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Saturday, 19 October, 2002, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Hibs sting Thistle
Hibs were 3-0 winners at Partick
Gary O'Connor celebrates the first of his two goals
Partick Thistle 0-3 Hibernian

Hibernian continued their climb up the Premier League table with a fourth consecutive win coming at Firhill.

Young striker Garry O'Connor staked a claim to be included in the Scotland set-up again after bagging two great goals, the first of which must be an early contender for goal of the season.

Veteran forward Mixu Paatelainen grabbed the other goal for Hibs as the home side faded late in the game.

The first half was a forgetable affair but, when Hibs made the breakthrough, it was the visitors who controlled much of the game and ran out comfortable winners.

Hibs were first to threaten when O'Connor got on the end of Paatelainen's cross, but the young striker headed straight at Kenny Arthur.

In the tenth minute Thistle's Alan Archibald's saw his fierce shot pushed out by Nick Colgan into the path of McLean, but Yannick Zambernardi made a vital challenge to divert the ball past the post.

Martin Hardie is stopped in his tracks
Partick lacked ideas up front
Partick went close again minutes later when McLean found space in the box, but he drilled his shot wide of the post.

There was little in the way of creativity on display from either side as the match wore on and both sides were guilty of pumping hopeful long balls forward in search of their strikers.

It was not pretty stuff, but it was a tactic that worked in Hibs' favour minutes before the half time break.

O'Connor controlled a searching pass from Zambernardi 30 yards from goal, turned smartly and thundered a right foot shot high into the corner of the Thistle net.

After the break the visitors seemed inspired by O'Connor's strike and looked the most likely to score again with Partick struggling for ideas.

Derek Whyte feels the presence of big Mixu
Mixu Paatelainen scored for Hibs
Paatelainen should have killed the home side off in the 58th minute when O'Connor cut the ball back to him but he blazed wide from just eight yards.

Archibald had a chance to make the visitors pay in the 65th minute after a rush of blood saw Colgan come racing off his line, but the defender lacked composure and the Hibernian defence managed to clear.

Quick thinking by O'Connor saw him unleished a snap-shot which Arthur did well to turn around the post.

With nine minutes remaining Hibs extended their lead when Paatelainen barged his way through two defenders to meet a cross from Craig James and claim his second goal of the season.

In the 88th minute O'Connor wrapped up the points for the Edinburgh side with his second strike of the afternoon - knocking the ball over the head of his marker before volleying home.

In search of a hat-trick, O'Connor found time in the dying minutes to fire wide and hit the post.


Partick Thistle: Arthur, McKinstry (Waddell 85), Archibald, Craigan, Paterson, Whyte, Mitchell, Buchan, McLean (Walker 59), Hardie, Burns.
Subs Not Used: Budinauckas, Chiarini, Gibson.

Booked: McKinstry.

Hibernian: Colgan, Orman, James, Zambernardi, Fenwick, Murray, Brebner (McManus 78), Wiss, Paatelainen, O'Connor, Townsley (Smith 74).
Subs Not Used: Caig, Riordan, Hilland.

Booked: Wiss, Zambernardi, Orman, Fenwick.

Attendance: 5,946
Referee: J Rowbotham

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BBC Scotland's John Barnes
"Five wins on the trot for Hibs"
Hibs manager Bobby Williamson
"We've shown a willingness to work hard"
The SPL season gets under way

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