Match ends, Hibernian 2, Kilmarnock 0.
Hibernian did the "ugly side of the game well" to beat Kilmarnock and move into third place in the Scottish Premiership, head coach Jack Ross says.
An Alan Power own goal and a thundering Alex Gogic drive won an untidy game on a rutted Easter Road surface.
Ross said "it's not always pretty" but put the victory down to being more direct after the half-time interval.
Hibs' first win in five outings ended Kilmarnock's recent revival after three games without defeat.
"I've said it often during the course of the season about the result being the all and end all and, for us in the conditions and with it being so blustery and the fact the pitch isn't in great condition at the moment, means that it was going to be a game decided by fine margins and by doing the ugly side of the game well and I thought we did that," Ross told BBC Scotland.
"We defended our box well and, in the second half in particular, I think we played forward quicker. I think it suited the conditions to do that and, as a consequence, we created a lot more."
It secured a fourth win in a row over the seventh-placed Ayrshire side, who have not won at Easter Road in seven visits, and lifts Ross' side a point above Aberdeen, who lost away to Ross County.
There was much anticipation about how Hibs' two midweek signings would fare, especially when Jackson Irvine was thrown straight into action from the start.
The Australia midfielder, released by Hull City in June, is no stranger to the state of Scottish pitches, Easter Road being his fifth top-flight home, so you imagined that rustiness from not playing competitively since March was to blame as he landed ungainly on his backside attempting an early touch.
However, he was not the only one to struggle during a first half when Paul McGinn's languid shot straight at Kilmarnock goalkeeper Danny Rogers in the opening seconds was the only effort on target.
Hibs head coach Ross brought back Martin Boyle from injury, but it appeared that opposite number Alex Dyer had made the right decision by dropping equally influential winger Chris Burke to the bench given the difficult conditions.
It was perhaps no surprise that the breakthrough was an untidy one as midfielder Power turned Josh Doig's low cross through Rogers' arms and over the line.
That was reward for a more lively start to the second half from the Edinburgh side, but it also sparked a reaction from Kilmarnock - thanks also to the introduction of Burke and striker Nicke Kabamba.
However, when the latter missed their big chance to draw level by firing against the inside of the post, Gogic made them pay with a sublime strike from just outside of the penalty box into the top corner.
Man of the match - Alex Gogic
What did we learn?
Hibs were in danger of losing touch with Aberdeen - and being caught by Livingston - given they have played two more games than their rivals for Europa League places, so ending their mini run without a win will be welcome no matter how scrappy it was.
The state of their home pitch will be a worry, but on the field, the signing of Irvine and late substitute Chris Cadden would appear to be astute and, should they add extra cover up front and central defence, it should give them a great chance to strengthen their claim for a European place.
Kilmarnock arrived buoyed by the overturning of the decision to hand them a 3-0 defeat by Motherwell because of Covid-19 protocol breaches and will probably dismiss this as a game that could have gone either way given it was made a lottery by the conditions.
What they said
Hibs head coach Jack Ross: "I've said it often during the course of the season about the result being the be all and end all and, for us in the conditions and with it being so blustery and the fact the pitch isn't in great condition at the moment, means that it was going to be a game decided by fine margins and by doing the ugly side of the game well and I thought we did that today."
Kilmarnock assistant manager Andy Millen: "Not a lot happening in the first half - two teams evenly matched - and, after the first goal. we are chasing the game a bit. They worked hard enough but never created enough.
"We've had a bump along the road to a good Hibs side who are high in the league and doing well this season, so it's not the end of the world."
Hibs take a break from the Premiership in Saturday's League Cup semi-final at Hampden (17:30 GMT) as they face a St Johnstone side fresh from beating St Mirren. They will then hope that Kilmarnock can prevent Livingston narrowing the gap between them when they meet at Rugby Park on Wednesday, 27 January (19:45).
- 10BoyleSubstituted forCaddenat 83'minutes
- 36IrvineSubstituted forDoidgeat 73'minutes
- 18MurphySubstituted forGullanat 90'minutes
- 15NisbetSubstituted forMallanat 90'minutes
- 2McGowanSubstituted forDaboat 80'minutes
- 6PowerBooked at 79mins
- 27TshibolaSubstituted forBurkeat 60'minutes
- 12WhitehallSubstituted forKabambaat 60'minutes
- William Collum
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Hibernian 2, Kilmarnock 0.
Attempt missed. Chris Burke (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Alan Power.
Attempt saved. Stephen Mallan (Hibernian) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Melker Hallberg.
Clévid Dikamona (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ryan Porteous (Hibernian).
Substitution, Hibernian. James Gullan replaces Jamie Murphy.
Substitution, Hibernian. Stephen Mallan replaces Kevin Nisbet.
Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Josh Doig.
Alan Power (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Jamie Murphy (Hibernian).
Clévid Dikamona (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Ryan Porteous (Hibernian).
Attempt blocked. Chris Burke (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Greg Kiltie.
Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Paul McGinn.
Substitution, Hibernian. Chris Cadden replaces Martin Boyle.
Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Alexander Gogic.
Goal! Hibernian 2, Kilmarnock 0. Alexander Gogic (Hibernian) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Christian Doidge following a set piece situation.
Substitution, Kilmarnock. Diaguely Dabo replaces Aaron McGowan.
Alan Power (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.