Scottish Premiership: Hibernian 2-3 St Mirren
St Mirren held off a valiant second-half comeback to give their top-six ambitions a lift with a 3-2 win at Hibernian.
Last Updated: 18/01/14 6:07pm
St Mirren held off a valiant second-half comeback to revive their top-six ambitions with a thrilling 3-2 victory at Hibernian.
Danny Lennon's side stunned the Easter Road faithful with three goals inside 27 minutes, but James Collins pulled one back on the hour and struck again with a minute remaining to ensure a tense finish.
But the Buddies survived a frantic barrage of pressure to snatch all three points as Hibs missed the chance to jump above St Johnstone and into the top six.
Hibs boss Terry Butcher had his head in his hands as early as the fifth minute when the Saints took the lead in fortunate style.
Paul McGowan's powerful drive cannoned off the inside of the post, and the ball hit goalkeeper Ben Williams in the back and ricocheted over the line.
Williams regained his composure to deal with Steven Thompson's header, while Hibs got a foothold in the game and Jason Cummings had a shot deflected wide before missing the target with a header.
But an encouraging spell for the hosts was brought to an abrupt halt on 24 minutes as Adam Campbell played a neat one-two with John McGinn and slotted a cool finish beyond Williams.
The Buddies added a third just three minutes later, Campbell turning from scorer to provider as he powered down the right flank and delivered a pinpoint cross for Thompson to convert.
James Collins finally called home keeper Marian Kello into action before McGowan tested the strength of the crossbar with a thundering effort on the stroke of half-time.
Butcher's half-time team talk galvanised his players after the interval, and Kello did well to keep out Sam Stanton's well-struck shot.
The home side's brighter play was rewarded with a goal on the hour mark as a corner from Alex Harris picked out Collins, whose bullet header whistled past Kello from six yards.
Stanton continued to cause problems for the visiting defence as he forced them into a number of scrambled clearances.
But Hibs pulled another one back via the head of Collins, who diverted Jordan Forster's centre into the far corner.
The home players and fans were screaming for a penalty in added time when they claimed a corner had struck Campbell's hand, but their appeals were waved away as the visitors ended a run of three straight defeats.