Greive goal not enough for Saints in the capital

Greive goal not enough for Saints in the capital

St Mirren were defeated 2-1 by Hibernian in the first post-split fixture with an Alex Greive strike not enough for Saints to take anything against the Edinburgh outfit.

Two early first-half goals had the Hibees in control though Saints pulled one back in the second-half through New Zealand forward Greive. The Buddies pressed for an equaliser but couldn't find it and left a rain-soaked Easter Road empty-handed.

There were three changes to the side that lost to Kilmarnock before the split with Declan Gallagher, Greg Kiltie and Alex Greive in for Joe Shaughnessy, Keanu Baccus and Tony Watt. 

The home side got themselves off to the ideal start when Elie Youan put them ahead on four minutes. It was a cheap goal to concede from a Saints perspective as Marcus Fraser couldn't control Charles Dunne's throw-in in the middle of the park which allowed Youan to gather before racing clear and slotting low beyond Trevor Carson.

Hibernian were buoyed by their early goal, but it was Saints who'd go close to levelling on 12 minutes when Mark O'Hara sent an effort just over the bar after being first on to an Alex Greive header.

The hosts doubled their lead on 24 minutes and it was another disappointing goal for the Buddies to lose. Will Fish was unmarked at the back post after Joe Newell's corner had missed everyone initially before finding the Hibees defender on his own at the back stick to nod into the net and make it 2-0.

Both sides had a chance within the space of a minute with 10 minutes of the first-half remaining. Ryan Strain's long-range strike was held by David Marshall before Hibs went up the other end of the park in search of a third with Carson making a terrific save with his feet to deny Youan at the near post. 

Stephen Robinson responded to the first-half showing by making a change at the break with Keanu Baccus coming on for Declan Gallagher.  

Saints started the second-half better but hadn't created any real chances within 10 minutes of the restart. And it was Hibs who had the best chance to increase their lead when Kevin Nisbet met Chris Cadden's low cross, but knocked over from close-range. 

The Buddies should have had a goal back just after the hour mark when Strain's cross deflected into the path of the unmarked Curtis Main. Had the striker managed to get a proper connection on the ball it would have found the net, but he could only get the faintest of touches which allowed Hibs goalkeeper Marshall to hold. 

However, St Mirren would pull one back four minutes later with Main the provider as he flicked Carson's long kick on for Greive who burst through and knocked through Marshall's legs to reduce the deficit. 

Saints pressed for an equaliser with Lewis Jamieson coming on for goalscorer Greive and the St Mirren Youth Academy graduate was close to drawing us level in the final few minutes when he drilled an effort into the side-netting on 89 minutes. 

It wasn't to be for the Buddies who return to action at The SMiSA Stadium next Saturday against Hearts. 

Full-Time: Hibernian 2-1 St Mirren

St Mirren: Carson, Fraser, Gallagher (Baccus 46), Dunne, Strain, Kiltie, O'Hara (c), Gogic, Tanser, Greive (Jamieson 82), Main
Subs Not Used: Urminsky, Shaughnessy, R.Taylor, Kenny, Flynn, Boyd-Munce, Offord

Hibernian: Marshall (c), Hanlon, Fish, Egan-Riley, Cadden (Miller 90), Jeggo, Doyle-Hayes (Campbell 30), Newell, Stevenson, Youan (Hoppe 90), Nisbet
Subs Not Used: Johnson, Cabraja, Devlin, Henderson, McKirdy, Rocky

Referee: Matthew MacDermid
Assistant Referee: Calum Spence
Assistant Referee: Stuart Stevenson
Fourth Official: Chris Fordyce
VAR: Euan Anderson
Assistant VAR: Daniel McFarlane

Attendance: 16,334

Header image by Kenny Ramsay

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