A double from in-form striker Leigh Griffiths fired Hibernian to the top of the Scottish Premier League against 10-man St Mirren.

Kenny McLean shot the Buddies in front from long-range but Griffiths levelled with a powerful finish.

Hibs improved after the interval and Griffiths, who hit the post twice, drilled in a fine strike on 65 minutes.

St Mirren's cause was further handicapped when skipper Jim Goodwin was dismissed for a second booking.

It was a fourth consecutive league defeat for the Paisely side, who had been the brighter side in the first half and put Hibs under pressure in the closing stages despite being a man down.

Hibs' lofty position is a far cry from last season when the club trailed at the wrong end of the table.

And the player that best encapsulates the dramatic turnaround is David Wotherspoon.

Leigh Griffiths was in superb form for the hosts

Griffiths fired his 10th and 11th goals of the season

The midfielder was a bag of nerves during the previous campaign and was not deemed good enough for a place in the side that was humiliated by Hearts in the Scottish Cup final.

Griffiths, who leads the SPL charts with 11 goals, will get all the headlines but Wotherspoon did much to give Hibs the upper hand in the second half with his clever promptings after a strangely subdued opening 45 minutes from the men in green.

Following a cagey first 15 minutes, Hibs keeper Ben Williams had to look lively to smother an opportunist strike from Steven Thompson and, soon after, Dougie Imrie curled a shot over the top.

Hibs were gifted a chance when a mix up between Goodwin and Lee Mair allowed Griffiths a free run at goal. However, the striker's venomous strike across the bows of Craig Samson cannoned away to safety off the inside of the upright.

McLean latched on to a lofted pass from Goodwin to get in behind the home defence but could not find a way past Williams, who saved with an outstretched leg.

But the Buddies midfielder did find the net on 32 minutes and he did it in style, thumping in a low, skidding shot from 25 yards after Hibs had twice failed to clear their lines.

Hibs were back on level terms five minutes later when Paul Cairney did well to get past two opponents on the left.

His cross glanced off the head of James McPake to land at the feet of Griffiths at the back post and the striker smashed the ball into the back of the net.

Hibs were playing with far greater zest after the break and Wotherspoon twice slipped great passes into the penalty area for Griffiths and Tom Taiwo, with the St Mirren defence scrambling clear on both occasions.

Griffiths' second goal came following positive thrusts from Cairney and Wotherspoon and when the ball broke to the on-loan forward, he produced a fabulous jink and drilled shot that whizzed in from 20 yards.

The visitors were then reduced to 10 men as skipper Goodwin let his side down by leading aggressively with an elbow to pick up his second yellow card.

And Mair was perhaps fortunate not to join his captain for an early bath when he blocked off Wotherspoon just a minute after being cautioned.

Griffiths hit the woodwork for the second time when his curling free-kick left Samson sprawling at his near post.

St Mirren substitute Graham Carey fluffed a good shooting opportunity as Hibs finished the game nervously and Thompson's strike was kept out by Williams.

Griffiths did find the net again, with a tremendous angled shot, but a linesman's flag was fluttering and signalled the only sour note on a good day for the happy home support.

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (4)

Hibernian

  • 01 Williams
  • 03 McGivern
  • 04 Hanlon
  • 06 McPake
  • 18 Maybury
  • 08 Claros
  • 11 Cairney
  • 14 Wotherspoon
  • 20 Taiwo Booked
  • 09 Griffiths
  • 10 Doyle (Stevenson - 78' )

Substitutes

  • 31 Murdoch
  • 16 Stevenson
  • 17 Sproule
  • 26 Stanton
  • 36 Donaldson
  • 24 Handling
  • 32 Kuqi

St Mirren

  • 01 Samson
  • 02 van Zanten
  • 03 Dummett
  • 05 Mair Booked
  • 14 McAusland
  • 06 Goodwin Dismissed after an earlier booking
  • 17 Mclean
  • 07 Imrie Booked (Carey - 82' )
  • 09 Thompson
  • 19 Parkin (Guy - 61' )
  • 20 Reilly (Teale - 63' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Smith
  • 23 Barron
  • 08 Robertson
  • 11 Carey
  • 21 Teale
  • 27 Guy
  • 29 J McGinn
Ref: Muir
Att: 10,358

Match Stats

Shots

10 7

On target

4 5

Corners

1 7

Fouls

12 13

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:37 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

90:00 +2:28

Foul by Paul Hanlon on Steven Thompson, free kick awarded. Gary Teale produces a cross, Close range headed effort by Steven Thompson goes wide of the left-hand post.

90:00 +1:26

Steven Thompson takes a shot. Save made by Ben Williams.

90:00 +0:46

The ball is sent over by David van Zanten, clearance by Paul Hanlon.

89:37

David van Zanten gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lewis Stevenson. Direct free kick taken by Ryan McGivern.

87:40

The ball is delivered by Marc McAusland, save made by Ben Williams.

85:37

The referee blows for offside against Leigh Griffiths. Lee Mair takes the free kick.

83:37

Effort from the edge of the box by Graham Carey goes wide of the right-hand upright.

82:21

Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Graham Carey, save made by Ben Williams.

82:21 Booking

Booking Tom Taiwo receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

82:02

Unfair challenge on Steven Thompson by Tom Taiwo results in a free kick.

81:27 Substitution

Substitution Dougie Imrie goes off and Graham Carey comes on.

80:03

A cross is delivered by Gary Teale.

79:17

Free kick awarded for a foul by Lewis Stevenson on David van Zanten. Craig Samson restarts play with the free kick.

77:42 Substitution

Substitution Lewis Stevenson replaces Eoin Doyle.

74:37

Paul Cairney takes a shot. Save by Craig Samson.

72:42

Kenny McLean challenges Jorge Claros unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ben Williams takes the direct free kick.

71:19

Lee Mair concedes a free kick for a foul on David Wotherspoon. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Leigh Griffiths. Eoin Doyle is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Craig Samson restarts play with the free kick.

69:51

David Wotherspoon takes the free kick. Foul by Eoin Doyle on Lee Mair, free kick awarded. Craig Samson takes the free kick.

69:51 Booking

Booking Lee Mair is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.

69:44

Free kick awarded for a foul by Lee Mair on Paul Cairney.

68:15

Outswinging corner taken by Gary Teale from the left by-line played to the near post. Corner from right by-line taken by Gary Teale. Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Kenny McLean.

66:10 Dismissal

Dismissal Jim Goodwin shown a red card for second bookable offence.

64:21

Assist by Paul Cairney.

64:21 Goal scored

Goal! - Leigh Griffiths - Hibernian 2 - 1 St Mirren Leigh Griffiths scores a goal from outside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Hibernian 2-1 St Mirren.

62:49 Substitution

Substitution Gary Teale on for Thomas Reilly.

62:21

The ball is sent over by Leigh Griffiths, Craig Samson makes a save.

61:06

The ball is sent over by Dougie Imrie, save made by Ben Williams.

60:05 Substitution

Substitution Lewis Guy joins the action as a substitute, replacing Sam Parkin.

60:05

David Wotherspoon produces a cross.

59:16

Paul Dummett delivers the ball, save made by Ben Williams.

57:53

Clearance made by Tom Taiwo.

57:53 Booking

Booking The referee books Dougie Imrie for unsporting behaviour.

57:16

Corner from the left by-line taken by Jim Goodwin,

55:53

Corner taken by Leigh Griffiths, Header from deep inside the area by James McPake goes over the bar.

53:36

Unfair challenge on Steven Thompson by Paul Hanlon results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Marc McAusland.

52:36

Leigh Griffiths takes a shot. Craig Samson makes a save.

52:00

Dougie Imrie delivers the ball, clearance made by James McPake.

51:19

Sam Parkin gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Wotherspoon. Alan Maybury takes the free kick.

49:05

Paul Cairney has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.

48:10

A cross is delivered by Thomas Reilly.

47:46

Free kick awarded for a foul by James McPake on Sam Parkin. Direct free kick taken by Jim Goodwin.

46:02

Steven Thompson is caught offside. Ben Williams takes the free kick.

45:37

Dougie Imrie produces a cross.

45:11

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jim Goodwin by Paul Cairney. Marc McAusland takes the free kick.

45:01

The second half kicks off.

45:00 +0:55 Half time

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

45:00 +0:31

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Paul Cairney by Paul Dummett. Free kick taken by Alan Maybury.

43:30

Free kick awarded for a foul by Sam Parkin on Paul Hanlon. Ben Williams restarts play with the free kick.

39:33

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

39:14

The ball is swung over by Kenny McLean, James McPake makes a clearance.

36:26

Paul Cairney provided the assist for the goal.

36:26 Goal scored

Goal! - Leigh Griffiths - Hibernian 1 - 1 St Mirren Leigh Griffiths scores a goal from close range low into the middle of the goal. Hibernian 1-1 St Mirren.

35:52

Eoin Doyle fouled by Paul Dummett, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Alan Maybury.

31:13

The assist for the goal came from Thomas Reilly.

31:13 Goal scored

Goal! - Kenny McLean - Hibernian 0 - 1 St Mirren Kenny McLean finds the net with a goal from outside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Hibernian 0-1 St Mirren.

30:30

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Dougie Imrie from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Paul Hanlon.

29:52

A cross is delivered by Dougie Imrie, James McPake makes a clearance. Jim Goodwin takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, Ryan McGivern manages to make a clearance.

27:44

Sam Parkin challenges James McPake unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jorge Claros takes the direct free kick.

25:50

Kenny McLean takes a shot. Ben Williams makes a save.

22:44

Leigh Griffiths delivers the ball, Close range header by Eoin Doyle goes over the bar.

22:44 Booking

Booking Jim Goodwin is shown a yellow card.

22:20

Jim Goodwin challenges Ryan McGivern unfairly and gives away a free kick.

21:22

Leigh Griffiths takes a shot from close in that hits the post.

19:07

Steven Thompson is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Ben Williams.

18:46

The ball is swung over by Dougie Imrie, clearance by Alan Maybury.

17:28

Foul by Leigh Griffiths on Dougie Imrie, free kick awarded. Lee Mair restarts play with the free kick.

16:59

Centre by Dougie Imrie, clearance made by Tom Taiwo.

14:44

A cross is delivered by Dougie Imrie, save made by Ben Williams.

13:39

Steven Thompson takes a shot. Save by Ben Williams.

11:34

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steven Thompson by Tom Taiwo. Free kick taken by Lee Mair.

10:27

Jim Goodwin challenges David Wotherspoon unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Leigh Griffiths, clearance by David van Zanten.

7:03

Foul by Jorge Claros on Steven Thompson, free kick awarded. Paul Dummett restarts play with the free kick. Dougie Imrie sends in a cross, blocked by Jorge Claros. Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Jim Goodwin, Ben Williams makes a save.

5:25

Foul by Jim Goodwin on Paul Cairney, free kick awarded. Ryan McGivern restarts play with the free kick.

3:32

Jorge Claros challenges Dougie Imrie unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Dummett takes the direct free kick.

3:15

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Eoin Doyle by Marc McAusland. Direct free kick taken by Paul Hanlon.

1:12

Leigh Griffiths concedes a free kick for a foul on Jim Goodwin. Free kick taken by Marc McAusland.

0:00

The referee gets the game underway.

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