Hibernian 0-1 Ross County: Match Report
Hibernian 0-1 Ross County: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
Brittain's got talent
Ross County ended a nine-match winless run with a 1-0 Clydesdale Bank Premier League victory over Hibernian at Easter Road.
Richard Brittain headed in the winner after 57 minutes as the visitors won for the first time in almost two months to emulate Aberdeen and claim a second win over Hibs from two attempts this season.
Fourth-placed Hibs, who now play Celtic and Hearts in successive matches in a true test of their top-six credentials, lacked the guile to open up their opponents and have one point from their last four SPL matches after a third home loss of the season.
County travelled to Easter Road with one win - against Aberdeen on November 3 - in 11 matches in all competitions since beating Hibs 3-2 in Dingwall on October 20.
One change was made from the side beaten at Celtic on Saturday, ex-Hearts striker Gary Glen starting in place of Colin McMenamin, who was on the bench, while Hibs welcomed back two key defenders.
Captain James McPake and right-back Tim Clancy returned following suspension and a groin injury, respectively.
The start was disjointed as possession was frequently relinquished, with Clancy's blast into the second tier of the stand barely deserving of being called a shot.
The first corner came after 25 minutes and was immediately followed by another, from which McPake glanced a header wide.
Hibs were beginning to get a foothold in the game, but County were resilient.
An insipid first half closed after Paul Cairney shot well wide as a free-kick from a promising position was played short to him.
County were forced into a change in the third minute of the second half as Stuart Kettlewell appeared to pull a hamstring as he received a ball wide on the right and was taken off on a stretcher, Paul Lawson coming on.
The second period was offering much of the same uneventful fare as the first until Hibs hesitated, allowing Iain Vigurs time and space in the left channel to loft a ball forwards.
The ball looped towards Brittain 15 yards out and his header beat Ben Williams and flew into the top corner. It was the midfielder's fifth of the season.
A disputed throw-in resulted in referee John Beaton attempting to assert his authority, first speaking to visiting assistant boss Neale Cooper and then issuing a flurry of yellow cards.
Mihael Kovacevic, Vigurs and Clancy, who ran 40 metres to remonstrate with the official, all saw yellow before McPake was booked for a sliding challenge when he appeared to win the ball.
The time was ticking for Hibs and little more than 20 minutes remained when football matters resumed.
A Ryan McGivern cross from the left was headed over by Eoin Doyle before substitute Jorge Claros, on for Tom Taiwo, had a shot turned around the post for a corner by Mark Brown.
Doyle had the ball in the net 16 minutes from time, but he was flagged offside in reacting first to a Brown save from Leigh Griffiths' shot.
The left flank was proving a useful source of supply for Hibs and McGivern's accurate cross was met by Griffiths, who should have done better than head straight at Brown from six yards out.
With four minutes remaining, Hibs exchanged defender Clancy for striker Shefki Kuqi in an effort to find an equaliser.
The anticipated bombardment of the County area did not materialise as the visitors emulated the Dons and Motherwell in claiming victory in Leith this term.
The home supporters booed at the final whistle, while the County players celebrated with their small band of followers.
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