Ross Co 0 – 2 Hibernian


Ryan Porteous made it a week to remember with the opening goal in Hibernian’s 2-0 cinch Premiership win over Ross County in Dingwall.

The Hibs defender made an impressive international debut for Scotland against Ukraine in Krakow on Tuesday night where he helped Steve Clarke’s men to Nations League promotion.

Returning to domestic duties, the 23-year-old turned in another fine performance and fired in from close range at the start of the second half to put Hibs in front.

Martin Boyle then drove in a second in the 80th minute to clinch a third successive league win for Hibs for the first time since last December.

Ross County, for their part, could have few complaints and need to find some form soon.

Looking for a second league win in eight games, Staggies boss Malky Mackay brought in Callum Johnson, Harry Paton and Owura Edwards with Keith Watson, Jordan Tillson and Kazeem Olaigbe dropping to the bench.

Hibs were unchanged but midfielder Kyle Magennis was back on the bench after a full year out through injury.

Amid a frantic start to the game, Hibs midfielder Josh Campbell’s shot from 20 yards was deflected away for a corner which was confidently clutched out of the air by County keeper Ross Laidlaw.

In the 16th minute Laidlaw moved smartly to beat away a powerful drive from Porteous, but again the corner ultimately came to nothing.

Edwards was causing some problems for the visitors at the other end with his trickery and pace.

After being set up by Ross Callachan 16 yards from goal, his side-footed shot was stopped by Hibs keeper David Marshall, who soon had to dive down to his left to save a Johnson header from a Ben Paton corner.

Yan Dhanda replaced David Cancola for the start of the second half but the home side went a goal down almost immediately.

The County defence failed to deal with Joe Newell’s long throw-in from the left and Porteous pounced to fire low past Laidlaw from close range – his first goal of the season – before taking the acclaim of the ecstatic Hibs fans behind the goal.

Hibs' Ryan Porteous celebrates with Elie Youan
Image:
Hibs’ Ryan Porteous celebrates with Elie Youan

County pushed forward with added determination but began to leave gaps which the Edinburgh side were keen to exploit.

Newell reached the byline and sent the ball across for Boyle to knock into the net but sliding Staggies defender Ben Purrington took it off his toes.

In the 71st minute Hibs boss Lee Johnson picked up a yellow card from referee Alan Muir, presumably for something he said in the growing excitement, and it was a decision which seemed to puzzle him.

There was nothing puzzling, however, about Hibs’ second goal, the unmarked Boyle smartly turning a cross from Chris Cadden low past the helpless Laidlaw from 14 yards.

Magennis was one of a clutch of substitutes and he got a big cheer from the travelling supporters when he replaced Mykola Kukharevych, before Laidlaw saved two further attempts from Boyle as Hibs ran out comfortable winners.

What the managers said…

Ross County boss Malky Mackay was left rueing the chance Owura Edwards passed up in the first half when he hit Hibs keeper David Marshall with a shot.

He said: “I thought Owura Edwards on the left caused them some real problems. But when we have those golden chances we have to take them.

“I’m not criticising Owura because he was one of the guys that shone for us today. I’ll put it down to a David Marshall save – but it is a miss – he doesn’t connect right.

“He really showed bravery today to get on the ball and he really put the right-hand side of their team on the back foot in the first half. We’ve got to score when we get our chances.”

Hibs assistant boss Jamie McAllister: “I know the gaffer and the club have been speaking to him, trying to get him tied down. He’s a big player for us.

“It is important we keep our best players.

“He waited a long time for his Scotland debut and I thought he was excellent the other night. Today he just carried it on.

“He is obviously confident, doing well away with the national team. He’s a top player and it was good to see him get on the scoresheet as well.”





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