Hibernian humbled at home

Rowan Vine hit a brace as St Johnstone climbed above Hibernian
and into fourth spot in the SPL table on Monday with a 3-1 win at
Easter Road.

Patrick Cregg was also on the scoresheet with a goal against his
former employers, on a night when Steven MacLean failed to convert
from the penalty spot to boost the scoreline further.

Leigh Griffiths did manage to pull a goal back for the home side
late on but his effort failed to spark a comeback.

The game sparked into life when Saints took the lead after 22
minutes. MacLean saw his point-blank effort blocked by goalkeeper
Ben Williams before Vine pounced to rifle home the rebound from
eight yards.

Vine grabbed his second of the night just four minutes later
when he cut inside from the left and sent a superb swerving
right-foot shot beyond the grasp of the Hibs goalkeeper.

The Perth club had the chance to add to their tally further when
referee Kevin Clancy pointed to the spot on 33 after Ryan McGivern
had felled Mehdi Abeid in the box.

Despite Vine chasing a hat-trick, it was MacLean who stepped up
for the spot-kick and he was denied a goal of his own when Williams
dived to his left to block with what was his fifth penalty save of
the season.

Saints still looked dangerous and Abeid was not too far away
when he dragged his shot across the face of goal and inches past
the upright.

The first half had been frustrating for Hibs and boss Pat Fenlon
made a double switch five minutes after the restart, with Paul
Cairney and Jorge Claros thrown into the action for Gary Deegan and
Alan Maybury.

But it was the visitors who had the net bulging again after 59
minutes.

An impressive passing move culminated with Murray Davidson
teeing up the shot for Cregg on the six-yard line and he supplied a
composed finish with only the goalkeeper to beat.

There was to be no match ball for Vine when he made way for
Nigel Hasselbaink with 20 minutes to go.

Griffiths netted for the home side after 81 minutes when he
latched onto a long ball through the middle and lashed past Alan
Mannus but the strike proved to be too little, too late for
Hibs.

Hasselbaink then had the ball in the net in injury time but a
free-kick had already been awarded to the home side.