Hibs battle past Saints

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Hibernian needed extra-time to see off First Division St Johnstone and book their place in the final of the CIS Insurance Cup.

Hibs came into the Tynecastle encounter as overwhelming favourites, but they were pushed to the limit by Saints.

The capital club took an early lead through Steve Fletcher, but Jason Scotland popped up to force extra-time with a goal on 76 minutes and it took goals from David Murphy and Abdessalam Benjelloun to break the spirit of St Johnstone.

Hibs appeared to be unaffected by the shock sale of Kevin Thomson on the eve of the match as Fletcher smashed his side in front from 25 yards on three minutes.

Scott Brown narrowly failed to doubled Hibs' lead as his effort rattled the woodwork, while Dean Shiels went close following a good run.

Saints came out with purpose after the break and after Martin Hardie had gone close, Filipe Morais provided a perfect cross for Scotland to head home.

The game swung back Hibs' way three minutes into extra-time as Murphy's free-kick proved too good for Kevin Cuthbert.

Saints went in search of another leveller, but they were thwarted as Benjelloun scored to set up a meeting with Kilmarnock on 18th March.