Hibs returned to winning ways against Ross County as Kevin Nisbet scored his first goal since January during the 2-1 comeback success.
The Hibees should have taken the lead with just four minutes on the clock. Leo Hjelde played a sloppy backpass in County goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw’s direction. Martin Boyle intercepted it and squared the ball to Chris Cadden who scuffed his easy chance.
Boyle was continuously latching onto long passes, but the County back three played a high line which saw the Australian international stray offside multiple times. As the weather conditions turned treacherous, the game plan progressed right away for County. A long punt was held in the wind just outside the Hibs box, Jordan White knocking it down into the path of Billy McKay, who tucked home an easy finish past.
Just seconds later, John Beaton awarded the away side their chance to get back in the game, when he pointed to the spot after Boyle was bundled over inside the box. The winger stepped up to take it, and comfortably slotted home, pulling back a much-needed goal for the Hibees.
There were screams of anguish from the Ross County bench after Hjelde was left clutching his ankles after a flying tackle from Boyle. The referee took his time on the decision, and decided to award the goalscorer a yellow card, bemusing the County ranks who were certain it should have been red.
Keith Watson came ever so close to giving the Staggies the advantage when he latched onto a delivery inside the box. His effort was brilliantly denied by Hibs keeper Ofir Marciano, who got a strong left hand to the ball to divert it away.
Hibs didn’t take long to turn the game on its head after some questionable defending from County shortly after. A ball was crossed over the Staggies box by Paul Hanlon and it fell to substitute Nisbet. He made no mistake and slammed it home beyond a stranded Laidlaw, sending Jack Ross’ men into the lead.
It was enough to secure victory for Hibs as they moved six points clear of Aberdeen in third place, County remaining 10th in the Scottish Premiership. Here are three things we learned.
Despite there being very few chances in the first half, the Hibs forwards showed up with their shooting boots in the second half. Boyle used his agility to cause havoc in the County box, and won himself a penalty by doing so. Nisbet was called upon from the bench and reminded everyone of his quality, by netting the first strike he had on goal.
McKay firing again
County striker McKay looks like he could be a real asset to manager John Hughes coming into these last few games. He netted his third in two games, during what was only his second consecutive start of the season. He has linked up brilliantly with fellow striker White, who grabbed the assist for him, and they are forming a dangerous partnership.
Big Hibees win
The race for third place has slowed down in recent weeks, but Hibs have given themselves a strong advantage with three big points in Dingwall. They now find themselves in pole position for third, sitting with a six point advantage over an Aberdeen team without a manager. With only one match until the split, it could be a big win for Hibs, securing all three in what was their game in hand.
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