Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone2Hibernian0

St Johnstone 2-0 Hibernian

St Johnstone secured a third successive top-six finish with a comfortable win against 10-man Hibernian in Perth.

Steven MacLean forced the ball in at the second attempt after keeper Sean Murdoch dropped a corner kick.

Murdoch made a hat-trick of great saves to deny Stevie May and also kept out a diving header from David Wotherspoon.

But the keeper was beaten again by a Ryan McGivern own goal before Danny Haynes was sent off for an ugly challenge on Wotherspoon.

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright was absent as he recovers from a gallbladder operation and this performance will be just the tonic for the Northern Irishman.

The home side were in complete control from the moment MacLean struck on 18 minutes.

Hibs, who are consigned to a fourth straight season in the bottom half of the league, could not muster a single shot on target and have tasted victory in just one of their last 12 outings.

Visiting manager Terry Butcher made six changes, including a first start since November for midfielder Kevin Thomson, while Murdoch was standing in for Ben Williams who was attending to his wife in labour.

But it was a familiar tale of woe for Hibs, who were nearly handed an early gift when a back-header from Frazer Wright had goalkeeper Alan Mannus scrambling to push the ball to safety.

And Haynes pulled a shot wide of goal after a mistake by Gary McDonald.

Thereafter, the game belonged to Saints as Murdoch made a great save to keep out a May header then blocked McDonald's follow-up effort.

Form the resulting corner, Murdoch, making just his second Hibs appearance, flapped at the ball and MacLean was able to knock the ball in from close-range.

MacLean should have doubled the lead as he stretched to meet a clever header across goal from Wotherspoon but the striker somehow fired the ball over the top from two yards out.

Murdoch made another a great stop from Wotherspoon's diving header and May's powerful shot drew another fine save from the busy keeper.

St Johnstone were cheered on by Olympic curling stars Eve Muirhead and Vicki Adams
St Johnstone were cheered on by Olympic curling stars Eve Muirhead and Vicki Adams

The long-haired home striker was denied again when Murdoch stopped his close-range header from a Gary Miller cross.

A second goal for St Johnstone was thoroughly merited but when it came it owed much to a large slice of fortune.

Michael O'Halloran got to the byeline and cut the ball back only for Hibs full-back Ryan McGivern to knock it past his own keeper and into the net.

And, soon after, Butcher's side were reduced to 10 men when Haynes was dismissed by referee Steven McLean for a reckless challenge on former Hibs man Wotherspoon.

With the visitors thoroughly dispirited, MacLean headed over and Murdoch did well to hold Dave Mackay's shot and another May effort.

With a ricochet from Hibs defender Michael Nelson clipping his own post, Murdoch repelling a May shot and MacDonald bundling just wide, it was a surprise that Saints did not make the margin of victory more handsome.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 19Miller
  • 2Mackay
  • 8McDonald
  • 6Anderson
  • 5Wright
  • 10WotherspoonSubstituted forCroftat 85'minutes
  • 12DunneSubstituted forMillarat 74'minutes
  • 9MacLean
  • 17May
  • 29O'Halloran

Substitutes

  • 4Cregg
  • 7Millar
  • 11Hasselbaink
  • 15Banks
  • 22Croft
  • 23Clancy
  • 25Iwelumo

Hibernian

  • 21Murdoch
  • 23Forster
  • 3McGivernBooked at 50mins
  • 20TaiwoSubstituted forHandlingat 67'minutes
  • 5Nelson
  • 15Boateng
  • 33HaynesBooked at 56mins
  • 38ThomsonBooked at 20minsSubstituted forCairneyat 74'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 24Heffernan
  • 26StantonSubstituted forStevensonat 83'minutes
  • 10Craig

Substitutes

  • 11Cairney
  • 14Collins
  • 16Stevenson
  • 18Maybury
  • 19Handling
  • 31Grant
  • 35Cummings
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
3,553

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamHibernian
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home15
Away5
Shots on Target
Home6
Away0
Corners
Home9
Away7
Fouls
Home10
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, St Johnstone 2, Hibernian 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St Johnstone 2, Hibernian 0.

Booking

Paul Cairney (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card.

Gary Miller (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Paul Cairney (Hibernian).

Steven Anderson (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Michael Nelson (Hibernian).

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Steven Anderson.

Hand ball by Chris Millar (St Johnstone).

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Michael Nelson.

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Ryan McGivern.

Substitution

Substitution, St Johnstone. Lee Croft replaces David Wotherspoon.

Foul by Chris Millar (St Johnstone).

Daniel Handling (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Lewis Stevenson replaces Samuel Stanton.

Foul by Gary Miller (St Johnstone).

Samuel Stanton (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Gary McDonald (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Daniel Handling (Hibernian).

Foul by Steven MacLean (St Johnstone).

Samuel Stanton (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. David Mackay (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Ryan McGivern.

Attempt missed. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Attempt missed. Steven MacLean (St Johnstone) right footed shot from very close range is close, but misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, St Johnstone. Chris Millar replaces James Dunne.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Paul Cairney replaces Kevin Thomson.

Attempt missed. Gary Miller (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Michael Nelson.

Attempt blocked. David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Samuel Stanton (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by James Dunne (St Johnstone).

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Sean Murdoch.

Attempt saved. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. David Mackay (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordan Forster (Hibernian).

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Daniel Handling replaces Tom Taiwo.

Attempt missed. Frazer Wright (St Johnstone) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Michael Nelson.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Celtic3026316081
2Aberdeen2918381557
3Motherwell301839657
4Dundee Utd3014881850
5Inverness CT291469648
6St Johnstone3012513541
7Hibernian3181013-1134
8Kilmarnock318617-1630
9Partick Thistle3061113-1529
10Ross County308517-1729
11St Mirren307617-2127
12Hearts305619-306
View full Scottish Premiership table

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