Hibs almost had an opener four minutes in. Greg Docherty’s brilliant ball across the floor and into the box found Doidge, but he could only fire wide. McNulty made sure that wasn’t dwelt upon.
The Reading loanee was put through on goal by Scott Allan and he slid the ball under onrushing Staggies keeper Nathan Baxter to give Jack Ross’ men a 1-0 lead. Iain Vigurs almost drew County level less than ten minutes later but Ofir Marciano pulled out a good stop to deny him.
It was an action-packed opening 15 minutes as the game pinballed from one end to the other. A second goal was inevitable, with both teams piling on attacking pressure.
Doidge was the one to get it, heading in from a Joe Newell corner to put Hibs in full control. It was a killer blow for the Dingwall side just before half time as they were left with a Leith mountain to climb.
It was wave after wave of Hibs attack in the second half and the home side earned a penalty late on. Marcus Fraser produced a handball in the penalty area but Baxter denied McNulty a second goal.
A third was added though as another corner routine allowed Jackson to seal a home win. The Hibees are sixth following this win whilst County are ninth. Here are three things we learned.
Hibs’ new formation gets a league run
Ross opted for three at the back and two up top against BSC Glasgow in the Scottish Cup. He said after the game that playing with one centre-back might not occur in the league but the formation from that 4-1 win made a reappearance.
It allowed McNulty to play off Doidge whilst Allan had the creative freedom he needs in the final third to express himself. Newell even filled in to do a job at left wing-back, having shone as an attacking midfielder in recent times.
It got the job done against County and it’ll be interesting to see whether this becomes a regular option for Ross.
County miss final piece of the puzzle
The Staggies had a couple of opportunities in this game but they weren’t a menacing threat to their hosts throughout. Promising build-up play would be let down by a lack of cutting edge up top.
They weren’t able to pierce the Hibs armour and head back up to Dingwall empty handed. Ross County sit six points clear of the relegation danger zone.
Docherty growing game by game
Docherty’s had his plaudits since swapping Govan for Leith but this may have been his most professional performance in Hibs colours so far.
He has an engine that drives Hibs’ attacks forward from deep and his ability to find the perfect pass is exceptional. That athleticism though that the Rangers loanee possesses is something different to what Ross already had at his disposal.
His improvement game by game is a positive Leith sign.