St Mirren 0 - 1 Hibernian: David Gray scores as Hibs edge to win

David Gray celebrates after scoring. Pic: SNS/Alan Harvey
David Gray celebrates after scoring. Pic: SNS/Alan Harvey
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Hibs moved into second spot in somewhat controversial circumstances after St Mirren manager Oran Kearney claimed their winning goal should have been disallowed.

Kearney insisted there is clear video evidence of Flo Kamberi holding Lee Hodson and Paul McGinn to allow David Gray to net with a 14th minute header and felt referee Euan Anderson and assistant David Doig should have stepped in to rule the goal out.

Kearney said: “The set-piece for the Hibs goal is something they have trained and it’s supposed to be eradicated, but Kamberi and Gray were at the back post and we had two men marking them.

“Gray comes past Kamberi’s shoulder and Kamberi just stands and grabs for three seconds with two arms round our players.

“He holds them while Gray goes around the back and heads it in.

“I understand there is screening goes on and there’s bits and pieces of contact. If it’s a split second and there’s a bump, it’s hard for referees and linesman.

“But when you see the footage, it three seconds literally locked as Gray spins around the back and it’s on the linesman’s side of the pitch.

“If they make the call they should make at the time, we are in at half-time at 0-0 and we have even more of a chance of taking something. These are the fine margins.”

The goal came in 14 minutes from Stevie Mallan’s corner when Hibs were in control and the Edinburgh side went on to dominate the first half.

But their inability to take chances – and allow opportunities for Saints – after the break left boss Neil Lennon exasperated.

There were two occasions when Thomas Agyepong could have done better on the break for the visitors, while Saints had a hat-trick of close calls.

New Saints signing Simeon Jackson was clean through but shot straight at Adam Bogdan, Jack Baird had a header cleared off the line and then Cammy MacPherson missed with a volley near the end.

Lennon said: “We were excellent first half but we should have been two up. We’re missing chances and it’s driving me nuts.

“We’re giving the opposition encouragement but not taking our chances. We had to grind it out in the end and we only have ourselves to blame because of the flagrancy in front of goal.

“I just think our finishing was woeful. We had two or three great opportunities on the counter attack and we picked the wrong pass.

“We could have put the game out of sight and that’s my only bone of contention with the players.

“It was a brilliant performance on Tuesday which took a lot out of the players, and you could see fatigue starting to set in. We have another clean sheet and another three points and they are giving me everything at the minute.

“I can’t ask much more of them apart from to put the ball in the net, please, and make my life a lot more comfortable.”