Hibs boost survival chances

PA Sport
Leigh Griffiths

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Leigh Griffiths

Clinical finishing from Hibernian saw them move six points clear of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League relegation zone with a 3-2 win in Inverness.

After a goalless first half, Inverness drew first blood when Greg Tansey netted the Highlanders' first penalty of the season on the hour mark. But Paul Hanlon levelled with a close-range header four minutes later before Garry O'Connor put them in front in 75 minutes.

Jonny Hayes equalised with a stunning cross-shot in 83 minutes but Leigh Griffiths bagged the winner with a low angled shot from 12 yards with just five minutes to go.

Second-bottom Hibernian are now six points above last-placed Dunfermline and five behind Caley Thistle immediately above them. The Edinburgh side netted all three of the chances they managed to create throughout the whole match to inflict an eighth home defeat of the campaign on their opponents.

Billy McKay might have broken the deadlock after 33 minutes for the hosts when he latched onto a Hayes through-ball, but with only Hibs goalkeeper Graham Stack to beat the Northern Irish attacker hit the post and the ball rebounded to safety.

Tansey opened the scoring on the hour with Inverness's first penalty of the season. The Englishman made no mistake after McKay was felled by Hanlon following a Tansey corner.

Inverness squandered chances to build on their advantage and the missed opportunities proved costly when Hanlon made amends immediately for conceding the penalty by levelling in the 64th minute. Griffiths' corner found the defender unmarked and his diving header inside the six-yard box gave Inverness keeper Jonny Tuffey no chance.

Then O'Connor put the visitors in front with 15 minutes left. Matt Doherty's powerful run down the right to the byline was followed by a cut back to the striker who side-footed the ball past Tuffey from eight yards.

Hayes' cross-shot from 30 yards out looped over Stack to square things after 83 minutes, setting up a dramatic finish.

Celebrations from the home fans were short-lived, though, as Griffiths restored the visitors' lead two minutes later. The 21-year-old was calm and collected as he cut inside the box and fired an angled shot low and beyond Tuffey to seal maximum points for the Hibees.

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