Kevin Nisbet and Martin Boyle netted second-half goals as Hibernian saw off bottom-of-the-table Livingston to remain top of the cinch Premiership.
Scotland striker Nisbet returned to the side after missing last weekend’s 2-2 draw at Dundee and he notched his first league goal of the season before in-form Australia winger Boyle sealed victory late on.
The result – on a day when a sun-kissed Easter Road hosted its first match with an unrestricted capacity since March 2020 – left Livingston still looking for their first point of the campaign.
The addition of Nisbet was the only tweak to the Hibs team that started last weekend, with midfielder Alex Gogic dropped to the substitutes’ bench.
There were two changes to the Livingston side defeated by Motherwell last time out as James Penrice and former Hibs midfielder Andrew Shinnie came in for Jackson Longridge and Scott Pittman.
There was no place in the squad for new signing Stephane Omeonga, who is due to join up with the Lions after the international break.
The visitors had the first opening of the match in the fifth minute when striker Bruce Anderson flashed a shot just wide from 15 yards out after being set up by Shinnie.
Hibs threatened in the 10th minute after Boyle nicked the ball off Jack Fitzwater on the right, but the winger sliced his angled shot high and wide as he burst into the box.
The hosts had another opportunity three minutes later after more good work by Boyle to set up James Scott but the on-loan Hull City attacker – making his home debut – was denied by a superb challenge from Fitzwater on the edge of the six-yard box.
The Livingston defender then made another vital intervention to turn Nisbet’s shot behind for a corner after the Hibs striker had been set up by Boyle just after the half-hour mark.
After being frustrated throughout the first half, the hosts made the breakthrough in the 51st minute when Nisbet received a pass from Paul McGinn, then turned and fired a clinical low shot beyond Max Stryjek from 12 yards out.
Livingston rarely looked like finding a way back into the game before the lively Boyle sealed the win when he ran on to a pass from substitute Scott Allan and lifted the ball over the visiting goalkeeper from a tight angle inside the six-yard box.
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