoot.

Hibs were in a hurry to get the ball forward but the visiting defence coped comfortably with the early series of long balls aimed at their penalty box.

Jordon Forster headed over from a Liam Craig corner and good work from the defender later set up a shooting chance for Paul Cairney.

Mannus made a good diving parry and the loose ball was just out of reach of Lewis Stevenson on the six-yard line.

Cregg was then given his marching orders for a crude challenge on Cairney, just seconds after replacing Murray Davidson.

Referee Alan Muir had been getting a hard time from the home support after his booking of Scott Robertson, who had mocked the positioning of a defensive wall by marking out 10 paces, but that was nothing compared to the ire of the fans from Perth following the dismissal.

A reshuffle from the depleted visitors saw David Wotherspoon switched from the centre of midfield to the right and the move almost paid immediate dividends.

Making his first appearance at Easter Road since his summer departure, Wotherspoon left two opponents standing before drilling in a low cross that needed a good reflex save from Ben Williams to prevent an own goal from Michael Nelson.

The second half opened with another stop to prevent an own goal; this time it was Mannus pushing away a sharp deflection off Gary McDonald.

The Saints keeper then clawed away a tantalising cross from Cairney that the sliding Cummings was inches away from connecting with.

A powerful, long-range strike from Craig flew straight at Mannus and Collins hooked an awkward shot over the crossbar as Hibs struggled to find an opening.

A final onslaught saw Collins at the heart of the drama and the game ended in a cacophony of boos for the officials.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Celtic1613302642
2Dundee Utd179532232
3Aberdeen1710251132
4Inverness CT1610241132
5Motherwell171016-331
6St Johnstone16646522
7Hibernian17467-618
8St Mirren16448-1216
9Kilmarnock174310-1015
10Partick Thistle16358-1314
11Ross County163211-1511
12Hearts173311-16-3
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories