Hibernian moved three points clear of the Scottish Premier League relegation spot after comfortably beating Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

On-loan Stoke midfielder Tom Soares struck his first Hibs goal to break the deadlock in the 17th minute.

Roy O'Donovan's impressive shot stretched the visitors' lead a minute into the second half.

Soares fired his second of the day before Dean Shiels pulled a goal back for Killie with a free-kick.

With Dunfermline losing at St Johnstone, Hibs open up a three-point gap on the Fife side with a game in hand, while Killie lie eighth.

After a quiet start to the match, the visitors began to exert some pressure and moved into the lead.

Striker Leigh Griffiths dropped deep and sent the ball through for Soares to run on to and fire past goalkeeper Cammy Bell.

Griffiths then lifted a shot over Bell's crossbar as Killie continued to allow Hibs too much space.

The home side went on the attack and a Michael Nelson shot was helped on by James Dayton, but keeper Graham Stack was untroubled.

George Francomb's free-kick clipped the top of Bell's crossbar and the keeper then made a couple of saves to deny Griffiths, with Soares also having an effort saved.

Garry Hay's long-range effort flew wide of the Hibs goal shortly before half-time.

Hibs doubled their lead early in the second half after O'Donovan pounced on a loose ball outside the Killie box, spun and guided the ball into the net.

Nelson's header was cleared off the line by Francomb as Killie tried to mount a comeback, but they fell fruther behind in the 66th minute.

The unmarked Soares met Griffiths' cross and smashed the ball past Bell.

Kilmarnock reduced the deficit seven minutes from the end, former Hibs forward Shiels curling a free-kick into the top corner.

The Ayrshire side rallied in the closing stages, but chances for Paul Heffernan and Dieter van Tornhout were not taken.

Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels : "I am very disappointed. It's the fourth time this season that we have lost to the team that is bottom or joint bottom.

"That is a big question of our strength of character. There's contributing factors, but they are only excuses really.

"We had quite a bit of domination in the last 30 minutes, but Hibs came here and did a very good job.

"They did all the good things about the British game today and came out on top. We can have no complaints."

Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon : "It was very pleasing today. I thought from start to finish we were very good and the players stuck to what we asked of them.

"I thought we played probably the best football since I have arrived in the first 45 minutes.

"We have come here and performed very well. It is a hard place to come and the players can take massive belief from the result.

"I felt we were unlucky the other night against Motherwell and today's result is a big lift."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (5)

Kilmarnock

  • 01 Bell
  • 03 Hay
  • 04 Fowler
  • 06 Nelson
  • 19 Gordon
  • 88 Sissoko
  • 10 Dayton Booked (Kennedy - 64' )
  • 11 Harkins (Van Tornhout - 64' )
  • 18 Johnson (Buijs - 57' )
  • 20 Shiels
  • 14 Heffernan

Substitutes

  • 17 Letheren
  • 13 Kroca
  • 23 McKeown
  • 09 Buijs
  • 22 Racchi
  • 33 Kennedy
  • 27 Van Tornhout

Hibernian

  • 01 Stack
  • 04 Hanlon
  • 15 McPake
  • 19 Kujabi Booked
  • 22 Francomb
  • 08 Claros
  • 13 Soares
  • 16 Stevenson
  • 24 Osbourne Booked
  • 18 O'Donovan (Sproule - 88' )
  • 28 Griffiths (Doyle - 75' )

Substitutes

  • 31 Brown
  • 02 Doherty
  • 25 Towell
  • 07 Wotherspoon
  • 17 Sproule
  • 09 O'Connor
  • 10 Doyle
Ref: O'Reilly
Att: 4,283

Match Stats

Shots

5 7

On target

2 5

Corners

8 1

Fouls

6 17

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:52 Full time

Full Time The match has reached full-time.

90:00 +0:02

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Nelson by Isaiah Osbourne. Cameron Bell takes the free kick.

87:33 Substitution

Substitution Roy O'Donovan leaves the field to be replaced by Ivan Sproule.

86:05

Corner taken right-footed by Dean Shiels from the left by-line, save made by Graham Stack.

86:00

Matthew Kennedy sends in a cross.

83:58

The assistant referee flags for offside against Roy O'Donovan. Free kick taken by James Fowler.

82:05 Goal scored

Goal! - Dean Shiels - Kilmarnock 1 - 3 Hibernian Dean Shiels grabs a goal direct from the free kick from just outside the penalty box to the top right corner of the goal. Kilmarnock 1-3 Hibernian.

80:53

Dean Shiels fouled by Pa Saikou Kujabi, the ref awards a free kick.

80:16 Booking

Booking Booking for Pa Saikou Kujabi for unsporting behaviour.

80:10

Unfair challenge on Matthew Kennedy by Pa Saikou Kujabi results in a free kick. James Fowler takes the direct free kick.

77:55

Free kick awarded for a foul by Michael Nelson on Eoin Doyle. Free kick crossed by George Francomb, clearance made by James Fowler.

76:38

The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Graham Stack.

76:17

Tom Soares challenges Dean Shiels unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Dean Shiels.

74:40

Graham Stack takes the direct free kick.

74:40 Substitution

Substitution Eoin Doyle joins the action as a substitute, replacing Leigh Griffiths.

74:40

Paul Heffernan is flagged offside by the assistant referee.

72:52

Corner from the left by-line taken by Dean Shiels, clearance by James McPake.

68:30

A cross is delivered by Leigh Griffiths, clearance made by Michael Nelson.

65:05

Assist on the goal came from Leigh Griffiths.

65:05 Goal scored

Goal! - Tom Soares - Kilmarnock 0 - 3 Hibernian Tom Soares finds the net with a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Kilmarnock 0-3 Hibernian.

63:44 Substitution

Substitution Gary Harkins leaves the field to be replaced by Dieter Van Tornhout.

63:44 Substitution

Substitution Matthew Kennedy joins the action as a substitute, replacing James Dayton.

63:22

Shot from just outside the area by James Fowler goes over the bar.

61:17

Unfair challenge on Danny Buijs by Roy O'Donovan results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Mohamadou Sissoko.

59:39

Michael Nelson restarts play with the free kick.

59:39 Booking

Booking Isaiah Osbourne booked for unsporting behaviour.

59:24

Isaiah Osbourne concedes a free kick for a foul on Ben Gordon.

58:32

George Francomb takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by James Fowler.

56:57 Substitution

Substitution Danny Buijs replaces Lee Johnson.

53:52

Inswinging corner taken by Dean Shiels from the left by-line, Michael Nelson takes a shot. Clearance by Pa Saikou Kujabi.

52:36

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on George Francomb by Gary Harkins. Graham Stack takes the direct free kick.

51:02

Free kick awarded for a foul by Leigh Griffiths on Gary Harkins. Direct free kick taken by Garry Hay.

45:58 Goal scored

Goal! - Roy O'Donovan - Kilmarnock 0 - 2 Hibernian Roy O'Donovan finds the net with a goal from outside the box to the top right corner of the goal. Kilmarnock 0-2 Hibernian.

45:03

Inswinging corner taken by Dean Shiels from the left by-line.

45:01

The second half kicks off.

45:00 +1:22 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.

45:00 +0:18

Roy O'Donovan challenges Garry Hay unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Garry Hay, clearance made by James McPake.

44:14

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on James McPake by Garry Hay. Direct free kick taken by George Francomb.

43:07

Jorge Claros challenges Garry Hay unfairly and gives away a free kick. Michael Nelson restarts play with the free kick.

41:12

Long distance shot from Garry Hay misses to the left of the net.

40:45

Centre by James Fowler.

37:37

A cross is delivered by Lee Johnson.

36:52

Leigh Griffiths takes a shot. Save by Cameron Bell.

36:09

Corner taken by James Dayton from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by James McPake.

35:34

Leigh Griffiths is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Cameron Bell.

32:39

Leigh Griffiths takes a shot. Cameron Bell makes a save.

31:25

George Francomb produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.

31:25 Booking

Booking Booking for James Dayton for unsporting behaviour.

31:09

Pa Saikou Kujabi fouled by James Dayton, the ref awards a free kick.

29:48

Unfair challenge on Gary Harkins by Lewis Stevenson results in a free kick. Garry Hay takes the free kick.

28:50

Free kick awarded for a foul by James Dayton on Pa Saikou Kujabi. Free kick crossed left-footed by Pa Saikou Kujabi.

28:05

The ball is delivered by James Fowler, clearance by James McPake.

27:14

Free kick awarded for a foul by Pa Saikou Kujabi on James Dayton. Direct free kick taken by James Fowler.

24:29

Shot from just outside the box by Michael Nelson misses to the left of the goal.

24:13

Short corner worked by James Dayton.

24:07

James Dayton sends in a cross, Pa Saikou Kujabi makes a clearance.

20:28

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mohamadou Sissoko by Roy O'Donovan. Direct free kick taken by Cameron Bell.

19:57

Unfair challenge on Michael Nelson by Leigh Griffiths results in a free kick. Cameron Bell restarts play with the free kick.

17:59

Effort on goal by Leigh Griffiths from outside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.

16:33

Leigh Griffiths provided the assist for the goal.

16:33 Goal scored

Goal! - Tom Soares - Kilmarnock 0 - 1 Hibernian Tom Soares gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Kilmarnock 0-1 Hibernian.

15:39

Free kick awarded for a foul by James Fowler on Pa Saikou Kujabi. The free kick is swung in right-footed by George Francomb, clearance by James Fowler.

14:45

Tom Soares is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Cameron Bell.

14:40

Leigh Griffiths crosses the ball.

13:26

Paul Heffernan fouled by James McPake, the ref awards a free kick. Garry Hay takes the direct free kick.

11:11

Paul Hanlon concedes a free kick for a foul on Paul Heffernan. Garry Hay takes the direct free kick.

7:13

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gary Harkins by Jorge Claros. Dean Shiels takes the direct free kick.

6:31

Inswinging corner taken by Dean Shiels from the left by-line, clearance made by James McPake.

6:00

The ball is swung over by Ben Gordon.

5:16

Lewis Stevenson concedes a free kick for a foul on James Dayton. Direct free kick taken by James Fowler.

3:12

Leigh Griffiths is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Cameron Bell.

0:18

Dean Shiels takes the outswinging corner, clearance by James McPake.

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.

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