Mark McGhee gave a debut to Bob Malcolm due to Quinn's suspension and McGarry was preferred to Fitzpatrick. We faced the home stand in the first half and threatened early with shots from Clarkson and McCormack. The nervous Hibs keeper failed to smother a weak shot and Clarkson had a blast but there was no open route to goal.
Spot the difference?
The home side came into the game around the twenty minute mark. Zemamma was through on Smith but our man stood tall and blocked from close range and again from the rebound. The same man fired in a free kick minutes later and tested Smith again but a fine diving save brought a well deserved cheer from the away fans behind his goal.
By this time we had a chance to see how our new man was doing. Resplendent in his white boots he patrolled his allotted thirty square yards. There was not a lot of movement apparent and definitely no sign of any overlapping runs along the wing. He is clearly not near match fitness and needs a spell of hard work on the training ground.
Hughes was outstanding. At one stage he mesmerised the opposition with his dancing feet and fired over a deep cross to Porter, unfortunately just too high for the striker to make a good contact. Brian Kerr was roundly booed and got an ironic cheer when he was replaced just before the break. Meanwhile, the Hibs fans entertained themselves by barracking Malcolm at every opportunity.
We had a big penalty claim inside the first minute of the second half. McCormack was bundled as he approached the six yard box but the referee ignored the shout. He was to make many more contentious decisions!
The game turned into a towsy battle after that as we pushed forward. McGhee made a couple of changes but we made no clear cut chances despite forcing most of the play into their last third.
We'll need to find the scoring touch soon!