Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone1Hibernian2

St Johnstone 1-2 Hibernian: Marc McNulty scores twice for 10-man visitors

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Highlights: St Johnstone 1-2 Hibernian

Florian Kamberi went down as if "hit by a 40-foot truck" to win the spot kick that set Hibernian on course for a third consecutive win, said irate St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright.

Hibs fought back from Chris Kane's opener and having Vykintas Slivka sent off to maintain Paul Heckingbottom's 100% Scottish Premiership start.

Marc McNulty converted from the spot after Kamberi fell under a challenge from Joe Shaughnessy, then the striker scored his sixth in four games to seal the points for the Easter Road side.

"The blame lies with one person, and he [Kamberi] has won his team a penalty," said Wright, absolving referee Gavin Duncan.

"I feel sorry for referees when players are prepared to go to ground that easy. I went to see him and he thought there was more contact than there was. When he sees it back he'll know he's been conned."

The victory was Hibs' first in eight top-flight attempts against St Johnstone and kept them sixth - three points clear of their hosts, who have now lost six of their past seven Premiership games.

Lack of clinical edge foils Wright's men

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Watch: Hibs' Florian Kamberi wins disputed penalty against St Johnstone

Having lamented St Johnstone's inability to convert their chances, Tommy Wright started with two up front in order to change their fortunes, and was initially rewarded with Kane's opener.

It was the only clinical moment of a scrappy opening as both sides enjoyed opportunities but failed to threaten. Even Kane's goal was untidy, taking two attempts to put the ball past Ofir Marciano.

It was his first goal since last March, when he had scored in a 1-1 draw against a 10-man Hibs at McDiarmid Park, a result which looked like repeating itself.

Heckingbottom had started his Hibs reign with two wins, but his sides' shortcomings were exposed in the first 45 minutes. The defence was all too often split open, and Kane passed up a glorious chance to double his tally when he blasted wide after outpacing his marker.

Kane was unlucky with his next effort though, stooping low to a cross and heading just past a post.

Hibs were toiling. It appeared a matter of time before the hosts increased their lead. However, just when it looked like nothing would fall for them, they got a break when Florian Kamberi fell inside the box. It was soft, but Joe Shaughnessy had pushed the striker and McNulty hammered home the spot kick.

Rather than Hibs getting their tails up, Slivka was left dragging his between his legs moments later. Booked earlier for diving, he initially escaped a second yellow for hauling down Kane but then made another needless challenge, this time on Tony Watt, and belatedly saw red.

His team-mates were undeterred, though, and McNulty beat the offside trap and sprinted clear of his marker as Omeonga picked him out, and he coolly finished beyond goalkeeper Cammy Bell.

St Johnstone threw bodies forward late on and Kane was denied by brave goalkeeping from Marciano as they suffered another home defeat.

Chris Kane (centre) gives St Johnstone a first-half lead
Chris Kane (centre) gives St Johnstone a first-half lead

McNulty showed his quality - analysis

BBC Scotland's Jim Spence at McDiarmid Park

St Johnstone's midfield dominated their opponents for the opening hour with an impressive, hard-grafting performance. They were sharper to the ball and more creative, with Matty Kennedy on the right a constant danger.

The penalty leveller threw the visitors a lifeline, but Slivka's sending off threatened that. However, McNulty's calm finish to put them ahead was testimony to the quality he had shown whenever he had service.

St Johnstone pushed hard for the equaliser and will feel hard done by having had the better of a fair chunk of the game, but Hibs took their opportunities and the points.

'We dominated the game' - reaction

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright: "I thought we dominated the whole game. When it's 11 v 11, I don't think Cammy Bell had a save to make.

"I felt we should have had a penalty in the first half for hand ball. We've played well but somehow we've managed to lose the game."

Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom: "It was a good penalty, a good goal, after a bit of a farce and gamesmanship - trying to slow it down and put him under pressure. But he [McNulty] is cool enough in those situations.

"Even though we had 10 men we still encouraged the boys to play and we wanted to keep two strikers on the pitch as we felt we could get a winner."

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 12Bell
  • 19FosterSubstituted forHendryat 86'minutes
  • 15Kerr
  • 5Shaughnessy
  • 3Tanser
  • 33KennedySubstituted forSwansonat 82'minutes
  • 8Davidson
  • 26Craig
  • 10WotherspoonSubstituted forAlstonat 77'minutes
  • 9Kane
  • 32Watt

Substitutes

  • 4Alston
  • 11Swanson
  • 22Hendry
  • 23Gordon
  • 27Goss
  • 28Callachan
  • 30Hurst

Hibernian

  • 1Marciano
  • 2Gray
  • 24McGregor
  • 4HanlonBooked at 44mins
  • 16Stevenson
  • 14MallanSubstituted forOmeongaat 62'minutes
  • 5Milligan
  • 8SlivkaBooked at 67mins
  • 7HorganSubstituted forBartleyat 70'minutes
  • 9McNultySubstituted forMackieat 89'minutes
  • 22KamberiBooked at 89mins

Substitutes

  • 6Bartley
  • 20Bigirimana
  • 32Shaw
  • 40Omeonga
  • 41Dabrowski
  • 43Mackie
  • 49Allan
Referee:
Gavin Duncan
Attendance:
4,136

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamHibernian
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home6
Away8
Shots on Target
Home1
Away4
Corners
Home11
Away2
Fouls
Home9
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, St. Johnstone 1, Hibernian 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 1, Hibernian 2.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Ofir Marciano.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Stephane Omeonga.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Sean Mackie.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Sean Mackie replaces Marc McNulty.

Booking

Florian Kamberi (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Jason Kerr (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Florian Kamberi (Hibernian).

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Callum Hendry replaces Richard Foster.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Lewis Stevenson.

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 1, Hibernian 2. Marc McNulty (Hibernian) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Stephane Omeonga.

Foul by Liam Craig (St. Johnstone).

Florian Kamberi (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Danny Swanson replaces Matthew Kennedy.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Blair Alston replaces David Wotherspoon.

Foul by Tony Watt (St. Johnstone).

Marvin Bartley (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Marvin Bartley replaces Daryl Horgan.

Attempt missed. Joe Shaughnessy (St. Johnstone) header from very close range is just a bit too high.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Stephane Omeonga.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Vykintas Slivka (Hibernian) for a bad foul.

Tony Watt (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Vykintas Slivka (Hibernian).

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 1, Hibernian 1. Marc McNulty (Hibernian) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Penalty conceded by Liam Craig (St. Johnstone) after a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty Hibernian. Florian Kamberi draws a foul in the penalty area.

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

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Stephane Omeonga replaces Stephen Mallan.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Florian Kamberi.

Tony Watt (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lewis Stevenson (Hibernian).

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Scott Tanser.

Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Vykintas Slivka (Hibernian).

Matthew Kennedy (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lewis Stevenson (Hibernian).

Booking

Vykintas Slivka (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card.

Vykintas Slivka (Hibernian) has gone down, but that's a dive.

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic28213466165066
2Rangers28177464204458
3Aberdeen28155845331250
4Kilmarnock27137737271046
5Hearts28135103434044
6Hibernian28118942311141
7St Johnstone28115122836-838
8Motherwell27113133039-936
9Livingston2797112828034
10Hamilton2863191958-3921
11Dundee2846182460-3618
12St Mirren2735192055-3514
View full Scottish Premiership table

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