Imminent new Hibs signing in the stand as Kevin Nisbet and Martin Boyle deliver again against Livingston

No-one in the ground really needed the reminder but Kevin Nisbet provided it anyway – there is a very good reason for Hibs wanting to hold onto the Scotland striker.

Missing from the Dundee match last weekend, the 24-year-old returned to the starting line-up for this one and found the breakthrough as the Leith side wrapped up all three points to protect their position at the top of the Premiership.

His third goal in seven appearances this term, the man who contributed a glut of 18 in 44 games for the club last season has been in talks with the Easter Road outfit over an enhanced contract.

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But, while retaining his services will be a major boost, especially coming hot on the heels of fellow goalscorer Martin Boyle’s latest extension, the fact he hobbled off with cramp, to be replaced by Drey Wright with 22 minutes of the match remaining, reiterated the need to further add to the forward options.

Hibs manager Jack Ross (L) with Kevin Nisbet at full time. The striker opened the scoring for the Easter Road side in their 2-0 Premiership win over Livingston. Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group

As the days tick down to the close of the transfer window, Hibs still want to complete at least two more signings. Another hamstring injury for Jamie Murphy means that his gaffer will be seeking to add another wideman to a shopping list that already included an attacker, as well as a left-sided centre back.

With moves for St Johnstone’s Jamie McCart thwarted by the disparity in the respective clubs’ valuations, Hibs do look closer to signing up England U20 defender Nathan Wood on a loan deal from Middlesbrough. The 19-year-old was in the stand as Hibs ultimately ran out 2-0 winners over a Livingston side who do not have their troubles to seek at the moment.

Hibs manager Jack Ross confirmed that Wood was in town for his medical before heading south again to meet up with the England age group squad. When he does eventually return to Edinburgh, he will check in at a club sitting pretty in the league and looking forward to the first capital derby of the season.

In front of the Easter Road crowd, the home side had to deal with a Livingston side, pieced together with little more than stubbornness and grit, as illness, covid and injuries forced manager David Martindale to field the walking wounded, the nauseated and the fatigued.

Early on, they pushed Hibs back and then limited them, even as one enforced substitution after another unsettled the sides. But in a match where neither keeper had many saves to make, the decisive moments favoured Hibs.

Nisbet, who now joins up with the Scotland squad, was full of industry despite not training all week due to illness. Dropping deep at times to take possession, he sprayed passes forward or wide before advancing to get on the end of moves.

Paul McGinn worked to supply Nisbet with the opportunity to open the scoring in the 50th minute, which he finished with a striker’s aplomb, and Scott Allan, who had replaced Murphy just before the interval, did the groundwork for the second, before Martin Boyle stabbed his shot home in the final minutes of the contest.

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Two key men and two key moments. More signing can be expected before the window closes but keeping hold of those two could still be the best bits of business they do.

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