Hibernian moved up to second in the Scottish Premier League with a hard-fought victory over Kilmarnock at Easter Road.

Leigh Griffiths scored two first-half goals, the first coming directly from a corner kick and his second a disputed penalty kick.

Between those strikes was a cool Danny Racchi leveller for the visitors.

William Gros and Michael Nelson both had efforts in the closing stages but Killie could not salvage a draw.

The result will give immense satisfaction to Hibs manager Pat Fenlon, whose first season in charge was a fraught one for the fans, ending in a Scottish Cup final mauling by Edinburgh rivals Hearts.

But this was the sort of game they might have lost last season. Losing an equaliser to dogged opposition against the run of play, they may have wilted. Not in this campaign.

Instead, when Racchi's controlled side-foot finish took advantage of a mix-up between Ben Williams and his defenders, Hibs dusted themselves down and attacked again.

They had taken the lead through Griffiths' in-swinging corner from the right.

Kilmarnock midfielder Danny Racchi

Racchi equalised for Killie before Griffiths' winner

Kyle Letheren may be pleased to see the history books show the Hibs striker's name on the scoresheet but his memory of it will be painful nonetheless. He misjudged the pace and flight of the ball and could only claw it into the net.

With the fluorescently-booted duo of Gary Deegan and Jorge Claros adding bite in midfield, Hibs relied on Griffiths and Eoin Doyle to give central defenders Ryan O'Leary and Nelson an uncomfortable afternoon in the capital.

Cillian Sheridan made his debut for Kilmarnock after signing a two-year deal, but his contributions were limited, especially in the first half.

But two of the big Irish striker's team-mates were making an impact. Williams rushed from his goal to save from Borja Perez then the Hibs goalie made an excellent parry to stop Nelson's powerful header from crossing the line.

Griffiths was clearly enjoying himself and when he left Nelson for dead down the inside-right channel and sent in a delicious cross to the back post for Paul Cairney, a goal looked probable. Only a brave block by the Kilmarnock defence stopped Cairney's volley making it 2-0.

At this point some fans high in the stands, whether through unshakeable faith or altitude sickness, were singing that they were going to win the league.

They were soon to be silenced, though, when Racchi levelled for the visitors.

Hibs' response was to attack and with five minutes until the break, David Wotherspoon pushed up from right midfield to find himself in a great position in the Killie box. However, rather than pick out a team-mate or test Letheren, he blazed over the bar.

The winning goal was the result of a decision that will ruin the Killie squad's Saturday evening, as well as the 250 travelling fans'.

Cairney seemed to go down in the box before the challenge from the Killie defence came in. Referee Steven McLean decided contact had been made and pointed to the spot, from which Griffiths smacked the ball into the bottom corner.

After the interval, Griffiths was denied from close range by Letheren after being picked out by a marvellous Eoin Doyle cross from deep.

Sheridan then gave the Killie fans some hope. Racchi's run and cross from the right produced a chance but the big Irish striker nodded just wide of the target.

Hibs' star man Griffiths limped off to be replaced by Ross Caldwell, his injury the result of his own poor challenge.

Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels sent on striker Gros and his looping header almost levelled but drifted wide.

The red and white jerseys flooded forward and Nelson's powerful shot from 10 yards looked a certainty to cross the line.

Williams made a great block, Gros missed the follow-up and the home support celebrated their lofty position when the final whistle blew.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Hibernian

  • 01 Williams
  • 02 Clancy
  • 04 Hanlon
  • 06 McPake
  • 18 Maybury
  • 07 Deegan
  • 08 Claros
  • 11 Cairney
  • 14 Wotherspoon (Stevenson - 60' )
  • 09 Griffiths (Caldwell - 76' )
  • 10 Doyle Booked (Sproule - 90' )

Substitutes

  • 21 Antell
  • 03 McGivern
  • 16 Stevenson
  • 17 Sproule
  • 26 Stanton
  • 24 Handling
  • 29 Caldwell

Kilmarnock

  • 17 Letheren Booked
  • 04 Fowler
  • 05 O'Leary
  • 06 Nelson
  • 23 McKeown
  • 07 Racchi (Johnston - 70' )
  • 08 Kelly
  • 10 Dayton (Harkins - 79' )
  • 29 Pascali Booked
  • 12 Sheridan
  • 15 Perez (Gross - 63' )

Substitutes

  • 53 Jaakkola
  • 26 Pursehouse
  • 11 Harkins
  • 18 Johnson
  • 09 Gross
  • 24 McKenzie
  • 30 Johnston
Ref: Mclean
Att: 9,723

Match Stats

Shots

9 10

On target

4 2

Corners

3 10

Fouls

19 12

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:35 Full time

Full Time The match has reached full-time.

90:00 +3:08

Chris Johnston takes the inswinging corner, Rory McKeown takes a shot. Clearance made by Jorge Claros.

90:00 +1:20

Kyle Letheren restarts play with the free kick.

90:00 +1:20 Substitution

Substitution Ivan Sproule on for Eoin Doyle.

90:00 +1:20

Eoin Doyle is caught offside.

90:00 +0:13

Effort on goal by Rory McKeown from just inside the penalty area goes over the target.

88:20

Chris Johnston takes a inswinging corner to the near post.

87:22

Eoin Doyle is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Kyle Letheren.

85:44

Chris Johnston sends in a cross, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by William Gros goes harmlessly over the crossbar.

82:57

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on James Fowler by Lewis Stevenson. James Fowler takes the free kick.

80:22

Free kick taken by James Fowler.

80:22 Booking

Booking Eoin Doyle receives a caution.

80:16

Eoin Doyle challenges James Fowler unfairly and gives away a free kick.

78:17

Tim Clancy restarts play with the free kick.

78:17 Substitution

Substitution Gary Harkins joins the action as a substitute, replacing James Dayton.

78:17

Foul by William Gros on Jorge Claros, free kick awarded.

74:41

James Dayton takes a short corner, Liam Kelly takes a shot.

74:41 Substitution

Substitution Ross Caldwell is brought on as a substitute for Leigh Griffiths.

74:41

Liam Kelly fouled by Leigh Griffiths, the ref awards a free kick. Liam Kelly takes the free kick.

72:22

Paul Cairney concedes a free kick for a foul on Rory McKeown. Direct free kick taken by Liam Kelly. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by James Dayton from the right by-line, Ben Williams makes a comfortable save.

71:59

Alan Maybury gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James Dayton. Direct free kick taken by James Fowler.

70:46

Alan Maybury concedes a free kick for a foul on James Dayton. James Dayton fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.

69:55

Eoin Doyle takes a shot. Comfortable save by Kyle Letheren.

69:02 Substitution

Substitution Chris Johnston is brought on as a substitute for Danny Racchi.

68:36

Liam Kelly fouled by Lewis Stevenson, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Michael Nelson.

68:03

Unfair challenge on Paul Cairney by James Dayton results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Leigh Griffiths.

66:10

The referee blows for offside against Eoin Doyle. Free kick taken by Michael Nelson.

64:44

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Tim Clancy by William Gros. Ben Williams takes the free kick.

63:08

Manuel Pascali fouled by Gary Deegan, the ref awards a free kick. Liam Kelly takes the free kick.

62:18

Michael Nelson takes the indirect free kick.

62:18 Substitution

Substitution William Gros joins the action as a substitute, replacing Borja Perez.

62:18

The assistant referee flags for offside against Leigh Griffiths.

60:32

Paul Hanlon fouled by Borja Perez, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ben Williams.

59:33 Substitution

Substitution David Wotherspoon leaves the field to be replaced by Lewis Stevenson.

57:26

Gary Deegan concedes a free kick for a foul on Danny Racchi. Direct free kick taken by Danny Racchi.

56:00

Corner taken by Danny Racchi. Ryan O'Leary concedes a free kick for a foul on Tim Clancy. Ben Williams takes the free kick.

55:00

Jorge Claros concedes a free kick for a foul on Liam Kelly. Free kick crossed by James Dayton, clearance by Tim Clancy.

53:27

James Dayton takes the outswinging corner, Tim Clancy makes a clearance.

52:37

The ball is delivered by Danny Racchi, Cillian Sheridan takes a shot.

51:55

Leigh Griffiths takes a shot. Kyle Letheren makes a fantastic save.

51:05

James Dayton delivers the ball, Ben Williams makes a save.

49:44

James Dayton takes a outswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, Tim Clancy manages to make a clearance.

47:58

Leigh Griffiths takes the inswinging corner, Paul Hanlon takes a shot. Save by Kyle Letheren.

45:07

The offside flag is raised against Leigh Griffiths. Kyle Letheren takes the direct free kick.

45:01

The match restarts for the second half.

45:00 +0:44 Half time

Half Time It is the end of the first-half.

45:00 +0:06 Goal scored

Goal! - Leigh Griffiths - Hibernian 2 - 1 Kilmarnock Power penalty scored by Leigh Griffiths. Hibernian 2-1 Kilmarnock.

44:10 Booking

Booking Kyle Letheren receives a yellow card for dissent.

43:47

Ryan O'Leary gives away a Penalty for an unfair challenge on Paul Cairney.

42:12

David Wotherspoon takes a shot. Unfair challenge on Cillian Sheridan by Paul Hanlon results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Manuel Pascali.

41:01

Unfair challenge on Paul Hanlon by Cillian Sheridan results in a free kick. Paul Hanlon takes the direct free kick.

39:54

Foul by Leigh Griffiths on Rory McKeown, free kick awarded. Manuel Pascali restarts play with the free kick.

37:44

Shot from deep inside the area by David Wotherspoon clears the bar.

35:25

Direct free kick taken by Tim Clancy.

35:25 Booking

Booking Caution for Manuel Pascali.

34:57

Manuel Pascali challenges Tim Clancy unfairly and gives away a free kick.

33:29

Eoin Doyle is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Kyle Letheren.

31:34

Assist on the goal came from Rory McKeown.

31:34 Goal scored

Goal! - Danny Racchi - Hibernian 1 - 1 Kilmarnock Danny Racchi grabs a goal from just inside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Hibernian 1-1 Kilmarnock.

31:34

The ball is swung over by Rory McKeown,

30:44

Liam Kelly fouled by Gary Deegan, the ref awards a free kick. Manuel Pascali takes the free kick.

29:39

The ball is sent over by Jorge Claros.

28:45

Foul by Leigh Griffiths on James Fowler, free kick awarded. Kyle Letheren takes the direct free kick.

27:01

Foul by Paul Hanlon on Cillian Sheridan, free kick awarded. The free kick is swung in left-footed by James Dayton.

26:40

Gary Deegan challenges Borja Perez unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Manuel Pascali.

26:18

Shot by Paul Cairney from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.

25:06

James Fowler produces a cross, save by Ben Williams.

21:57

Unfair challenge on David Wotherspoon by Cillian Sheridan results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ben Williams.

19:23

Leigh Griffiths takes a shot. Blocked by James Fowler. Corner taken by David Wotherspoon, Michael Nelson makes a clearance.

18:44

Unfair challenge on David Wotherspoon by Manuel Pascali results in a free kick. Tim Clancy takes the free kick.

17:57

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Rory McKeown by David Wotherspoon. Rory McKeown restarts play with the free kick.

16:14

Unfair challenge on Alan Maybury by James Fowler results in a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by David Wotherspoon from left wing.

14:53

Outswinging corner taken by James Dayton from the left by-line, Michael Nelson takes a shot. Ben Williams makes a save.

13:25 Goal scored

Goal! - Leigh Griffiths - Hibernian 1 - 0 Kilmarnock Leigh Griffiths gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the penalty area to the top left corner of the goal. Hibernian 1-0 Kilmarnock.

12:38

Leigh Griffiths takes a shot. Fantastic save by Kyle Letheren. Inswinging corner taken by Leigh Griffiths,

10:20

James Dayton produces a cross. Corner taken right-footed by James Fowler, Jorge Claros manages to make a clearance. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Borja Perez by Alan Maybury. Borja Perez produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick, Ben Williams makes a save.

9:05

Leigh Griffiths is caught offside. Direct free kick taken by Kyle Letheren.

7:39

Unfair challenge on Cillian Sheridan by Tim Clancy results in a free kick. Manuel Pascali produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick, Kyle Letheren makes a save.

7:00

Unfair challenge on Jorge Claros by Borja Perez results in a free kick. Paul Hanlon takes the indirect free kick.

5:52

Alan Maybury produces a cross.

4:36

Rory McKeown takes a shot.

2:23

Corner taken left-footed by James Dayton.

1:03

Centre by David Wotherspoon.

0:00

The referee gets the match started.

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