St Johnstone eased to a comfortable Scottish Premier League victory over Hibernian at Easter Road.

Rowan Vine followed up a saved Steven MacLean shot to open the scoring before firing an impressive second past Hibs keeper Ben Williams minutes later.

Williams then stopped a MacLean penalty after Ryan McGivern felled Mehdi Abeid.

Ex-Hibs man Paddy Cregg benefitted from Murray Davidson's pass to make it three before Leigh Griffiths sprinted clear to score a late consolation.

St Johnstone had failed to register a point or a goal in their previous league meetings with Hibs this term.

After a quiet opening, Hibs' Eoin Doyle flashed a cross-shot wide, which indicated better times might be ahead.

Penalty save

Hibs' Ben Williams saved Steven MacLean's first-half penalty

But the opening celebrations were to be St Johnstone's on 23 minutes.

Vine neatly fed MacLean, who unleashed a fierce drive from the edge of the box which Williams could only parry, and Vine reacted quickest to lash home from six yards.

And no sooner did Saints have that elusive goal against the Easter Road men, that another one arrived.

Vine received the ball on the left corner of the box before cutting inside Hibs full-back Alan Maybury and firing a fine right-footed effort past Williams for his sixth of the campaign.

The visiting fans were delighted and they should have been cheering for a third goal on 33 minutes.

Saints' new signing Abeid sprinted on to a through ball before McGivern slid in with a late challenge on the Frenchman to concede a penalty.

McGivern was yellow-carded by referee Kevin Clancy and St Johnstone's MacLean placed the ball on the spot.

However, Hibs keeper Williams guessed right and dived low to his left to save the spot-kick.

The impressive save seemed to inject a little life into Pat Fenlon's side and Griffiths went close with a curling free-kick.

Both Liam Craig and Griffiths had testing long-range shots for St Johnstone and Hibs respectively at the beginning of the second period.

The home side brought on Paul Cairney and Jorge Claros to bring about a change in fortunes, but on 58 minutes the night got worse for the Leith faithful.

Cregg found himself on the end of a fine Davidson pass into the box and stroked easily past a helpless Williams.

Entering the final quarter of the match, Easter Road was beginning to look emptier and emptier as home fans headed for the exits.

Those who did leave missed an 82nd minute consolation from Griffiths.

A simple long ball through the middle put him through and the striker held off Saints' David McCracken before finishing left-footed past Alan Mannus.

Any further Hibs fight-back failed to materialise though and, despite a close McGivern shot in injury-time, St Johnstone safely moved to fourth in the SPL.

Match Stats

Shots

8 9

On target

1 5

Corners

6 3

Fouls

16 21

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:14 Full time

Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.

90:00 +3:12 Booking

Booking Nigel Hasselbaink goes into the book.

90:00 +2:34

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gregory Tade by Paul Hanlon. Callum Davidson takes the direct free kick.

90:00 +2:04

Ryan McGivern produces a left-footed shot from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.

90:00 +0:39

Free kick awarded for a foul by Gregory Tade on Paul Hanlon. Free kick taken by Ben Williams.

89:58

Shot from inside the area by Ryan McGivern clears the bar.

89:27

Danny Handling fouled by Michael Doughty, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Leigh Griffiths.

89:08

Nigel Hasselbaink challenges Matt Done unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Ben Williams.

88:06

Nigel Hasselbaink takes the free kick.

88:06 Substitution

Substitution (St Johnstone) makes a substitution, with Michael Doughty coming on for Mehdi Abeid.

88:06 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Lewis Stevenson for unsporting behaviour.

88:02

Lewis Stevenson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nigel Hasselbaink.

87:25

Nigel Hasselbaink concedes a free kick for a foul on Ryan McGivern. Direct free kick taken by Ryan McGivern.

87:06

Shot from 18 yards from Patrick Cregg. Save by Ben Williams.

85:42

Gregory Tade is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Ben Williams.

84:22

Murray Davidson fouled by Jorge Claros, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Liam Craig.

83:07

A cross is delivered by Paul Cairney, clearance by David McCracken.

82:22

Ben Williams takes the free kick.

82:22 Booking

Booking The referee books Murray Davidson for unsporting behaviour.

82:14

Murray Davidson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Scott Robertson.

81:21

Assist on the goal came from Danny Handling.

81:21 Goal scored

Goal! - Leigh Griffiths - Hibernian 1 - 3 St J'stone Leigh Griffiths finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Hibernian 1-3 St Johnstone.

80:07

Free kick awarded for a foul by Nigel Hasselbaink on Danny Handling. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Leigh Griffiths from right channel, clearance made by Jorge Claros. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Patrick Cregg by Danny Handling. Alan Mannus takes the free kick.

78:10

Free kick awarded for a foul by Matt Done on Gregory Tade. Steven Anderson takes the direct free kick.

77:20 Substitution

Substitution Nigel Hasselbaink joins the action as a substitute, replacing Rowan Vine.

76:21

Free kick awarded for a foul by Mehdi Abeid on Scott Robertson. Scott Robertson takes the free kick.

72:24

The ball is swung over by Paul Cairney, clearance by David McCracken.

71:56

Corner taken by Leigh Griffiths from the right by-line to the near post, save by Alan Mannus.

69:40 Substitution

Substitution Gregory Tade comes on in place of Steven MacLean.

69:40

Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Matt Done from the left by-line, Paul Hanlon challenges Frazer Wright unfairly and gives away a free kick. Alan Mannus restarts play with the free kick.

69:12

Steven MacLean concedes a free kick for a foul on Scott Robertson. Free kick taken by Lewis Stevenson.

67:15 Substitution

Substitution Eoin Doyle leaves the field to be replaced by Danny Handling.

66:12

Ryan McGivern gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mehdi Abeid. Steven Anderson takes the free kick.

60:08

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steven MacLean by James McPake. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Liam Craig from left channel, Ryan McGivern makes a clearance.

57:55

Assist by Murray Davidson.

57:55 Goal scored

Goal! - Patrick Cregg - Hibernian 0 - 3 St J'stone Patrick Cregg gets on the score sheet with a goal from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Hibernian 0-3 St Johnstone.

54:40

Ryan McGivern takes the free kick.

54:40 Booking

Booking The referee books Steven Anderson for unsporting behaviour.

54:33

Steven Anderson challenges Paul Cairney unfairly and gives away a free kick.

53:04

Steven MacLean is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Ben Williams.

52:43

Leigh Griffiths takes a shot. Save by Alan Mannus.

51:59

Paul Cairney delivers the ball, Steven Anderson manages to make a clearance.

51:23

The ball is sent over by Paul Cairney, David McCracken manages to make a clearance. Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Matt Done, clearance by Steven Anderson.

48:54

Ben Williams restarts play with the free kick.

48:54 Substitution

Substitution Jorge Claros joins the action as a substitute, replacing Gary Deegan.

48:54 Substitution

Substitution Paul Cairney replaces Alan Maybury.

48:54

Rowan Vine challenges Alan Maybury unfairly and gives away a free kick.

47:14

The assistant referee flags for offside against Mehdi Abeid. Free kick taken by Ben Williams.

46:08

Liam Craig takes a shot. Save made by Ben Williams. Corner taken by Liam Craig from the right by-line, save by Ben Williams. The ball is swung over by Liam Craig.

45:31

Rowan Vine takes a short corner.

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:00 +1:40 Half time

Half Time The referee blows for half time.

45:00 +1:09

Shot from just outside the penalty box by Mehdi Abeid misses to the left of the target.

45:00 +0:28

Murray Davidson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Scott Robertson. Direct free kick taken by Gary Deegan.

44:14

The official flags Matt Done offside. Alan Mannus takes the free kick.

44:02

The ball is delivered by Ryan McGivern, clearance by Frazer Wright.

43:16

Mehdi Abeid gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alan Maybury. Alan Maybury restarts play with the free kick.

42:52

Steven MacLean concedes a free kick for a foul on James McPake. Ben Williams takes the direct free kick.

41:45

Rowan Vine concedes a free kick for a foul on Gary Deegan. Free kick taken by Ryan McGivern. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Rowan Vine by Gary Deegan. Alan Mannus takes the direct free kick.

39:34

Free kick awarded for a foul by Liam Craig on Matt Done. Direct free kick taken by Ryan McGivern. Matt Done takes a outswinging corner. Unfair challenge on Leigh Griffiths by Mehdi Abeid results in a free kick. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Leigh Griffiths, Steven Anderson makes a clearance. Gary Deegan challenges Steven MacLean unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Alan Mannus.

37:29

Free kick awarded for a foul by Patrick Cregg on Scott Robertson. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Leigh Griffiths.

36:38

Liam Craig is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Paul Hanlon restarts play with the free kick.

36:05

A cross is delivered by Matt Done, clearance made by Callum Davidson.

34:33

Mehdi Abeid has an effort at goal from close range which goes wide right of the target.

33:28 Penalty

Penalty taken by Steven MacLean is saved by Ben Williams. Hibernian 0-2 St Johnstone.

32:30 Booking

Booking Ryan McGivern goes into the referee's book.

32:17

Foul by Ryan McGivern on Mehdi Abeid, Penalty awarded.

31:41

Leigh Griffiths produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses wide left of the target.

30:36

Patrick Cregg concedes a free kick for a foul on Gary Deegan. Direct free kick taken by Leigh Griffiths.

29:37

Leigh Griffiths fouled by David McCracken, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Ryan McGivern.

28:50

Leigh Griffiths challenges Patrick Cregg unfairly and gives away a free kick. Alan Mannus restarts play with the free kick.

27:51

Matt Done crosses the ball, David McCracken manages to make a clearance. A cross is delivered by Ryan McGivern, Effort on goal by Eoin Doyle from inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.

25:36 Goal scored

Goal! - Rowan Vine - Hibernian 0 - 2 St J'stone Goal scored by Rowan Vine from the edge of the area to the top right corner of the goal. Hibernian 0-2 St Johnstone.

23:14

Foul by James McPake on Liam Craig, free kick awarded. Strike on goal comes in from Mehdi Abeid from the free kick.

22:21

Assist by Mehdi Abeid.

22:21 Goal scored

Goal! - Rowan Vine - Hibernian 0 - 1 St J'stone A goal is scored by Rowan Vine from deep inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Hibernian 0-1 St Johnstone.

21:41

Mehdi Abeid takes a shot. Save by Ben Williams.

20:43

A cross is delivered by Eoin Doyle, clearance made by Frazer Wright. Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven MacLean on Paul Hanlon. Free kick taken by Gary Deegan.

18:57

Leigh Griffiths fouled by Mehdi Abeid, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Gary Deegan.

15:56

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Leigh Griffiths, Callum Davidson makes a clearance.

12:45

Murray Davidson fouled by Gary Deegan, the ref awards a free kick. Alan Mannus takes the direct free kick.

12:28

The ball is delivered by Leigh Griffiths, clearance made by Frazer Wright.

11:56

A cross is delivered by Matt Done, Callum Davidson gets a block in.

8:30

Inswinging corner taken by Mehdi Abeid, clearance by Ryan McGivern.

7:47

Foul by Gary Deegan on Mehdi Abeid, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Steven Anderson.

4:30

Scott Robertson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Callum Davidson. Liam Craig crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing, Ben Williams makes a save.

2:40

A cross is delivered by Matt Done. Inswinging corner taken by Leigh Griffiths, Alan Mannus makes a save.

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to start the match.

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