Kevin Nisbet strikes as Hibernian beat St Mirren

Hibernian v Celtic – Scottish Premiership – Easter Road
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

A sensational strike by Hibernian star Kevin Nisbet was enough to halt St Mirren’s 11-game unbeaten run following a fiery contest which saw both sides reduced to 10 men.

Nisbet curled home a wonderful effort in the first half to take his tally for the campaign to 12 and ultimately secure all three points against the men from Paisley.

However, the victory came at a cost for Jack Ross’ side, who saw goalkeeper Ofir Marciano limp off injured and Christian Doidge sent off.

The latter will definitely miss their Boxing Day clash with Rangers and their number one looks a long shot to make it.

St Mirren ace Brandon Mason also saw red during a second period that was short on quality but high on drama, albeit Jim Goodwin will rue a wonderful opportunity that was wasted by Ilkay Durmus.

Hibs claimed the lead after 18 minutes courtesy of Nisbet’s 12th goal of the campaign – and it was one of his finest to date as he collected a Martin Boyle pass just inside the box and curled a sumptuous effort beyond Jak Alnwick.

Former St Mirren skipper Kyle Magennis, facing his old club for the first time since departing in October, fizzed an effort over the bar before Boyle stung the palms of Alnwick from distance.

Hibs passed up a golden chance to double their advantage on the cusp of half-time when Ryan Porteous met a low Boyle delivery from point-blank range, but his instinctive shot was deflected wide.

St Mirren were left ruing profligacy of their own in the second half when Durmus, having replaced Richard Tait at the break, somehow headed a Cammy MacPherson cross wide from six yards out.

While still breathing a sigh of relief at that reprieve, Hibs were dealt a hammer blow when Marciano fell to the turf with no-one near him. He was swiftly replaced by Dillon Barnes.

Nisbet’s eye for goal then temporarily deserted him when he met a cross-cum-shot by Drey Wright, with the ex-Dunfermline and Raith Rovers attacker firing into the side netting from close range.

But St Mirren’s hopes of making Hibs pay for that miss were wrecked when Mason was shown a second yellow card by referee Steven Kirkland for hauling down Boyle.

There was time for one final twist to the tale, with Doidge receiving two cautions in the space of three minutes following tussles with Jon Obika and Ethan Erhahon – ruling him out of the mouth-watering trip to Ibrox.

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