Scottish League Cup - Semi-Final
HibernianHibernian2St JohnstoneSt Johnstone1
By Tom EnglishBBC Scotland at Tynecastle

A John McGinn strike 16 minutes from time put Hibs into the League Cup final after a terrific tussle with St Johnstone at Tynecastle.

Hibs had taken the lead just before the half hour with a controversial penalty duly put away by Jason Cummings.

Tommy Wright's team responded four minutes later when Joe Shaughnessy headed an equaliser.

McGinn's low drive from distance settled the game and set up a meeting with either Celtic or Ross County.

It was a lead the Edinburgh side deserved and maintained thanks to a fine late save by Mark Oxley from another Shaughnessy header.

This was a semi-final played out in biting cold, rain and occasional snow. For all that, it was an absorbing clash of Championship versus Premiership, of a Hibs side on a great run and a St Johnstone side who came into this on a poor run of no wins from their previous six games.

Hibs were without the injured Anthony Stokes - a minor back strain kept him out - but they went in front when Liam Henderson cut across Chris Millar, drawing a tentative challenge. There was contact, but how much contact was debatable.

Saints thought it was a minimal and protested vehemently when referee Steven McLean awarded the penalty. Cummings calmly rolled it in and Hibs were on their way.

Their glee was brief, their advantage wiped out in quick order. When David Wotherspoon swung in a cross from the right, Shaughnessy angled a superb header into the top corner.

You could not say Hibs took control from there, but most of the clever football came from the Championship side and most of the big performers wore green instead of blue.

Across the midfield, the Edinburgh side were sharp and slick.

McGinn was excellent in an attacking sense and Dylan McGeouch was a rock behind them. Henderson played powerfully and Fraser Fyvie was decent also.

Saints have character, though. At the beginning of the second half they rattled Hibs' crossbar from a Simon Lappin free-kick and never looked beaten even when McGinn rifled home to give Alan Stubbs' team the lead again.

Saints players were unhappy with the first-half penalty award
Saints players were unhappy with the first-half penalty award

It was deserved, you have to say. Cummings and Chris Dagnall had gone close, as had Henderson. McGinn's goal was coming and well-earned.

Hibs made more chances - Dagnall again, then McGinn's delicious turn and run caused more trouble for the Saints defence.

The Perth side finished strongly, not decisively. Shaughnessy's header was tipped away by Oxley, then an ineffective Michael O'Halloran drove over from a decent position.

Stubbs has worked wonders with this Hibs side since the dog days of relegation in 2014. Their world has turned since then.

Line-ups

Hibernian

  • 1Oxley
  • 2Gray
  • 5Fontaine
  • 4Hanlon
  • 16Stevenson
  • 8Fyvie
  • 18McGinn
  • 10McGeouch
  • 3HendersonSubstituted forMcGregorat 90'minutes
  • 29Dagnall
  • 35CummingsSubstituted forKeatingsat 87'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Bartley
  • 17Boyle
  • 19Keatings
  • 24McGregor
  • 27Gunnarsson
  • 30Thomson
  • 32Virtanen

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 2Mackay
  • 6Anderson
  • 24EastonSubstituted forScobbieat 53'minutes
  • 10WotherspoonSubstituted forSuttonat 78'minutes
  • 7MillarSubstituted forCraigat 71'minutes
  • 8DavidsonBooked at 90mins
  • 4LappinBooked at 81mins
  • 29O'Halloran
  • 9MacLeanBooked at 29mins

Substitutes

  • 3Scobbie
  • 11Sutton
  • 12Clark
  • 18Cummins
  • 22Fisher
  • 26Craig
  • 27Thomson
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
16,971

Match Stats

Home TeamHibernianAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home12
Away4
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home3
Away6
Fouls
Home9
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Hibernian 2, St. Johnstone 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Hibernian 2, St. Johnstone 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Fraser Fyvie (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

  4. Post update

    Fraser Fyvie (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by David Mackay (St. Johnstone).

  6. Booking

    Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    John McGinn (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Darren McGregor replaces Liam Henderson.

  11. Post update

    Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by John McGinn.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Joe Shaughnessy (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  13. Post update

    Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Paul Hanlon.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. James Keatings replaces Jason Cummings.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Chris Dagnall (Hibernian) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

  16. Booking

    Simon Lappin (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  17. Post update

    John McGinn (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Simon Lappin (St. Johnstone).

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Liam Henderson (Hibernian) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. John Sutton replaces David Wotherspoon.