Hibs go marching on, up the league, writes Matthew Harold from McKenna Park.
Hibernian’s under 19 side went marching on to a third victory in a row as goals at the end of each half helped defeat St Mirren at McKenna Park.
The young Hibees team made the trip west for the early side at the home of junior side St Anthony’s and recorded a comfortable victory, with Ross Caldwell and substitute Euan Smith finding the net.
James McDonaugh’s now go into third place in the league with the victory, leapfrogging Aberdeen to give the side confidence as they go into their Edinburgh derby Scottish Cup clash with Hearts next Saturday.
The home side were given a blow early into the game as Jon Scullion was involved in a clash with only a couple of minutes on the clock as the striker was forced to left the field and be taken to hospital with a suspected broken arm.
David Longmuir’s side didn’t let that affect them for the early part of the game, but they couldn’t find a way to get by both the Hibernian defence and their keeper Paul Grant.
But as the game went longer it was the visitors who gained a stranglehold, putting the Saints defence under pressure and they were lucky to survive as a Phil Addison free kick was saved by Mark McKinven.
Then Jack Verth had a golden opportunity to put the Edinburgh side into the as he got on the end of a cross from the right wing, but his header didn’t have enough power in order to trouble the Buddies keeper, as he saved comfortably.
As the game went into injury time Hibs finally took the lead as Alex Harris got the ball on the left wing and crossed for Caldwell at the back post to place the ball beyond the Saints keeper to give his side the half time advantage.
Hibernian came out at the start of the second half with a purpose and could have had a second goal, as Harris raced onto a through ball and went one-on-one with the Buddies stopper, but unfortunately for the Hibs midfielder, he screwed his shot wide of goal.
Addison was next to have a chance for the Hibees as he was found at the back post and managed to knock the ball round the keeper, but once again he could find the target, as his shot went just wide of the St Mirren goal.
McDonaugh’s side continued to pile the pressure on their Paisley rivals, with David Gold getting the ball in the middle of the park and as he made his way towards goal the midfielder decided to shoot from just outside the box, with McKinven getting down to save well.
The Saints stopper nearly cost his side minutes later as he spilled a corner from the right wing by Dean Horribine, but the was no Hibs players nearby in order to prod the ball home from a second goal and ultimately the home side managed to clear.
Hibs continued with their momentum, with Gold once again going close from distance, but the midfielder failed to find the target in order to make should his side secured all three points.
St Mirren nearly shocked their visitors close to the end of the game as Frankie Cairns had their best chance of the game as he got onto a cross from the right, but failed to put Grant under any pressure as the ball went wide of goal.
That was a wakeup call for the visitors, who immediately went up the other end of the park in search of the second goal and were unlucky not to claim it as Horribine hit the outside of the post with a strike that had McKinven stretching.
As the game went into injury time Hibernian secured all three points, as the ball went into the box and fell to the feet of substitute Smith, who had been set up by Caldwell and struck well past the Saints keeper in order to claim the victory.
Man of the Match: Ross Caldwell (Hibernian)