Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone2Hibernian0

St Johnstone 2-0 Hibernian

St Johnstone secured a third successive top-six finish with a comfortable win against 10-man Hibernian in Perth.

Steven MacLean forced the ball in at the second attempt after keeper Sean Murdoch dropped a corner kick.

Murdoch made a hat-trick of great saves to deny Stevie May and also kept out a diving header from David Wotherspoon.

But the keeper was beaten again by a Ryan McGivern own goal before Danny Haynes was sent off for an ugly challenge on Wotherspoon.

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright was absent as he recovers from a gallbladder operation and this performance will be just the tonic for the Northern Irishman.

The home side were in complete control from the moment MacLean struck on 18 minutes.

Hibs, who are consigned to a fourth straight season in the bottom half of the league, could not muster a single shot on target and have tasted victory in just one of their last 12 outings.

Visiting manager Terry Butcher made six changes, including a first start since November for midfielder Kevin Thomson, while Murdoch was standing in for Ben Williams who was attending to his wife in labour.

But it was a familiar tale of woe for Hibs, who were nearly handed an early gift when a back-header from Frazer Wright had goalkeeper Alan Mannus scrambling to push the ball to safety.

And Haynes pulled a shot wide of goal after a mistake by Gary McDonald.

Thereafter, the game belonged to Saints as Murdoch made a great save to keep out a May header then blocked McDonald's follow-up effort.

Form the resulting corner, Murdoch, making just his second Hibs appearance, flapped at the ball and MacLean was able to knock the ball in from close-range.

MacLean should have doubled the lead as he stretched to meet a clever header across goal from Wotherspoon but the striker somehow fired the ball over the top from two yards out.

Murdoch made another a great stop from Wotherspoon's diving header and May's powerful shot drew another fine save from the busy keeper.

St Johnstone were cheered on by Olympic curling stars Eve Muirhead and Vicki Adams
St Johnstone were cheered on by Olympic curling stars Eve Muirhead and Vicki Adams

The long-haired home striker was denied again when Murdoch stopped his close-range header from a Gary Miller cross.

A second goal for St Johnstone was thoroughly merited but when it came it owed much to a large slice of fortune.

Michael O'Halloran got to the byeline and cut the ball back only for Hibs full-back Ryan McGivern to knock it past his own keeper and into the net.

And, soon after, Butcher's side were reduced to 10 men when Haynes was dismissed by referee Steven McLean for a reckless challenge on former Hibs man Wotherspoon.

With the visitors thoroughly dispirited, MacLean headed over and Murdoch did well to hold Dave Mackay's shot and another May effort.

With a ricochet from Hibs defender Michael Nelson clipping his own post, Murdoch repelling a May shot and MacDonald bundling just wide, it was a surprise that Saints did not make the margin of victory more handsome.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 19Miller
  • 2Mackay
  • 8McDonald
  • 6Anderson
  • 5Wright
  • 10WotherspoonSubstituted forCroftat 85'minutes
  • 12DunneSubstituted forMillarat 74'minutes
  • 9MacLean
  • 17May
  • 29O'Halloran

Substitutes

  • 4Cregg
  • 7Millar
  • 11Hasselbaink
  • 15Banks
  • 22Croft
  • 23Clancy
  • 25Iwelumo

Hibernian

  • 21Murdoch
  • 23Forster
  • 3McGivernBooked at 50mins
  • 20TaiwoSubstituted forHandlingat 67'minutes
  • 5Nelson
  • 15Boateng
  • 33HaynesBooked at 56mins
  • 38ThomsonBooked at 20minsSubstituted forCairneyat 74'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 24Heffernan
  • 26StantonSubstituted forStevensonat 83'minutes
  • 10Craig

Substitutes

  • 11Cairney
  • 14Collins
  • 16Stevenson
  • 18Maybury
  • 19Handling
  • 31Grant
  • 35Cummings
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
3,553

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamHibernian
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home15
Away5
Shots on Target
Home6
Away0
Corners
Home9
Away7
Fouls
Home10
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St Johnstone 2, Hibernian 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St Johnstone 2, Hibernian 0.

  3. Booking

    Paul Cairney (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card.

  4. Post update

    Gary Miller (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Paul Cairney (Hibernian).

  6. Post update

    Steven Anderson (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Michael Nelson (Hibernian).

  8. Post update

    Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Steven Anderson.

  9. Post update

    Hand ball by Chris Millar (St Johnstone).

  10. Post update

    Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Michael Nelson.

  11. Post update

    Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Ryan McGivern.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, St Johnstone. Lee Croft replaces David Wotherspoon.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Chris Millar (St Johnstone).

  14. Post update

    Daniel Handling (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Lewis Stevenson replaces Samuel Stanton.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Gary Miller (St Johnstone).

  17. Post update

    Samuel Stanton (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Gary McDonald (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Daniel Handling (Hibernian).

  20. Post update

    Foul by Steven MacLean (St Johnstone).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic30263174146081
2Aberdeen29183842271557
3Motherwell3018395044657
4Dundee Utd30148854361850
5Inverness CT2914693428648
6St Johnstone30125133732541
7Hibernian31810132940-1134
8Kilmarnock3186173854-1630
9Partick Thistle30611133247-1529
10Ross County3085173552-1729
11St Mirren3076172950-2127
12Hearts3056192656-306
View full Scottish Premiership table

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