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Maolida and Levitt strike as Hibs beat Ross County to go into top six

Myziane Maolida and substitute Dylan Levitt struck in the second half as Hibernian defeated relegation-threatened Ross County 2-0 at Easter Road to climb into the top six of the cinch Premiership.

The home support had to be patient as County kept them at bay until a mistake from goalkeeper George Wickens gifted them the opener just before the hour mark.

The victory extended Hibs’ unbeaten run in all competitions to five games and allowed them to move above Dundee and back into the top half of the table. County remain second-bottom, six points clear of last-placed Livingston.

How Hibs beat Ross County

Hibs boss Nick Montgomery named the same side that started Wednesday’s 1-1 draw away to city rivals Hearts.

There were two changes to the County team that started Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at home to St Mirren as James Brown and Jack Baldwin replaced Loick Ayina and Simon Murray.

Despite their lowly league position, the Staggies settled well into the match and kept their hosts at arm’s length early on.

The only time they looked in any real danger in the first half was in the 17th minute when Wickens had to make an impressive double save to deny Maolida and then Emiliano Marcondes.

At the other end, midfielder Victor Loturi created an opportunity for himself in the 25th minute when he intercepted a slack pass from Marcondes inside the centre circle and surged forward towards the edge of the box but his shot was beaten away by goalkeeper David Marshall.

Hibs made a change for the start of the second half as Levitt came on for Nathan Moriah-Welsh in central midfield.

Within a minute of the restart, the Edinburgh side almost went ahead when Maolida slipped a pass into the box and Marcondes sent a low shot towards goal from 10 yards but Wickens was equal to it.

The hosts fashioned another opening when Martin Boyle – after being released down the right by Lewis Miller – cut the ball back perfectly for Dylan Vente but the forward chose to dummy it on the edge of the six-yard box and the opportunity was gone.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MARCH 02: Hibernian's Myziane Maolida celebrates as he scores to make it 1-0 during a cinch Premiership match between Hibernian and Ross County at Easter Road Stadium, on March 02, 2024, in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Image: Myziane Maolida celebrates as he scores to make it 1-0

Another delivery from the right led to the deadlock being broken in the 59th minute. Vente ran on to a pass from Levitt and whipped in a low cross that was spilled on the edge of the six-yard box by Wickens and Maolida reacted quickest to poke home the loose ball for his fourth goal since arriving from Hertha Berlin in January.

County almost equalised in the 71st minute when Brandon Khela’s ball in from the left found Eamonn Brophy in a central position seven yards out but the striker’s effort was brilliantly kept out by Marshall.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MARCH 02: Hibernian's Dylan Levitt scores to make it 2-0 during a cinch Premiership match between Hibernian and Ross County at Easter Road Stadium, on March 02, 2024, in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Image: Dylan Levitt scores to make it 2-0 against Ross County

Levitt sealed the win in the 86th minute when he received a pass from fellow substitute Elie Youan just outside the box, advanced towards goal and slotted low past Wickens from 13 yards.

What’s next?

Hibs’ attention turns to the Scottish Cup with a quarter-final tie against Rangers on March 10. Kick-off 5.30pm.

With Ross County already out of the cup, their next match is against Hibs again in Dingwall on March 13. Kick-off 7.45pm.

Sky News
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