Hibernian 2 - 1 St Mirren

Match info: Scottish Premiership at Easter Road Stadium

Date: 03/11/2012 KO: 15:00 Ref: A Muir Att: 10,358

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Hibernian

Leigh Griffiths 37,65

2
vs
1

St Mirren

Kenny McLean 32

FT (ht: 1-1)

  • Last Updated: November 3 2012, 18:24 GMT

Captain James McPake hopes Hibernian can agree a permanent deal with Leigh Griffiths after the striker netted twice in the 2-1 win over St Mirren which sent Pat Fenlon's men to the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

Hibernian celebrate Griffiths' double strike
Hibernian celebrate Griffiths' double strike

On his second loan spell at Easter Road from Wolves, Griffiths has now netted 11 SPL goals this season to equal his tally last term and lead to suggestions of a Scotland call-up on Tuesday, whether Craig Levein is manager or not.

Griffiths joined Wolves on a two-and-a-half year deal from Dundee in January 2011 and is free to talk to interested parties from the turn of the year, when his current loan agreement at Hibs is also due to expire.

Wolves manager Stale Solbakken has already stated he does not want Griffiths back, but McPake realises the striker's hot streak could make it difficult for Hibs to seal a deal.

McPake said: "Wolves must have some top strikers if he's not good enough to have a chance. Their loss is definitely going to somebody else's gain, I just hope it's ours.

"If he's going to score those goals it could end up being hard for the club, but I'm sure the club and the chairman (Rod Petrie) will be trying.

"Leigh loves playing for this football club. Is there anybody else in Scotland he'd rather play for? I'm not too sure.

"If somebody in England takes a gamble on him that's entirely up to Leigh, but Hibs is where his heart is."

Manager Pat Fenlon said: "He (Griffiths) is somebody we want to keep at the club. He wants to stay, which is great. "We've got to make sure we do our work and get that done.

"His scoring ratio to chances is fantastic. He's like that in training as well - he very rarely misses the target."

McPake's glancing header on Paul Cairney's cross helped to set up the first, as the ball fell at the back post for Griffiths to pick his spot and cancel out Kenny McLean's opener.

Griffiths netted his second midway through the second half after being allowed space to take the ball on to his favoured left foot and the Buddies' woes were compounded by the dismissal for two bookable offences of Jim Goodwin.

A fourth home win this term took Hibs top for 24 hours at least, until Celtic play Dundee United.

First place may be Hibs' fleetingly, but in Griffiths they have an opponent feared throughout the SPL.

McPake said: "Everybody that plays against him is terrified of him.

"Every time he gets the ball you're thinking he's going to score. He can do everything.

"He hit the post twice, scored two good goals and he could be walking away with four today.

"His goals are vital and they were worth the three points today."

Hibs did not have it all their own way as Ben Williams twice made sharp saves and had to be alert late on to deny Steven Thompson.

The Buddies' chance effectively ended when Goodwin was sent-off following an altercation with David Wotherspoon. Referee Alan Muir was informed of the incident by David Watt, his assistant, and Goodwin's protestations were in vain.

St Mirren boss Danny Lennon said: "I didn't see it and I don't think the referee saw it. It was the AR that saw some kind of infringement."

Four successive losses and 11 goals conceded have seen Saints fall from fourth to 11th in a month, with only Dundee below them.

Lennon, who praised Griffiths, added: "We want results and we want quality and we certainly believe results without quality is very boring.

"But quality without results is meaningless and we need to strike that balance."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week