St Mirren - 0
Hibernian - 2
Cummings 22, 32
This performance, while far from perfect, has – along with the signings of Brian Graham and Andrew Shinnie, who were both given game time here – gone a long way to convincing the Hibs fans that the home defeat by Queen of the South was no more than a blip.
All three points had been secured with two-thirds of the match remaining and, as manager Neil Lennon admitted later, the only cause for regret was that the visitors failed to score the two further goals which would have taken them above Raith Rovers at the top of the Championship table.
Graham and Shinnie both passed up decent opportunities after coming off the bench but, given the fact that the former has yet to train with his new team-mates, no-one was being over-critical.
The 28-year-old was surprisingly allowed to leave Ross County, for whom he had scored six times in five games this season, only on Friday evening, involving a mad dash from the Highlands in order to complete the medical and the relevant paperwork.
“I should have had a debut goal but, hopefully, I’ll score against Morton this weekend,” said Graham, pictured right. “At least we were two goals up when I missed my chance but, as a striker, when you get one like that, you know you should put it away.
“Getting your first goal at a new club is always important but I’m not worrying about it because I know it’ll come. I got myself into a great position today and I’m sure there will be many more like it.
“People say I’m leaving the top flight to go to the Championship but we definitely have a Premiership squad. When I walked in on Saturday morning and took a look around the dressing room, there’s nobody there who would look out of place in the top division.”
Jason Cummings certainly belongs in that category. He produced two accomplished finishes to secure the points here but subsequently squandered two other chances as Hibs repeatedly carved open the home defence.
Certainly, Graham is salivating at the prospect of being presented with that kind of service on a weekly basis.
“With the number of chances this team creates, the strikers are bound to score,” he said. “We won 2-0 here and it should have been more.
“It’s going to be tough for me. Apart from Jason and Grant, who started on Saturday, there’s myself and Martin Boyle and James Keatings, who can also play up front.
“Everybody is fighting for a shirt but that’s good for the manager and good for the club. It will spur everyone on.
“I know that I’ll definitely get all the ammunition I need from my team-mates.
“Even watching from the sidelines, I was thinking what a left foot Lewis Stevenson has on him.
“Being honest, I can see myself getting on the end of a few of his deliveries and he’ll be happy with the assists – it’s a team game, at the end of the day.”
Lennon afterwards called on others to share the goalscoring burden with Cummings, the only player at Easter Road to have scored a league goal in the current campaign.
“It’s nice when you have a goalscorer in the team but others need to weigh in as well,” he said. “John McGinn was unlucky with the one which hit the bar but Brian should have wrapped it up near the end and Andy had a couple of chances as well.
“You hope and expect that that will come good for them once they get fitter and sharper and get used to our style of play.”