How Scott Allan reminded Hibs of his value to team in 2-2 draw with St Mirren

The spotlight was expected to shine on Jamie McGrath, as Hibs fans had their first close up of the St Mirren midfielder since the deadline day bid for him fell flat.

Timed out in that move, this was an opportunity to see what might have been. And, on a day when attacking options were limited due to Christian Doidge’s ongoing injury lay-off and James Scott’s illness, that felt all the more intriguing.

But, the failed transaction came sharply into focus for a completely different reason.

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Scott Allan and Drey Wright were to be makeweights in the deal to bring the Buddies’ Republic of Ireland international to Leith. Yesterday, the former was given his chance to sparkle, though, coming on at the start of the second half as a replacement for Chris Cadden, and by the end of the match, Hibs were grateful they could still tap into his magic.

Hibs' Scott Allan was an influential figure as the Leith side fought back from a poor first half to earn a draw against St Mirren. Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group

The contingent of former St Mirren men in the Hibs set-up had been booed by the travelling support but the entire team was booed by the home fans at half-time.

By then Jack Ross’ men were deservedly trailing to a Paisley side on track for their first league win of the fledgling season. Set up perfectly by Jim Goodwin, St Mirren were strangling Martin Boyle’s influence and on the left flank Cadden fared no better. Up front, Kevin Nisbet exemplified the issues dogging the whole team with a laboured and insipid display.

No wonder Allan received such a positive welcome when he went to warm up 20 minutes into proceedings.

Either side of the half-hour mark, Nisbet sent a volley wide, before Cadden only just failed to connect with a Boyle low cross.

But at the other end, it was Eammon Brophy who was looking eager and that energy and drive paid off in the 42nd minute when he latched onto a clearance and broke upfield with Ryan Porteus giving chase. A couple of colleagues burst a gut to give him options in the middle but he opted to go it alone and fired home.

Hibs keeper Matt Macey earned plaudits for his performance against Hearts last weekend but he should have done better, allowing himself to be beaten at the near post despite getting a hand to it.

Hibs manager Ross responded at the very start of the second half, and, as intended, Allan gave the home side fresh impetus, as well as some necessary guile.

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Earning his side a corner in the 51st minute, Porteous headed home but Boyle’s presence on the line saw the goal disallowed for offside.

Five minutes later and after two successive shots had been blocked, Allan, who was pulling the strings at that stage, intervened, showing the vision and the composure needed to resist the urge for another dig himself, instead he floated a sumptuous ball over to the incoming Paul McGinn to bury first time.

They moved into the lead when Matt Millar was penalised for manhandling Porteous at a set piece and Boyle stepped up to slam home the spot kick.

But St Mirren weren’t done. Coming back into an absorbing, end to end encounter, they were well worthy of at least a point and salvaged that late on, as Joe Shaughnessy evaded Josh Doig to nod the equaliser past Macey.

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