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John McGinn goal sends Hibernian into Scottish League Cup final

The midfielder scored the winner for Alan Stubbs' side against St Johnstone at Tynecastle.

Victory: Alan Stubbs' side made the Hampden final.
Victory: Alan Stubbs' side made the Hampden final. SNS Group

John McGinn sent Hibernian into the Scottish League Cup final as the midfielder's long-range strike secured a 2-1 victory over St Johnstone at Tynecastle.

Hibs took the lead in controversial fashion when Jason Cummings converted a 29th-minute penalty after Liam Henderson had gone down under Chris Millar's challenge before being accused of diving by several opponents.

Saints were fired up by their grievance and Joe Shaughnessy equalised inside four minutes with a brilliant header into the top corner.

But Hibs got on top again after the hour mark and McGinn, who won the trophy with St Mirren three years ago, won the ball 25 yards out in the 74th minute before rasping a shot home.

St Johnstone also had a sense of injustice coming into the game after their fans were told on Monday that 600 tickets initially earmarked for them would instead be given to Hibs fans because of segregation issues.

That meant that three stands were full of Hibs supporters but there was contrasting injury news for both sets of fans as they arrived in Gorgie.

The Leith side were without Anthony Stokes because of a back strain while St Johnstone started with Dave Mackay, Murray Davidson and Chris Millar, who were all rated "extremely doubtful" by manager Tommy Wright on Monday.

Hibs started brightly with McGinn making some positive runs and the first chance fell to the midfielder but he sent a snap-shot flashing wide from 18 yards.

Saints started with Michael O'Halloran up front alongside Steven MacLean but they were struggling to build any attacking moves.

They were looking solid enough but Hibs carved out a decent chance when David Gray's cross found Cummings. The striker did not get hold of his volley, though, and Steven Anderson headed off the line after it bounced off the ground.

The breakthrough came when referee Steven McLean pointed to the spot, which prompted angry accusations towards Henderson from several Saints players. The referee confirmed his decision after talks with an assistant and booked MacLean for his reaction.

Cummings brushed off the furore and sent Alan Mannus the wrong way from the spot but Saints were level after a corner was not fully cleared.

David Wotherspoon clipped the ball back into the middle and Shaughnessy looped a header into the top corner from around the penalty spot.

The Perth side enjoyed the territorial advantage in the opening stages of the second half as they played with the strong wind at their backs and Simon Lappin curled a free-kick off the top of Mark Oxley's bar from a tight angle.

Hibs were stung into action and Mannus made a double stop from Cummings before Chris Dagnall hit the outside of a post from 18 yards. As snow came down, the Saints goalkeeper foiled Dagnall from close range following a corner.

Henderson then shot wide on the break after Anderson had a shot blocked at the other end.

The pressure told when an Oxley goal kick ultimately fell to McGinn and the 21-year-old brushed off a challenge before firing a shot that bounced inside the post.

McGinn soon set up Dagnall with a deft flick but the striker shot wide of the far post.

Hibs were enjoying themselves and the goalscorer embarked on a wonderful run at the heart of the Perth defence but just ran out of space to shoot.

Saints could not mount any sustained pressure but Shaughnessy came close with another header, which was pushed away by Oxley, and O'Halloran blazed over.

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