Hibs flying high

PA Sport
Hibernian's Leigh Griffiths celebrates his goal at Easter Road

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Hibernian's Leigh Griffiths celebrates his goal at Easter Road

Hibernian moved to the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League with a 2-1 win over Dundee United at Easter Road.

Leigh Griffiths and Eoin Doyle gave the hosts a two-goal lead before Gary Mackay-Steven pulled one back for United.

A patchwork Hibs defence survived a few late scares to hold onto their advantage and win their third league game on the bounce.

Hibs were almost gifted the lead within the first five minutes. Willo Flood's attempted backpass to Radoslaw Cierzniak was quickly closed down by Griffiths. Curiously, instead of attempting to deposit the ball in either stand, the United keeper opted to pick it up, handing Hibs an indirect free-kick inside the penalty area but it was blocked.

You can't keep the diminutive striker out for too long and he notched his twelfth goal in as many league games to give his side the lead in the 18th minute.

There appeared to be little danger when Paul Cairney received possession 30 yards from goal, but the midfielder's reverse through pass was perfectly weighted for Doyle to run onto and his cross to the back post found Griffiths who slammed the ball home off the woodwork.

Although while United appeared to be an increased threat after going behind they hadn't created any chances and Hibs began the second half, much like the first, looking the team likelier to score, which they did in the 51st minute.

Cairney, so often the architect for Hibs this season, was the creator again. The midfielder brilliantly nutmegged Keith Watson on the far left side of the penalty area before laying off for Doyle to stroke the ball into the top corner.

But Hibs immediately allowed United back into the game in bizarre circumstances. First Paul Hanlon and then Ben Williams decided against knocking long under pressure deep in their half, and the latter succeeded only in playing it straight to Mackay-Steven who coolly passed the ball around the advanced keeper from the edge of the area.

It seemed the script was written for former Hearts hero Rudi Skacel to complete the comeback, but the second half substitute saw his close range header ruled out for offside, and soon after the woodwork came to Hibs rescue after the attacker attempted an audacious effort.

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