On the face if it, the Edinburgh side are sitting pretty in fourth place in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League but their form could do with a bit of touching up; Hibs having won just once in nine league matches ahead of a meeting with St Johnstone tonight. Losing to a goal from Ivan Sproule last midweek, a player they discarded to Ross County, was quite a plook, too.
The County forward declined to celebrate in deference to his former side but there are a few forwards this season that have not had the option. They have been left with their head in their hands as Ben Williams clutches the ball, with the Hibs goalkeeper saving four of the last six penalties taken against him. He has conceded just one – the other clearing the crossbar.
It is an impressive record but one which has been forced into the background of Hibs' season – Leigh Griffiths taking the lead role due to his penchant for goals – he has scored 15 so far – and intemperate tweets. Yet Williams' efforts have still been noted by those close enough to appreciate them fully.
"Ben has been top class," said Alan Maybury, the Hibs defender. "The only penalty he has let in is the one I gave away. Six is probably way too much to give away and we know that Ben has probably had to make too many saves.
"He likes the attention, though. We were laughing after [last Sunday's Scottish Cup win over Aberdeen] because with all the great saves Ben made I think people forgot that Gary Deegan had put one in from 35 yards in-off the crossbar."
The greater resilience in this Hibs team was noted by Steve Lomas, the St Johnstone manager, as he prepared his side for the trip to Leith. They are a different proposition to last season. "Hibs have shown a big improvement from last season, when defensively they were poor, especially from free-kicks and corners," said Lomas.
St Johnstone will need to rely on craft then, and that could come from loan players Mehdi Abeid and Gwion Edwards, brought in from Newcastle United and Queens Park Rangers last month. "The boys were very hungry, very keen to play here," said Lomas.
HIBERNIAN v ST JOHNSTONE Williams a dab hand at getting his side out of trouble