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McInnes Gets Support From Above
Published : 02 May 2011 09:21:17
A good luck message from a seagull helped St Johnstone beat Hibs Derek McInnes wants to thank the seagull for his support after St Johnstone ended their winless SPL run of almost three months with a 2-1 win at Easter Road. The game was heading for a 1-1 draw until Kevin Moon scored a stoppage-time winner. Liam Craig's 74th-minute header cancelled out Akpo Sodje's first-half goal as Saints came from behind for a first win since the win over Hamilton on 1 February. Craig's header was the first SPL goal by a Saints player since the win over Accies - their only league goal in between times was a Richie Towell own goal in the 5 March 1-1 draw with Hibs - ending a barren run of more than 11 games and 18 hours. McInnes felt his side were deserving of Moon's winner, which came after his manager had had to wipe bird droppings from his shoulder. McInnes said: "I said to Dot (assistant boss Tony Docherty) before the game 'I've got a feeling we might have to come from behind to win' and that was the way it went. I've also said that recently as well, but today I felt it a wee bit more and even more so with five minutes to go - I had a seagull s**t on my shoulder. We got a bit of luck and maybe that was a wee sign." Hibs took the lead after 23 minutes when Paul Hanlon played the ball through for Sodje to loft it over the advancing Peter Enckelman for his fourth goal in four games. Ricardo Vaz Te hit the post for Hibs before Saint's substitute Craig's equalising header and Moon's prodded winner. McInnes believes his side were fully deserving of the three points which saw them draw level with eighth-placed Hibs, who lead only on goal difference. The Saints manager added: "My only concern was that we might run out of time. I thought - as ridiculous as it seems - there was another goal in us. First half we played with a wee bit of anxiety, like a team that's on a poor run. Second half it was the complete opposite and we did enough to win the game - I just thought there was far more purpose about us and they showed far more of their own ability. And thankfully Kevin Moon had enough determination to keep getting himself in there. It's been a disappointing run we've been on and it hasn't reflected well on any of us, the fact we've struggled to score goals. The fact we got a win along with the goal makes it even more satisfying." McInnes says he saw his players' confidence grow with Craig's strike - and now hopes to complete the final three games of the season strongly. He added: "We've not been getting a lot of luck of late and the only way I think for luck to change is to keep working hard. It was a game we were desperate to come and win. Hopefully we can have a few more afternoons like that between now and the end of the season and finish in a positive frame of mind." Hibs boss Colin Calderwood was frustrated his side could not see out the game as winners or at least picking up a point. He was disappointed about the loss of possession which lead to Moon's winner. Calderwood said: "We ran out of steam and impetus. The equalising goal stalled us a wee bit. We coped only for 75 minutes, didn't defend the corner. It's our own downfall, certainly the winning goal. It was our possession in their half and we lost possession, ended up defending a throw in. A lot of effort has to go into winning a game and we didn't cross the line. It's a terrific lesson for us."