Hibs reaction: Lewis Stevenson, take a bow; the CJ Egan-Riley show; why St Mirren should not worry
Lewis Stevenson, take a bow
Hibs’ 1-0 win over St Mirren will not live long in the memory – except for one person. Lewis Stevenson became Hibs’ all-time record league appearance holder with his outing in Perth, moving one clear of Arthur Duncan on 450. The 35-year-old has been a phenomenal servant for Hibs. A one-club man and Scotland internationalist, Stevenson made his debut for the Easter Road club in 2005 and has played 564 times in total across all competitions for the Edinburgh club, has won both the League and Scottish Cup and seen off more competitors for the left-back slot than he has fingers and toes. Speak to anyone who has dealt with him in football and there is nothing but warm words. Stevenson is polite, quiet, often bashful, desperate to avoid the limelight. That’s part of his charm. But there is no avoiding the adulation for this bona-fide Hibs legend. What sums up Stevenson so well is the way he has battled to get back into the Hibs first team – this was his ninth start in a row, eight of which have been full 90-minute outings. His performance against St Mirren summed up his career: committed, not fancy, diligent and effective. Hibs have been lucky to have such as man.
CJ Egan-Riley’s impressive showing
Hibs signed CJ Egan-Riley on loan from Burnley earlier this week and the 20-year-old was handed his first start at right-back. A former Manchester City youngster, he left the Etihad Stadium in search of regular football but such is the fine form of Vincent Kompany’s Clarets at the summit of the Skybet Championship, he has been kept out of the team. This looks to be to Hibs’ benefit. It is easy to get carried away with new signings on first viewing as they are not as familiar on the eye, but Egan-Riley did not put a foot wrong in Paisley. Positionally aware, dependable defending and able to get up and down the wing, he also caught the attention of the Hibs fans, who have already penned a song for him. Pep Guardiola spoke warmly of Egan-Riley went he left the Citizens and his first impressions up here are good. He will get tougher assignments than this victory over the Buddies, but he looks an important signing already as Hibs look for stability in the second half of the season.
St Mirren should not worry
Everyone is allowed an off-day and this was St Mirren’s. The Buddies have been excellent at home since the opening-day defeat by Motherwell at the end of July, winning seven and drawing four ahead of this match. Manager Stephen Robinson said the weather conditions affected his team and the extra day’s recovery from midweek seemed to benefit Hibs. Still, St Mirren are handily placed in the cinch Premiership. Looking to break into the top six for the very first time, they have recruited wisely over the winter window and once Tony Watt gets up to speed, he could be a very important forward for them. Their next two league matches are away to Motherwell and at home to Ross County, two winnable matches. Get back on track there and this blip will soon be forgotten about.