Hibernian head coach Nick Montgomery was thrilled to get off to a winning start in his home dugout debut as his team overcame St Johnstone 2-0 at Easter Road.
Goals either side of the break from Lewis Miller and Dylan Vente sealed a well deserved victory and lifted the Leith side into sixth in the cinch Premiership.
It was also a memorable day for Rory Whitaker as the Hibs right back became the club’s youngest player at 16 years and 44 days when he climbed off the bench in the second half.
Montgomery said: “The fans were amazing, they gave me a really good reception before the game.
“And the energy they created in the second half resulted in a lot of opportunities.
“We know the pace we have up front and teams are going to come and work hard against us and that’s what happened.
“But as the game got stretched we created a lot of opportunities on the counter attack.”
Montgomery insists Whittaker’s breakthrough illustrates that age will not be a barrier to first-team opportunities under his watch.
He added: “Today was an opportunity to show there’s a pathway into the first team and Rory more than deserved his chance.
“I saw him play against Rangers last week and was very impressed with him.
“And when he trained with the first team his attitude was spot on.
“He’s a local boy, he’s been in the academy a long time and there is no better feeling than giving a young lad like him his debut.”
Hibs created several half chances in the first half before Miller headed in a Joe Newell cross at the back post.
After Elie Youan wasted another good opportunity, Vente doubled Hibs’ lead with a finish from close range after being teed up by Adam Le Fondre.
St Johnstone remain rooted to the bottom of the Premiership and manager Steven MacLean was not happy with his team’s defending for both goals.
He said: “The goals we are conceding just now are poor. The first Hibs goal comes from a second phase set-play and someone just doesn’t do their job at the back post so it’s poor from us.
“We were well in the game, we were frustrating them and we could have done better. We had a lot of opportunities in the transition and it was just the final pass, that final ball or the final run which cost us.
“The second goal was also a very poor goal to lose as we had bodies around about it but we didn’t have enough pressure on the ball and they played a ball around the corner and we got done.”
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe