Hibs pegged back by Innes strike

Hibernian continue their decade-long search for a win in Paisley after sharing the points with St Mirren in a hard-fought 1-1 SPL draw.

Last Updated: 21/11/09 at 17:54 Post Comment

Innes: Struck in added time

Innes: Struck in added time

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The visitors, whose last win at St Mirren was in 1999, took the lead in the 29th minute when Derek Riordan fired them ahead with a wonderful long-range strike before Saints defender Chris Innes levelled in added time with a header.

John Hughes' men, though, may reflect on a point won rather than two lost following a first 45 minutes in which the home side were denied several more goals due to poor finishing and good goalkeeping by Easter Road keeper Graham Stack.

It was a familiar story for Gus MacPherson's side. In an early flurry from Saints, Stack brilliantly blocked Steven Thomson's close-range drive following good work from Billy Mehmet and Jack Ross before pulling off another fine save from Stephen McGinn's 25-yard drive moments later.

With 17 minutes gone and Hibs struggling, defender Ian Murray appeared to handle the ball inside the box in an aerial challenge with Michael Higdon.

However, referee Willie Collum ignored claims for a penalty, seconds before John Rankin replaced injured Easter Road midfielder Kevin McBride. The Paisley side were well on top and Higdon dispossessed the hesitant Sol Bamba at the edge of the box but fired wildly over the bar.

Following another St Mirren corner, the ball fell to Paisley striker Mehmet 16 yards out but he turned and volleyed over.

St Mirren's missed chances continued to mount and in the 26th minute, a mix-up in the Hibs defence allowed midfielder Andy Dorman to run clear through on goal but with only Stack to beat, he drove wide.

Saints eventually paid for their profligacy in the 29th minute when Riordan gave the visitors the lead with a wonderful goal.

The former Celtic striker picked up a Liam Miller pass wide on the left, turned on to his right foot and thundered a shot from 30 yards past the flailing Paul Gallacher.

As the home side wobbled for a few minutes, Gallacher had to make saves from Riordan and Abdessalam Benjelloun.

Saints, though, reasserted themselves but Higdon could only stretch to knock the ball past the far post after Hugh Murray's cross had sped across the six-yard box.

Two minutes from the break, Thomson fired over after being set up by Dorman at the edge of the Hibs penalty area, the effort typifying the home side's first-half performance.

In the second minute of injury time, the home side got their just rewards when Innes headed in Ross's looping free-kick to level the scores.

The equaliser was no more than St Mirren had deserved but after the break, as the swirling rain returned, Hibs started the brighter.

Riordan curled a free-kick over the bar from 25 yards and moments later, an off-balance Anthony Stokes knocked a corner from the Scotland international past the near post.

A series of niggling fouls, all of which appeared to be punished by referee Collum, disrupted the flow of the game and the game stagnated as both sides took a breather.

Hughes replaced the struggling Stokes with Colin Nish, seconds after Murray had driven wide of the target from 20 yards to end a brief spell of Buddies' pressure. The deteriorating conditions continued to make life difficult for both sides and it looked like the next goal could be the winner.

In the 76th minute Craig Dargo came on for Higdon as the home side looked for another route to a win.

The game petered out, though, and it was the Paisley men who were left the more frustrated after failing to capitalise on their first-half dominance.

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