HIBERNIAN 1-1 ST MIRREN
(Gallagher 26′; Boyle 41′)
St. Mirren responded to a run of poor form by going to playoff contenders Hibernian and holding the Easter Road side to a 1-1 draw.
Calum Gallagher grabbed his first league goal of the season following a superb through ball from Jim Goodwin. Hibernian responded shortly before half time through Martin Boyle.
The game started in a tame fashion as both teams cancelled each other out. The first chance came in the 7th minute from a superb counter attack which allowed Paul McMullan to drift past Lewis Stevenson and hit a low pass into the box, Fontaine cleared before Shankland could tap in.
The Buddies sent their fans into delirium when Calum Gallagher scored the opener following a superb through ball from Jim Goodwin allowed Gallagher to go one on one with Oxley. Gallagher shifted ball onto his left and slotted it beyond the Hibernian goalkeeper. The Saints fans who made the journey to Leith were delighted.
St. Mirren had the chance for a penalty turned down by Referee – Crawford Allan in the 26th minute. Andy Webster smashed a shot against Paul Hanlon that looked goal bound. Goodwin led the appeals but the referee waved them away.
The inevitable Hibs response began in the 28th minute when Jamie Langfield produced a superb save to deny an equaliser. A lofted ball into the box met the head of Martin Boyle who’s header was clawed off the line by the former Dons keeper. A simply superb save.
The equaliser finally came for the Hibees in the 41st minute. Liam Henderson played a cross into the right hand side of the box where Dylan McGeouch beat Kelly to the header and knocked the ball down for the oncoming diving header from Martin Boyle that nestled in Langfield’s bottom left hand corner to take the sides into half time level.
After the break, former Buddie John McGinn had a drilled shot from distance that tested Langfield but not enough to trouble the goalkeeper. McGinn got a mixed reception from the away support; some recognising McGinns’ service to the club.
Lewis Stevenson struck the bar in the 57th minute when his cross turned shot bamboozled Jamie Langfield. The effort looked in all the way as many of the Hibs support began to realise the Hibees were wasting chances to go ahead.
Another massive chance for Hibs came and went in the 67th minute when Henderson fluffed his lines following a superb cut back from Boyle on the six yard box but the on loan Celtic midfielder mis hit his shot that slowly dragged by Langfield’s goal.
The Saints almost grabbed the lead on a counter attack in the 70th minute when Goodwin’s shot was deflected and fell to Gallagher who’s cross met Jack Baird with an inadvertent shot which almost went into the roof of Oxley’s net but it creeped over.
It was back and forth and in the 72nd minute McGinn’s cross met substitute Dominique Molonga who was unmarked 12 yards from goal but his header went straight into Langfield’s gloves once again.
Two minutes later Hibs were lucky not to be reduced to 10 men. Stevenson was penalised for a late foul on Gallagher and then protested to the referee by giving Crawford Allan a light shove. Allan was extremely lenient despite the dissent and gave the long serving Hibee just a yellow card.
Hibs had a lot of possession towards the end of the game but was left frustrated by the Buddies resolute defending. In injury time; Molonga cut in from the right and unleashed a powerful shot from 25 yards, the shot fired well wide of Langfield’s goal.
Ian Murray spoke to St. Mirren TV & Radio after the game:
“The performance was the main concern today. We wanted to go play well. We felt over all the performance was very good.”
“The performances in the last three games before today has been quite good, Falkirk was a kick in the guts, Queens was very good and Raith for 60 minutes was very good. Today was excellent we showed a different side to us we dug in and we have a very good display. The results haven’t been kind to us but as an away team today we take a lot of credit as they (Hibernian) didn’t do enough to win the game today.”
The manager spoke of his delight at Calum Gallagher opening his league account for the Buddies:
“Was a good goal from Calum; it looked like the chance was away but he moved it onto his left foot and finished it well. That’s what he gives us; he and Paul McMullan are very quick and direct. It’s great for Calum who is starting to get a wee run in the team. Everyone has got to remember Calum has only played six months at this level with Cowdenbeath, so it takes time to adapt.”
Calum Gallagher also spoke to St. Mirren TV and Radio following the point at Easter Road:
“It’s a mixture of joy and relief following scoring today. As a forward player it’s ultimately what you’re judged on. In terms of collectively as a group it’s a good day for us.”
“ It’s a tough place to come especially after the start we had many people didn’t think we could come here and get a result but we know the sort of talent we have in the team.”
Oxley; Gray, Fontaine, Hanlon, Stevenson; McGeouch, Henderson (Carmichael), Bartley; Boyle (Molonga 69’), McGinn, Cummings
Langfield; Watson, Baird, Webster, Kelly; Goodwin, Carswell, Howieson; Gallagher (Morgan 88’), McMullan (Thompson 66’), Shankland (Mallan 84’)