Hibs moved three points clear at the top of the Championship with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Queen of the South at Easter Road this afternoon.
Head Coach Neil Lennon made two changes to the starting XI that drew with Falkirk last Saturday. First choice goalkeeper Ofir Marciano returned from international duty to replace Ross Laidlaw whilst Brian Graham took over up front from Grant Holt.
There was still no starting place for top scorer Jason Cummings and Alex Harris who featured as a substitute last week dropped out of the squad altogether with Callum Crane taking his place.
Graham justified his selection by opening the scoring in the 7th minute when Darren McGregor’s shot was blocked on the line by Grant Anderson and the former Ross County striker was on hand to hammer the ball high into the net from close range.
Martin Boyle should have made it 2-0 in the 18th minute after being clean through on goal but Lee Robinson produced a fine save to keep the deficit to one.
Eight minutes later John McGinn found Boyle at the edge of the area but his lob struck the post and was cleared.
Hibs eventually doubled their lead in the 41st minute. Andrew Shinnie’s corner found John McGinn and the Scotland star’s powerful effort deflected off Chris Higgins into the net.
Just before the break Shinnie found Lewis Stevenson who sent a low cross into the six yard box but Boyle mishit his strike from close range and the ball flew narrowly past the post.
Moments after the restart, man of the match Shinnie slipped a perfect through ball into the path of Stevenson and Robinson produced a sensational save to prevent the full back adding a third.
A slip by Paul Hanlon gave Lyndon Dykes a chance but a combination of good defending by Liam Fontaine and keeper Marciano kept the Doonhamers out.
Hibs made it 3-0 in the 52nd minute when skipper David Gray flicked McGinn’s low corner kick into the net then Graham then almost added his second of the day but his powerful strike rebounded off Robinson’s ankle and was cleared.
Moments later Boyle managed to get his name on the score sheet with a spectacular strike after beating three defenders.
From then Hibs continued to dominate and created several other chances but Queen’s held on to keep the score at 4-0.
Elsewhere Dundee United drew 0-0 with Morton.
Hibs: Marciano, Gray,Hanlon, Fontaine, McGregor, Stevenson, Fyvie, McGinn, Shinnie, Graham, Boyle. Subs: Laidlaw, Bartley, Holt, McGeouch, Forster, Cummings, Crane
Queen of the South: Robinson, Marshall, Dowie, Brownlie, Higgins, Anderson, Millar, Lyle, Jacobs, Pickard, Dykes. Subs: Atkinson, Rigg, Hooper, Moxon, Bell, Fergusson, Brotherston
Referee Craig Charleston