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Hibs Relegation Worries Deepen After 2-0 Defeat

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Hibs are now only three points above the play off slot after a 2-0 defeat to St Mirren in Paisley yesterday.

Manager Terry Butcher was once again forced to shuffle his pack due to injuries and suspensions with Alan Maybury, Danny Haynes, Owain Tudur Jones and Kevin Thomson returning to the starting line-up.

The Easter Road men took the field to a rapturous welcome from the 1500 plus Hibs’ fans who sold out the away end and were provided with two sections of the home stand, however the travelling support were silenced when St Mirren took the lead in the 13th second, the fastest goal in Scottish Premiership history.

A long ball found Steven Thompson on the edge of the box and his headed flick on was volleyed into the net by Kenny McLean.

The Saints added a second in the 14th minute after Jordon Forster was dispossessed in midfield by Jim Goodwin who slotted the ball through to Paul McGowan and the striker slotted the ball home from 20 yards.

Thompson almost added a third before Sam Stanton, whom this week signed a new 4 year deal with the club, went close with a well struck shot which was spilled by Chris Dilo; but the goalkeeper reacted quickly to block from Haynes follow-up.

On the half hour mark St Mirren captain Goodwin was shown a deserved red card following a bad foul on Thomson although the Buddies’ fans accused the Hibs’ midfielder of exaggerating the impact, despite the evidence of blood on his leg.

Just before the break, Thomson set up Stanton but the youngster blasted over from five yards.

Hibs started the second half strongly and won a string of corners but the St Mirren defence held firm.

Tudur Jones and Harris both forced Dilo into saves as Hibs pushed forward then in the closing period both substitutes Jason Cummings and Duncan Watmore shot wide from good positions.

Cummings again went close with a stunning volley in injury time but St Mirren held on to secure the win.

Afterwards Terry Butcher said: We’ve got to get a bit of pride back in our performance, our attitude and how we go about our work. We had a great support though. We had a good opportunity when they were down to 10 men and we failed to take advantage of that. But, to be honest, I’m lost for words really.

“We have to look at the derby next week and pick a team that’s going to compete and do Hibs proud

“We have to give the fans something back in the next four games, that’s for sure, starting on Sunday. It’s a really good game to look forward to, but we’ve got to look forward to it with optimism this week and we have to build that optimism up.

“We work all week on the way we want to play. We work on a shape and a system and then we concede a goal after 13 seconds. All that work during the week is gone in 13 seconds.

“And then we’ve tried to get back into the game, no panic, no pressure let’s get on with it. Sometimes maybe it’s a good thing if you lose an early goal because it takes away the threat of conceding because you have conceded – and then we lose a second goal.

“So you’re 2-0 down and facing a mountain to climb really.

“The sending off, although it didn’t help St Mirren, it certainly galvanised them and made them defend a two-goal lead very resolutely, but we’ve had enough pressure and enough chances to put decent balls in the box.

“We pushed four men forward. We haven’t scored a goal for a long while, it’s a fifth straight defeat, and we have to look at the derby next week and pick a team that’s going to compete and do Hibs proud, but at this moment in time we’ll have to find one.”

St Mirren: Dilo, Naismith, Kelly, Newton, McGregor, McAusland, McLean, Goodwin, Thompson (Wylde 75 ‘), McGowan (Magennis 55′), McGinn (Teale 91’).Substitutes not used: Kello, van Zanten, Campbell, Djemba-Djemba.

Hibs: Williams, Maybury, Stevenson, Tudur Jones (Watmore 70′), Forster, Nelson, Harris, Thomson, Haynes, Collins (Cummings 57′), Stanton.Substitutes not used: Murdoch, Craig, Boateng, Taiwo, Handling.

Referee: Kevin Clancy.

Attendance: 5,287.

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