Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone1HibernianHibernian4

St Johnstone 1-4 Hibernian: Christian Doidge hat-trick powers visitors to second league win

By Nick McPheatBBC Scotland

A Christian Doidge hat-trick inspired managerless Hibernian to just a second Scottish Premiership win of the season as they routed St Johnstone in Perth.

Five days after Paul Heckingbottom's dismissal, Doidge scored his first-ever professional treble for rampant Hibs, who climb to eighth place.

Scott Allan also netted as Eddie May began his second stint as caretaker boss with a resounding victory.

Stevie May grabbed a late consolation for 11th-placed St Johnstone.

The sorry home side have the joint-poorest defensive record in the top flight, shipping 28 goals in their 12 matches.

Former Liverpool forward Harry Kewell was among the McDiarmid Park spectators, describing the Hibs vacancy as "an option" before taking in the trouncing dished out by the visitors.

Eddie May made five changes to the side that was humbled 5-2 by Celtic in the League Cup semi-final, reinstating Florian Kamberi to the line-up, meaning Hibs would play with two strikers.

His decision was vindicated with just two minutes gone, as Kamberi played Doidge in from inside the box to open the scoring. The Welshman needed two attempts to put the ball past Zander Clark, gleefully tapping home to score his first league goal since a summer move from Forest Green Rovers.

And the visitors could've doubled their lead just minutes later after Joe Newell cut inside from the right and curled a left footed effort off the far post, but it wasn't to be.

However they made their dominance count soon after. Just 15 minutes after his first goal, Doidge grabbed his second after more good work from Kamberi on the right flank. He carried the ball to the bye-line and crossed low for Doidge to flick beyond the helpless Clark.

St Johnstone laboured in the first 45 minutes, and whatever boss Tommy Wright said to his side at half-time didn't have a great effect. Allan added a third for the visitors just three minutes into the second half.

The 27-year-old picked up the the ball just inside the opposition half and breezed his way into the box unchallenged before driving a low left-foot effort across Clark and in.

The contest was effectively over at that point, but 10 minutes later, Doidge added a fourth to claim his hat-trick. The striker leapt highest to meet a Jason Naismith cross from the right, and his powerful header left Clark with no chance.

Hibs paid around £300,000 for the striker, and having only scored two goals in 15 previous appearances, the trio of strikes will come as a welcome boost.

Hibs could have had more. Efforts from Kamberi and Melker Hallberg whistled past either post, but it was beleaguered St Johnstone who grabbed the final goal of the game, Stevie May finishing from close range in the final minute, denying Hibs just a second clean sheet of the Premiership season.

Hibs first win since... graphic

Man of the match - Christian Doidge

BBC Scotland's Tyrone Smith at McDiarmid Park

Hibs looked like a team transformed, and Christian Doidge was a player transformed.

So often he has been the fall guy for the capital club this season. Not today, he looked dangerous and confident, everything you want in a striker.

The hat-trick was a fitting reward for a fine display, and he could have scored more.

Plenty of food for thought for the new Hibs manager, whoever that turns out to be.

'They played with freedom and style' - reaction

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright: "We emphasised the point of trying to be on the front foot then we gift them the first goal inside the first couple of minutes. I thought Hibs were good particularly first half, but we can't give goals away like the first and third and expect to win games."

Hibernian caretaker manager Eddie May: "They played with a freedom and style - and more importantly, with real quality. It's not a case of them playing for me, they were playing with professional pride."

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Clark
  • 21Ralston
  • 2Duffy
  • 15Kerr
  • 3Tanser
  • 8Davidson
  • 18McCann
  • 7WrightSubstituted forHendryat 45'minutesBooked at 51mins
  • 10WotherspoonSubstituted forHoltat 67'minutes
  • 33KennedySubstituted forO'Halloranat 62'minutes
  • 14May

Substitutes

  • 5Vihmann
  • 11Swanson
  • 12Parish
  • 17O'Halloran
  • 19Holt
  • 22Hendry
  • 26Craig

Hibernian

  • 28Maxwell
  • 21Naismith
  • 25Porteous
  • 4Hanlon
  • 16Stevenson
  • 20Hallberg
  • 8Slivka
  • 11NewellSubstituted forHorganat 90+1'minutes
  • 23AllanSubstituted forMallanat 90+1'minutes
  • 9DoidgeSubstituted forBoyleat 82'minutes
  • 22Kamberi

Substitutes

  • 1Marciano
  • 7Horgan
  • 10Boyle
  • 14Mallan
  • 17James
  • 18Jackson
  • 32Shaw
Referee:
Andrew Dallas
Attendance:
3,931

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamHibernian
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home11
Away15
Shots on Target
Home3
Away6
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home9
Away7

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Johnstone 1, Hibernian 4.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 1, Hibernian 4.

  3. Post update

    Offside, Hibernian. Daryl Horgan tries a through ball, but Florian Kamberi is caught offside.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Daryl Horgan replaces Joe Newell.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Stephen Mallan replaces Scott Allan.

  6. Goal!

    Goal! St. Johnstone 1, Hibernian 4. Stevie May (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Anthony Ralston with a cross.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Scott Allan (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Florian Kamberi.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Joe Newell (Hibernian) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Martin Boyle.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Melker Hallberg (Hibernian) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Martin Boyle replaces Christian Doidge.

  11. Post update

    Hand ball by Joe Newell (Hibernian).

  12. Post update

    Vykintas Slivka (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Alistair McCann (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Callum Hendry (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jason Holt with a cross.

  16. Post update

    Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Lewis Stevenson.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Lewis Stevenson (Hibernian).

  18. Post update

    Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Jason Holt replaces David Wotherspoon.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Florian Kamberi (Hibernian) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Lewis Stevenson.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic119113472728
2Rangers119113372628
3Aberdeen137332015524
4Motherwell127142017322
5Kilmarnock135351215-318
6Ross County133551528-1314
7Livingston123451617-113
8Hibernian122641623-712
9Hearts122551517-211
10Hamilton132561424-1011
11St Johnstone122461228-1610
12St Mirren12228716-98
View full Scottish Premiership table

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