A SUPERB second-half strike from Irishman Connor Ronan after Hibernian surrendered the ball cheaply and a huge display in goals from Jak Alnwick was enough for St Mirren to take the points from Easter Road.

It was the Irishman’s fifth of the season and came as his national manager Stephen Kenny watched from the stands as Ronan bids to break into the set-up. It was also the Buddies’ first win in the league at Hibernian since 2014 and leaves them seventh in the cinch Premiership and unbeaten in five since the turn of the year.

“It’s a mistake from the Hibs player but Connor still has a lot to do,” said manager Jim Goodwin. “He doesn’t score many bad goals and that’s another one. In front of the Irish manager as well.

“The second 45 [Hibs] came flying out the traps. We had to be at our best defensively and Jak deserves a lot of credit. If he doesn’t make that save at that time, the game maybe gets away from us.”

A turgid first half was played out in damp and blustery conditions. The home side’s possession was punctuated with poor crosses and surrendering the ball cheaply under constant St Mirren pressing – Goodwin orchestrating from the sides as ever.

Jordan Jones was looking the most likely on either side and found Ronan from a short corner, who skipped past a few men before slipping in Jay Henderson. The 19-year-old took the ball on the turn but Kevin Dabrowski in the Hibs goal was equal to it his effort.

If St Mirren had Jones weaving through opponents, Hibs had Chris Mueller and the American forward twice found himself in excellent positions. The first, on 25 minutes, saw him bear down on goal but he took too long and allowed Tait to intervene.

Then on the stroke of half-time, Mueller feigned to shoot in the six-yard box before cutting the ball back, but it again failed to find a Hibs player.

Ewan Henderson was introduced for Hibs at half-time in a switch to a back four. He instantly improved the side and two of their best opportunities followed. The first, on 52 minutes, saw Chris Cadden send Kevin Nisbet through with a fantastic long through ball. He checked his run and laid off to Henderson around the penalty spot but somehow Jak Alnwick got a hand to it. Minutes later Alnwick tipped another Henderson shot over.

Ryan Flynn was then brought on for Jay Henderson and his first action was to celebrate with his team-mates. Despite the improvement, the match quickly reverted to the themes Hibs laid down in the first half: a defensive throw-in found Jake Doyle-Hayes, who was pounced on by Ronan. Dabrowski then showed too much of his goal and was helpless to stop the swerving strike.

The entire St Mirren side ran to the corner for a lengthy celebration with the travelling support as the shellshocked home side waited in position.

Alnwick then pulled off another outstanding save, this time from Nisbet and after having to quickly change direction, before Alex Greive came inches away from connecting with Jones’s cross and doubling St Mirren’s lead.

Sylvester Jasper, one of five Hibs substitutes, gave a taste of his pace and skill but the early promise from the Fulham loanee dissipated in a toothless final 20 minutes for the home side.

It leaves Hibs in fifth, just two points ahead of St Mirren, and without a win in five attempts in the league.

“The players were very good for 25-30 minutes and we created so many chances. But the difference between being clinical, at any level really, will be the difference between winning and losing matches,” said Hibs manager Shaun Maloney.

“It’s the same word I keep using: clinical. That’s the second opportunity we’ve had to go into fourth. We really have to start taking these opportunities.”

Hibernian (3-4-3): Dabrowski; Bushiri, Porteous, Stevenson (Doig 80); Cadden, Doyle-Hayes (Allan 81), Campbell (Jasper 69), Mitchell (Scott 80); Mueller, Doidge (Henderson 45), Nisbet.

St Mirren (4-2-3-1): Alnwick; Fraser, Shaughnessy, Dunne, Tait; Ronan, Power (Erhahon 69); Henderson (Flynn 62), Kiltie, Jones (Millar 78); Grieve (Main 69).