Hibernian 1-2 St Johnstone: Visitors’ comeback stuns hosts after Kyle Magennis red card

St Johnstone came from behind to beat Hibernian at Easter Road as VAR enjoyed a controversy-free introduction to the Scottish Premiership.

Third-placed Hibs led through Mykola Kukharevych’s 35th-minute header, but the game turned on a red card for home midfielder Kyle Magennis with 22 minutes remaining.

Nicky Clark rose to head the equaliser for St Johnstone within three minutes of Magennis’ departure and half-time substitute Stevie May nodded the winner.

The victory moves St Johnstone four points clear of the three teams tied at the bottom, while Hibs remain a point above Aberdeen and St Mirren but now having played two more games.

Hibs, perhaps inspired by their first capacity crowd in 33 years in this landmark fixture for Scottish football, started off briskly as they looked to respond to last weekend’s 6-1 drubbing by Celtic.

St Johnstone were exposed at the near post twice within a matter of seconds as Andrew Considine blocked from Martin Boyle and on-loan Troyes striker Kukharevych should have done better than fire straight at goalkeeper Remi Matthews from 10 yards.

It only took eight minutes for VAR to come into play as a quick check by Willie Collum back at Clydesdale House ratified referee Kevin Clancy’s decision to show Boyle a yellow card for simulation following Alex Mitchell’s challenge.

St Johnstone weathered that early pressure, but just as they were limiting Hibs to long-range efforts, Kukharevych rose above Liam Gordon to head powerfully into the net from 12 yards from a Chris Cadden cross.

The half-time introduction of May gave St Johnstone more zip on the break, but Hibs remained the more dangerous until Magennis spoiled an otherwise impressive first start since August 2021 following injury when he lunged into a challenge on Jamie Murphy to pick up a second yellow card.

Down to 10 men, Hibs soon conceded when Clark rose above to Ryan Porteous and – despite the hint of a shove on the back of the home centre-back – the goal was to stand.

Porteous was beaten again soon after when May met a cross to the back post from former Hibs midfielder Melker Hallberg.

There was still time for more VAR work as Jair Tavares and Boyle both went down inside the box, but officials were spared a decision over whether to award a penalty when the former was ruled offside.

Player of the match – Stevie May

St Johnstone's Stevie May and Melker Hellberg celebrate

Fine margins as tide turns visitors’ way – analysis

Both managers made three changes and tweaked their formations as they looked to end poor recent runs.

It seemed that Hibs’ Lee Johnson was winning the tactical battle, and his players had responded to their manager questioning their mentality and “schoolboy” defending at Celtic Park, until Magennis’ departure.

Instead of consolidating third place, they have suffered a third straight loss after their run of five home games without defeat came to an abrupt end.

St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson will look to the introduction of May as a turning point.

Just when it looked like they were were heading for a fourth consecutive defeat, the Perth side instead end a run of five games against Hibs without a win, having scored against the Edinburgh side for the first time in four meetings.

What they said

Hibernian manager Lee Johnson: “I thought we were fantastic for 60 minutes – then we had a spell of maybe 10 minutes where we gave the ball away too much, which allowed them a bit of momentum.

“Kyle Magennis was playing extremely well – he was our second highest for total distance in the game – he’s a top player and unfortunately he’s just made a mistake.

“We’ve all had a look at Nicky Clark’s goal and it does get worse the more you look at it – maybe the contact isn’t ridiculous, but it was enough to knock someone off of their momentum.”

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson: “Hibs were good first half, but I thought we pressed them really well in the second half and the subs were good. I’m really pleased to show the character to win the game.

“I wasn’t too happy with the first-half performance, but I got a great reaction from them in the second half and the substitutes showed great composure. The red card was big and was probably that changing point in the game.”

What’s next?

Hibs entertain St Mirren next Saturday as St Johnstone welcome Kilmarnock (both 15:00 BST).



Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Marshall
  • 5Porteous
  • 33Bushiri
  • 4Hanlon
  • 12CaddenSubstituted forVieira Tavaresat 85′minutes
  • 32CampbellBooked at 68mins
  • 11Newell
  • 7MagennisBooked at 70mins
  • 3CabrajaSubstituted forMcKirdyat 85′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 77BoyleBooked at 8mins
  • 99KukharevychBooked at 31minsSubstituted forYouanat 63′minutes


  • 6Kenneh
  • 10Vieira Tavares
  • 13Schofield
  • 16Stevenson
  • 18Henderson
  • 19Mitchell
  • 22McKirdy
  • 23Youan
  • 25Fish

St Johnstone

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Matthews
  • 5MitchellSubstituted forMurphyat 63′minutes
  • 6Gordon
  • 4Considine
  • 2BrownBooked at 45minsSubstituted forGallacherat 90′minutes
  • 22Hallberg
  • 13McGowan
  • 19MontgomerySubstituted forMayat 45′minutes
  • 14WrightSubstituted forWotherspoonat 64′minutes
  • 26McLennanSubstituted forCrawfordat 90′minutes
  • 37Clark


  • 3Gallacher
  • 7May
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 12Parish
  • 17Bair
  • 21Crawford
  • 27Kucheriavyi
  • 29Murphy
  • 34Phillips

Kevin Clancy


Match Stats

Live Text

Post update

Match ends, Hibernian 1, St. Johnstone 2.

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