Soccer

Hibs see off Kilmarnock thanks to Josh Campbell’s strike

Hibernian manager Nick Montgomery saw his side win (Jane Barlow/PA)
Hibernian manager Nick Montgomery saw his side win (Jane Barlow/PA) Hibernian manager Nick Montgomery saw his side win (Jane Barlow/PA)

Josh Campbell scored the only goal of the game to see off Kilmarnock and hand Hibernian head coach Nick Montgomery his first Premiership victory in seven games.

The midfielder slotted home from close range after Martin Boyle did brilliantly to tee up his team-mate.

The result moves the Easter Road club to within a point of sixth place Kilmarnock in the cinch Premiership.

Kilmarnock played well in patches but their long wait for a win in Leith was stretched to 10 games.

In a bright start to the match Jair Tavares went close with a solo effort from outside the area after four minutes.

The Portuguese winger got away from Joe Wright with a neat bit of skill but his curling effort flew just past the top corner.

Hibs forward Boyle then had the ball in the net moments later but the effort was ruled out for offside.

Kilmarnock gave as good as they got during the early exchanges and Liam Donnelly should have done better with a half-volley at the back post that he fired over from a Daniel Armstrong corner.

At the other end, Boyle raced clear after Donnelly had a square pass cut out but the Australia international lost his footing in the box as he was chased down by Stuart Findlay.

But the hosts were not to be denied in the 36th minute as Boyle provided a great assist for Campbell.

The pacey forward spun away in a congested centre circle and rode a cynical challenge from Donnelly that earned the midfielder a retrospective booking.

Boyle then flicked a pass to Campbell inside the area and the midfielder placed a low drive past Will Dennis.

Kilmarnock brought on Matty Kennedy for Donnelly at the break as they looked to get a foothold in the game.

But the visitors struggled to create any meaningful opportunities in a second half that lacked entertainment at both ends.

Tavares went close for Hibs again with an effort from outside the box but Dennis did brilliantly to push the shot round the post for a corner.

With Hibs having surrendered winning positions in their last two league games, tensions grew among the home fans as the match approached the closing stages.

Campbell was denied a second goal in the 86th minute when his stinging drive from outside the box was repelled by Dennis.

Hibs goalkeeper David Marshall then made a save at his near post to keep out Rory McKenzie.