Hibernian 0-0 St Mirren

Hibernian inched a further point away from bottom club Dunfermline after a stalemate with St Mirren.

Saints keeper Craig Samson was in fine form, thwarting early efforts from Leigh Griffiths and James McPake.

In a game of few chances, visiting forward Nigel Hasselbaink sent a second-half header narrowly past the post.

Late in the match, Griffiths and David Wotherspoon were denied in quick succession by the impressive Samson.

The capital club were searching for their first home win since beating St Johnstone in September, but Dunfermline's defeat at East End Park by Motherwell gives them a four-point advantage with a superior goal difference and a game in hand over the Fifers.

St Mirren remain in ninth place on 31 points having failed to pick up a victory since defeating Rangers on Christmas Eve.

Ivan Sproule replaced the injured Tom Soares as Hibernian made one change, while St Mirren were without the suspended Paul McGowan and Dougie Imrie - with Hugh Murray, Steven Thompson, Kenny McLean and Gary Teale coming in.

Hasselbaink was lively for the visitors in the opening stages and in the seventh minute beat George Francomb inside the box and centred for Thomson, who sliced wide.

Griffiths had a chance to open the scoring for Hibernian, but sent the ball wide of the far post from a narrow angle.

The hosts came close after 10 minutes from Francomb's corner. Captain McPake met the ball with a powerful header, but goalkeeper Samson's firm hand turned the ball away.

Lee Mair was then forced to make a clearance when Lewis Stevenson darted down the wing and delivered a tempting ball into the St Mirren penalty area.

With 30 minutes played, St Mirren's Teale blasted in an effort that was cleared by Paul Hanlon, then Mair was on hand again at the other end to clear a cross from Issiah Osbourne.

As half-time approached, Sproule passed up the chance to take a shot at goal, and by the time he eventually pulled the trigger he was crowded out and the ball was deflected out for a corner.

Immediately after the restart, Sproule saw another shot on goal from just outside the penalty drift wide of the right-hand post, then a Griffiths shot was blocked again by Mair.

Moments later, Griffiths stepped up and curled a free-kick that bounced off the St Mirren wall, then keeper Samson frustrated Roy O'Donnovan on the rebound by parrying the ball out for a corner.

St Mirren striker Steven Thompson appealed in desperation for a penalty when chasing a lost cause after being legitimately shoved off the ball.

Hasselbaink rose above the Hibs defence to head towards goal from a Teale free-kick, but sent his effort just wide of the mark.

Hibernian's Jorge Claros sent in a thundering low drive that skimmed across the top of the grass blades and inched narrowly wide as the hosts went in search of a winner.

Griffiths and substitute Wotherspoon were denied in quick succession by Samson before St Mirren squandered a great chance to steal the points.

Kenny McLean was clean through but swung the ball into the stand with a poor final touch.

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