A chilly night welcomed the two young sides out at Excelsior for this Development League tie between 11th placed St Johsnstone and 3rd in the table Hibernian. Both St Johnstone, a home game for them despite being played at the home of Airdrie FC, and Hibs fielded youthful starting line ups.
It was a tentative start from both sides with Hibs probably edging the early exchanges. Hibs’ Donaldson was getting a good amount of joy down the right flank and beat Jardine before hitting his shot straight at MacKenzie.
But it was St. Johnstone who took the lead against the run of play on 11 minutes when a long ball forward from Jardine eluded the Hibs backline and McLaren slotted home from 12 yards out. 1-0 St. Johnstone.
St. Johnstone nearly added a second on 15 minutes when Watson picked up the ball from a Hibs headed clearance and tried his luck from 20 yards out. His shot rattled the post and it was further evidence that St. Johnstone were going to be anything but a pushover as their league position might have suggested.
Hibs responded well and Donaldson continued to cause Jardine some problems down the right. Two excellent crosses in quick succession found failed to find a green shirt in the box, despite being in the right areas.
On 23 minutes Hibs found themselves deservedly lever after a driving run forward and cutely cut back ball from Innes Murray allowed Breen to slot home with a left footed volley. 1-1.
The game began to settle down from then on with both defences tightening things up after a fairly shaky start. Hibs did nearly take a one goal lead into the hutch at halftime though when on 45 minutes Allan’s long shot was well held by MacKenzie.