Hibs climbed to fourth with a routine 2-0 win over travel sick Kilmarnock, as Lee Johnson’s side made it six league games without defeat.

A first half header from Will Fish was followed by Matthew Hoppe capitalising on some poor defending to add the coup de grace from five yards.

Kyle Vassell saw red in the second half to kill off any notion of a contest.

It lifts Hibs right into the European conversation, while the Ayrshire side’s dismal run away from home could well mean a quick return to the Championship.

The hosts were unbeaten in five Premiership matches while Killie were looking for their first away league win of the season, having beaten Dundee United at Tannadice in the Scottish Cup last time out.

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Derek McInnes’ men barely touched the ball for the opening 10 minutes and Hibs were screaming for a penalty when the ball appeared to strike a defender’s hand in the box but John Beaton and his VAR assistants decided there was nothing doing.

Killie could have taken the lead after their first meaningful possession, David Marshall forced to tip over a Chris Stokes effort after a clever set piece routine.

It was a corner at the other end, however, which would open the scoring with Will Fish getting up like a salmon to head Aiden McGeady’s delivery into the net, though he was aided by the ocean of space afforded him by the visiting defence.

The Herald: Will Fish rises to head home an Aiden McGeady corner (SNS)Will Fish rises to head home an Aiden McGeady corner (SNS) (Image: SNS)

Kyle Vassell spurned a half-chance to equalise when he screwed a header over the bar while Elie Youan drew a great save from Sam Walker after being played through by the cutest of backheel flicks.

Ewan Henderson was the next to extend the Killie goalkeeper with a left-footed drive from the edge of the box as Hibs turned the screw on the struggling visitors.

Joe Wright came to the rescue to turn the ball off the line following some brilliant footwork by Youan that almost led to a tap-in for Josh Campbell.

McGeady looked to have a chance to inflict further pain on the break, but in his exertions the winger appeared to tweak a hamstring and his afternoon was over.

It was Hibs vs Walker at times, with the goalkeeper making another smart stop just before the break to deny Chris Cadden.

McInnes responded with three half-time changes, sending on Scott Robinson, Ash Taylor and Liam Polworth for Jordan Jones, Blair Alston and Stokes as he switched to a 3-5-2 shape.

The Herald: Hibs get their second against Kilmarnock (SNS)Hibs get their second against Kilmarnock (SNS) (Image: SNS)

Any hope of getting back into the game though was killed just two minutes after the restart. Matthew Hoppe, who had replaced McGeady, was the beneficiary as Taylor booted the ball off Lewis Mayo’s face, with the American pivoting to fire home when it fell kindly for him.

Any lingering hope for Killie departed down the tunnel with Vassell when he saw red for a high foot which, after a VAR check was deemed serious foul play. A number of visiting fans took their leave at that point too – who could blame them?

Walker was again the hero late on to deny Hoppe a second and Robinson had one cleared off the line at the other end, but the match had long since gotten away from his side.

Three burning issues                                                    

Johnson revival

The Herald: Hibs manager Lee Johnson (SNS)Hibs manager Lee Johnson (SNS) (Image: SNS)

Whisper it, but there may just be a Lee Johnson revival taking place at Easter Road. The Englishman hasn’t always been a popular figure with the Hibs fans, with a dismal run of form pre and post World Cup piling the pressure on. Including the 6-0 win over Aberdeen in El Sackico though his side are unbeaten in six league matches and, while defeat to Hearts in the cup will sting the capital club are up to fourth and very much in the European race.

Not-so-super Killie away

If the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, the hardy band of Killie supporters behind one goal must be certifiably insane. Their team have managed just two points on the road all season, scoring five times and conceding 27. They were completely outplayed all afternoon at Easter Road, just as they had been at Livingston two weeks previously. A win away at Dundee United in between looked as though it had never happened.

McGeady blow

Injuries have not been kind to Hibs this season, with Kevin Nisbet struggling throughout the campaign and Martin Boyle ruled out for the season. After a slow start McGeady has stepped up to show his class and his delivery provided the opening goal here, but the former Sunderland man now also looks set for a spell on the sidelines.