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Hibs Come From Behind To Beat St Johnstone

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Hibs came from behind to secure a valuable victory against St Johnstone in Perth today, and significantly, the goals came from new striking partners Paul Heffernan and James Collins, their first for the club.

Manager Pat Fenlon made four changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Ross County last week, with Kevin Thomson returning from suspension, and Paul Heffernan making his first start.  Player coach Alan Maybury took the right back spot from Lewis Stevenson who moved to his natural position on the left, replacing the injured Ryan McGivern.

Danny Handling and Owain Tudur Jones were also missing whilst new recruit Abdellah Zoubir was listed amongst the substitutes alongside former St Johnstone striker Rowan Vine.

Former Hibs midfielders David Wotherspoon and Patrick Cregg started for the Saints.

1,200 Hibs fans made the trip to Perth, but they were silenced after 16 minutes when Stevie May opened the scoring with a 20-yard strike into the far corner of the net.

Hibs responded immediately and keeper Alan Mannus produced a fine save to deny former team-mate Liam Craig.

Ten minutes before the break, Heffernan grabbed his first goal for his new club after Collins’ shot was blocked then Scott Robertson struck the rebound off the post before the Irishman tapped in from close range.

Robertson almost gave Hibs the lead in time added on at the end of the first half, but he just missed Craig’s free kick at the back post.

The Saints started the second half brightly and Murray Davidson fired over after a dangerous cross from Wotherspoon, the Heffernan fired a powerful strike just wide of the goal.

A few minutes later, the Easter Road side took a deserved lead when Robertson slipped in Collins who slipped the ball past Mannus, opening his Hibs account, to the delight of the travelling supporters.

Hibs continued to dominate and Heffernan forced another good save from Mannus, before Fenlon was forced to reshuffle his defence after Stevenson limped off following a bad tackle from Cregg who received a yellow card.

Paul Hanlon was moved to left-back to allow substitute James McPake to partner Michael Nelson in the centre of the defence.

New signing Abdellah Zoubir replaced Collins for the final ten minutes and impressed the Hibs faithful with his trickery, and twice in quick succession caused the Saints defence problems. His cut-back to Craig almost brought about a third goal but the midfielders strike was blocked, but in any case, Hibs held on to take all three points which moved them up the table to sixth.

St Johnstone: Mannus, Mackay, Scobbie, Cregg, Wright (Miller 55′), Anderson, MacLean (Fallon 66′), Wotherspoon, Hasselbaink (Edwards 66′), May, Davidson. Substitutes not used: Banks, Millar, McDonald, Easton.

Hibernian: Williams, Hanlon, Nelson, Robertson, Craig (Stanton 90′), Collins (Zoubir 79′), Stevenson (McPake 68′), Taiwo, Maybury, Heffernan, Thomson. Substitutes not used: Murdoch, Vine, Forster, Caldwell.

Referee: Bobby Madden.

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