- Saturday, 31 March 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
Pa Saikou Kujabi’s Hibernian dismal home form continued unabated as Dundee United won comfortably at the Easter Road Stadium in Edinburg.
Despite a lively start and striker Leigh Griffiths striking the post, Hibs rarely troubled the visitors and struggled throughout the match. Johnny Russell broke the deadlock midway through the second half when he followed up to score after Graham Stack had saved from John Rankin.
Dundee United secured the points soon after when Stack allowed a near post strike from Gary Mackay-Steven to squirm under his body and into the net. In the opening exchanges, the home side appeared nervous as Peter Houston’s men attempted to find an early breakthrough. They almost found it when Mackay-Steven’s corner kick was missed by everyone in the middle and fell kindly for Gavin Gunning, however Stack was alert to the danger and bravely blocked.
Pa Saikou’s Hibs eventually settled and were unlucky not to take the lead themselves when George Francomb’s corner kick landed perfectly for Griffiths and the striker’s first time effort crashed back of the post with Dušan Perniš beaten. Hibs had goalkeeper Stack to thank for keeping them level when he acrobatically tipped a Jon Daly looping header over the crossbar and soon after Sean Dillon volleyed just over.
The longer the half went however the more the teams cancelled out one another and the open entertaining football slowly became a drab midfield contest. Whatever Houston said to his side at half-time clearly had the desired effect as United returned fired-up following the interval. Striker Jon Daly is currently enjoying the best season of his career in term of goal scored however he missed two sitters in the opening moments of the half.
First he failed to connected with a Gary Mackay-Steven cross that only needed the slighted of touches before connecting with the second only to send it over the top from point-blank range. The Hibs defence appeared unable to stem the follow of Tangerine attacks peppering their goal as Russel’s deflected effort looped over Stack and thankfully just wide of the far post.
Under no pressure, Dundee United defender Paul Dixon almost put through his own goal when he sliced an attempted clearance over Perniš and wide of goal. The visitors deservedly made the breakthrough in the 64th minute when Russell followed-up to slot the ball into the empty net after Stack had saved from John Rankin.
Eight minutes later it was 2-0 as Russell slipped the ball through to Mackay-Steven and his powerful near post strike squirmed under the body of Stack. In the closing moments, substitutes Ivan Sproule and Garry O’Connor both forced Dušan Perniš into action although neither effort caused the Dundee United goalkeeper any real problems.