Hearts fell to a 2-0 defeat against Hibs tonight at Easter Road.
Second–half goals from Scott Allan and Jamie Maclaren were enough to hand the home side all three points.
Craig Levein made two changes from the side that lost at Motherwell last weekend. Michael Smith and Lewis Moore came into the team, replacing Ross Callachan and Aaron Hughes.
The Jambos were forced into an early change after Harry Cochrane hurt his hamstring 14 minutes in. He was replaced by Anthony McDonald.
There was little in the way of chances for either side during the opening 20 minutes. Marcus Godinho put a teasing ball across the six-yard box but there were no takers at the back door. At the other end Maclaren latched onto a long ball but shanked his effort high and wide from the edge of the box.
The game’s first real opportunity came 23 minutes in. Scott Allan’s short corner found John McGinn and he was afforded space to carry the ball to the edge of the box before rifling inches over the bar.
Five minutes later Martin Boyle drove forward all of 40-yards before drilling on target, but his shot was easily stopped by Jon McLaughlin.
Godinho then made a superb block inside the box after Boyle had again ran at the Hearts defence and attempted to thread through Florian Kamberi.
There was a nervy moment in the Hibs defence before the half was out when Smith’s cross into the box wasn’t collected by Ofir Marciano and the ball fell into space, but Darren McGregor was able to clear.
13 minutes into the restart the hosts took the lead. McGinn clipped a ball forward for Kamberi to move onto Paul Hanlon and he teed up Allan, who slammed home from 20-yards out, though the ball did take a slight deflection off Christophe Berra on its way into the bottom corner of the net.
Hibs went close again just after the hour mark. Maclaren’s ball into the box found Ki but he could only sidefoot it past the post.
The woodwork came to Hearts’ rescue in the 65th minute. Maclaren turned Berra at the edge of the box and hit a rocket shot that came crashing back off the crossbar.
Hearts had their best chance of the game three minutes later. Substitute Danny Amankwaa’s pass was touched forward by Lafferty to Naismith inside the box, and his shot took a deflection off of Darren McGregor, dropping the ball the wrong side of Marciano’s left-hand post. The Scotland forward claimed handball, but referee Bobby Madden wasn’t interested.
With 11 minutes remaining, Hibs wrapped up the points. Maclaren received the ball from a thrown in, eight yards out, and was able to hold off John Souttar and Naismith before spinning and drilling low into McLaughlin’s bottom left corner.
Hibernian: Marciano, Hanlon, McGinn, McGeouch (Swanson, 90'), Stevenson, Boyle, MacLaren (Whittaker, 88'), Kamberi, Allan (Bartley, 73'), McGregor, Ambrose. Subs: Bell, Whittaker, Rherras, Shaw, Porteous.
Hearts: McLaughlin, Godinho, Souttar, Berra, Randall, Adao, Cochrane (McDonald, 14'), Smith (Henderson, 83'), Moore (Amankwaa, 62'), Naismith, Lafferty. Subs: Hamilton, Hughes, Buaben, Callachan.
Referee: Bobby Madden