Winning start for Nick Montgomery as Hibernian beat St Johnstone

Goals from Lewis Miller and Dylan Vente for Hibs saw off St Johnstone at Easter Road.

Winning start at Easter Road for Nick Montgomery as Hibernian beat St Johnstone SNS Group

Hibernian head coach Nick Montgomery marked his home debut with a win as goals from Lewis Miller and Dylan Vente saw off St Johnstone 2-0.

Miller headed in from close range in a tight first half before Vente made Hibs pressure count after the break with a finish from inside the box.

The win, the first of Montgomery’s reign, lifted Hibs above city rivals Hearts into sixth in the cinch Premiership ahead of Wednesday’s Viaplay Cup quarter-final visit of St Mirren.

It was also a day to remember for Rory Whittaker after the Hibs forward climbed off the bench to become the club’s youngest player at only 16 years and 44 days.

Jair Tavares was handed his first start in 13 month for Hibs after being brought in from the cold by Montgomery.

And the Portuguese forward was part of a dynamic attacking four that caused Saints problems during the early stages.

A neat move saw Will Fish find Vente and the Dutchman’s square pass was struck just wide from a first-time shot by Martin Boyle.

Hibs kept coming and Adam Le Fondre had a comfortable header kept out by Dimitar Mitov from a cross stood up by Joe Newell.

Tavares then got involved in the action himself but a first-time drive from a Lewis Miller pass sailed wide.

Saints looked dangerous on the counter, especially with Hibs pushing their full-backs high, but they lacked the final pass.

Saints midfielder Cameron MacPherson shot wide from outside the area before team-mate Daniel Phillips then fired over from a good position inside the area.

But Hibs broke the deadlock 10 minutes before the break. Newell lifted a curling cross to the back post and Miller’s downward header back across goal beat Mitov.

Hibs should have doubled their lead in the 58th minute when Boyle, who raced on to Fish’s pass down the right flank, cut back for substitute Elie Youan but the Frenchman fired over from 12 yards with just the goalkeeper to beat.

Hibs goalkeeper David Marshall was then called into action at the other end to keep out an Andrew Considine effort at the back post from a Graham Carey corner.

But Hibs stepped up their intensity and finally put the game to bed in the 69th minute as Vente added a second.

After Mitov got down well to repel a low Youan effort, Le Fondre’s deft flick outside the area set up Vente and the forward buried a low shot past Mitov.

Hibs teenager Whittaker had a chance to mark his debut with a goal but Mitov denied the youngster.

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