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David Gray leads Hibernian to win after Paul McMullan own goal

The victory put the Easter Road side two points off the top four.

David Gray leads Hibernian to win after Paul McMullan own goal SNS Group

Dundee winger Paul McMullan’s spectacular own goal earned David Gray three points in what could be his last game as Hibernian caretaker manager.

McMullan found the top corner with a diving header in the 34th minute at Easter Road.

The 1-0 win made it four points from two cinch Premiership matches since Jack Ross was sacked and put Hibs two points off the top four as they close in on a replacement.

There was no sign of Shaun Maloney after the Belgium coach emerged as the clear favourite to take over at Easter Road after Hibs stated their recruitment search was nearing a conclusion, which could come before Sunday’s Premier Sports Cup final against Celtic.

There were a couple of concerns for whoever is in charge at Hampden after Chris Cadden and Kevin Nisbet both went off injured.

Hibs started well with Paul McGinn having a header saved and Martin Boyle causing problems. Ryan Sweeney was booked for bringing the winger down and Liam Fontaine was fortunate not to join him for a similar offence.

The visitors settled down after 10 minutes. Hibs goalkeeper Matt Macey had to get down well to stop a Paul McGowan shot and then carefully watch a McMullan free-kick which zipped off the surface.

With Christian Doidge on for Cadden, the home side took the lead after Boyle led a counter-attack. McMullan got back well to be in a position to cut out his fellow winger’s dangerous-looking cross, but he launched himself at the ball and sent a header flashing past his goalkeeper.

The hosts soon came close when Doidge played in Nisbet, who went round Adam Legzdins with the goalkeeper careful not to make contact, but Fontaine got back to clear off the line.

Dundee striker Danny Mullen missed a sitter early in the second half when he blazed well over from six yards after being set up by a mis-hit clearance from Hibs midfielder Jake Doyle-Hayes.

Mullen soon scuffed another opportunity after a good move.

Nisbet trudged off after treatment and his replacement, Jamie Murphy, soon passed up an excellent chance after taking a heavy touch from Boyle’s square ball. Legzdins was able to block the forward’s shot from close range.

Jason Cummings replaced McMullan in the 78th minute to a mixture of boos, applause and apathy from the home fans before Leigh Griffiths got a warmer reception moments later.

The former Hibs pair joined Mullen in a three-pronged strikeforce but neither got an opportunity to make an impact on their Easter Road returns.

The final insult for Dundee came a few seconds before the full-time whistle when Sweeney received a second yellow card, presumably for dissent.