Cairney seals victory for Hibs

Paul Cairney's late goal gave Hibernian a 1-0 win at St Johnstone on Wednesday, keeping them close to the SPL summit.

Last Updated: 28/11/12 at 23:28 Post Comment

Cairney: Celebrates Hibs goal with Griffiths

Cairney: Celebrates Hibs goal with Griffiths

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The hosts had arguably the better of the opening 79 minutes at McDiarmid Park before the game burst into life when Hibs conceded a penalty, which substitute Nigel Hasselbaink saw saved by goalkeeper Ben Williams.

Saints boss Steve Lomas was sent to the stand by referee Craig Thomson soon afterward and Cairney added to his misery by netting what proved to be the winner after 82 minutes.

Substitute David Robertson was taken off on a stretcher and Saints captain Dave Mackay was shown a straight red card for an altercation with Leigh Griffiths in stoppage time as the hosts' misery was complete.

The victory came as welcome relief for Hibs, who returned to second ahead of Inverness, following successive losses to Dundee and Aberdeen and ahead of the Edinburgh derby with Hearts in the William Hill Scottish Cup fourth round on Sunday, while Saints saw their unbeaten three-match run end.

Saints enjoyed more possession early on, but struggled to test Hibs. Rowan Vine shot weakly at Williams before David Wotherspoon attempted to spark proceedings with a neat one-two with Griffiths, only for the return pass to bounce off his knee.

Mackay's free-kick deflected over before Gregory Tade barged by Ryan McGivern and Stevenson on the right and crossed low for Steven MacLean, whose effort was blocked by Alan Maybury.

Paul Hanlon saw yellow for a late trip on Tade, presenting the hosts with another free-kick chance. Liam Craig hit it left-footed from 25 yards and it took a slight deflection before bouncing back off the crossbar.

Saints resumed on the attack, with Tade to the fore once more. A weak McGivern header ran into the path of the striker, who sliced off target.

Vine had a shot blocked by Hanlon before Saints had a fine chance. Craig, on the left, found MacLean, who evaded Stevenson's lunge to shoot low, but too close to the goalkeeper as Williams saved.

With 11 minutes to go, Saints won a penalty. Williams scrambled the ball away from the feet of MacLean, but Hibs failed to clear and as Mackay moved into the box he was tripped by Wotherspoon. The Hibs goalkeeper saved Hasselbaink's resulting spot-kick and the follow-up from Craig before Lomas' frustrations boiled over and he was dismissed from the touchline.

Moments later, Saints went behind as the ball broke for Cairney in the centre of the area and he was able to prod in beyond Alan Mannus.

Robertson departed on a stretcher following a tackle in midfield and there was a dispute between Mackay and Griffiths, whom the Saints captain felt had chased down the ball which had been returned to the hosts.

Mackay was shown a red card as the frenzied finale finished on a sour note for Saints.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

his is all good fun, but anyone who thinks United are 4th best in England for anything more than a blip is properly f***ing mental. And Domenech is properly f***ing mental.

megabrow (cufc)
Schneiderlin must join United - Domenech

I

f the answer is Matt Phillips, the question should never be Who is one of your major transfer targets?

jelasfirsttouch
The Twosome Gossip

I

s this Chris Smalling playing the 'Race' card?

hump3.
Smalling wants United race

Footer 365

Barcelona sign Arda Turan from Atletico Madrid

La Liga champions Barcelona have announced a deal to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder Arda Turan.

Koeman: Utd Schneiderlin bid 'not serious'

Ronald Koeman says Southampton are yet to hear back from Manchester United since rejecting a bid for Morgan Schneiderlin that "wasn't serious".

Benzema facing uncertain future at Real

Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez is reportedly planning to play Cristiano Ronaldo as a lone striker in a move which could sideline Karim Benzema.

Mail Box

Van Persie: Really Expensive Wallpaper

He was bought to cover the cracks that nearly brought down the house, says one Man United fan. We also have mails on Brendan, the WWC, Aguero and...

Farewell Robin, You Were Wonderful

One Mailer looks back fondly at Robin van Persie's time at Old Trafford as he nears the exit. Plus Turkish delights, being inspired, David Ospina, handballs & decisions...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company