Hogg at the double to sink Killie

Captain Chris Hogg scored twice in a match for the first time in his career as Hibs claimed a 2-1 victory over Kilmarnock at Easter Road.

Last Updated: 16/10/10 at 17:46 Post Comment

Hogg: Struck twice for Hibees

Hogg: Struck twice for Hibees

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The restored skipper helped lift the gloom following the exit of former manager John Hughes, to ensure stand-in dug-out duo Alistair Stevenson and Gareth Evans savoured a much-needed Scottish Premier League win.

Defender Hogg, playing his first game since August 29 after being dropped by Hughes, proved the hero thanks to a headed double in a seven-minute burst just before half-time.

They were only Hogg's second and third goals in a Hibernian shirt, his first also coming against Kilmarnock in January 2006.

Kilmarnock, managed by former Hibs boss Mixu Paatelainen, made the perfect start when David Silva struck inside two minutes.

The Rugby Park side passed up chances to add to their lead before Hogg stepped in to help Hibs to their first success since the opening day of the season.

Stevenson and Evans, placed in charge for the fixture as chairman Rod Petrie continues to seek a new manager, made three changes to the team that lost 2-0 at St Johnstone a fortnight ago, the result that ultimately cost Hughes his job.

Hogg, Paul Hanlon and Lewis Stevenson, making his first league appearance of the season, were all restored, with Francis Dickoh, Michael Hart and Jonathan Grounds dropping to the bench.

Kilmarnock, previously the last side to lose to Hibs at Easter Road on March 6, also made three changes.

Ben Gordon, Harry Forrester and Liam Kelly all started, with Frazer Wright suspended and Garry Hay and Danny Invincibile among the substitutes.

Hibs were in need of a positive opening but got off to a dreadful start when the Ayrshire men netted after just 80 seconds.

Kelly was afforded too much room on the right and when his cross was missed by the Hibs defence, Silva had time to control before driving under Mark Brown from eight yards.

The goal could have sapped the spirit of the hosts, but they almost replied after seven minutes when Colin Nish headed over from David Wotherspoon's centre.

Sol Bamba also saw a header blocked for a corner from a Derek Riordan free-kick as Evans, directing most prominently from the dug-out, urged a response.

But Hibs' new-look defence, with Hogg at right-back and Stevenson at left-back, looked shaky. Kelly almost took advantage again but drove just wide from 15 yards.

Alexei Eremenko was next to try his luck for the visitors, cutting inside on to his right foot and sending a long-range strike just over. Hibs were struggling to create and the home fans were growing frustrated.

Paatelainen's men went close to doubling their lead in the 33rd minute. Jamie Hamill shrugged off John Rankin on the right but his cut-back was spooned over by Conor Sammon.

Three minutes later Silva passed up an even better chance, nodding a yard wide at the back post after a fine centre from Forrester.

But, out of the blue, Hibs claimed a 38th-minute leveller. Riordan's corner from the right saw Hogg leap highest to power home a header that Craig Bryson could only help into the net from on the line.

Remarkably, Hibs grabbed the lead on the stroke of half-time - and again Hogg was the hero.

Hanlon's diagonal ball picked out the defender whose looping header from just outside the penalty area flew into the left-hand corner.

Kilmarnock had the first opening after the interval as Brown clutched a shot from Kelly at his near post.

Hibs replied when a Nish centre fell to Rankin on the edge of the penalty area but the midfielder ballooned his effort into the stand, before Hamill deflected a Riordan drive over.

Silva then burst clear at the other end but his dangerous centre across the face of goal found no takers.

Brown came to his side's rescue on the hour mark as Sammon almost equalised.

Bryson picked out the striker whose close-range header looked net-bound only for the Hibs goalkeeper, nearly impeded by Bamba, to tip over.

Sammon claimed Bamba had in fact handled on the line but referee Iain Brines was unmoved.

Kilmarnock were enjoying spells of possession but the hosts, with Hogg replaced by Hart, were defending stoutly in search of a precious victory.

Brown was again called into action after 80 minutes, moving to his left to push away Hamill's free-kick strike.

Nish could have put the match beyond doubt near the end but he failed to net after a centre from Riordan.

The visitors pushed for a leveller, but when the chance arrived it was at the other end as Rankin picked out Riordan in injury-time only for the forward to find the side-netting.

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