Saints draw comfort from point

Akpo Sodje struck his third goal in three games after 26 minutes as

Hibs took the lead at Easter Road. However, the Buddies were

awarded a soft penalty after 39 minutes when Francis Dickoh was

adjudged to have fouled Paul McGowan and Craig Dargo netted the

subsequent spot kick. Hibs now face an uphill struggle to finish

top of the bottom half of the table, and sit eighth, one point

behind Inverness having played two games more. St Mirren began the

month with back-to-back wins for the first time this season before

losses to either half of the title-chasing Old Firm. Despite the

shock of being on the wrong end of Hamilton’s first win since

October, Hibs started the better, without either side making the

goalkeeper work in the opening quarter. Victor Palsson was booked

for a lunge on Jim Goodwin in the centre circle after 24 minutes, a

challenge which angered the Buddies midfielder and continued the

duo’s running feud which began in Hibs’ February 2 win at Easter

Road. Palsson was soon smiling when Hibs struck on the break after

26 minutes to take the lead. Derek Riordan played through strike

partner Sodje to tuck into the bottom right corner. It was the

striker’s third goal in three games and fifth since moving to

Easter Road from Charlton in January. Riordan then combined neatly

with Callum Booth to tee-up Liam Miller, who should have done

better than fire over from 12 yards. Saints levelled in somewhat

fortuitous fashion six minutes before the interval. An

innocuous-looking challenge by Dickoh on McGowan resulted in

referee Alan Muir pointing to the spot and Dargo converted the

penalty. Palsson was replaced by Ian Murray after 56 minutes and

could not resist a parting word with Goodwin – justifying manager

Colin Calderwood’s change for fear of being reduced to 10 men.

After Sodje evaded Darren McGregor on the right side of Saints’ box

but could not find a clinical touch, Goodwin found himself booked

for felling Miller. Calderwood had an animated conversation with

fourth official John McKendrick soon afterwards, at one point

throwing his notes down in disgust inside his technical area. Lewis

Stevenson replaced David Wotherspoon and Ricardo Vaz Te came on for

Miller as Calderwood sought fresh impetus which never came.

McGregor was cautioned for a foul on Sodje, who recovered to hit

the post with a first-time volley from Booth’s free-kick, but the

flag was already raised for offside. Dargo was replaced by Gareth

Wardlaw with six minutes remaining and the striker immediately

called Brown into action, only to see his header from Kenny

McLean’s corner held. Steven Thomson was booked for tussling with

Ian Murray before St Mirren replaced Hugh Murray with David Barron

as the visitors held on.