Bottom-placed Livingston suffered a seventh straight cinch Premiership defeat as Martin Boyle’s first-half goal gave Hibernian a 1-0 win at the Tony Macaroni Arena.
In a match played in terrible conditions, the forward’s composed finish was the stand-out moment of quality as he bent a low shot into the far corner from 15 yards, after the ball had broken kindly to him in the box.
The visitors also saw Dylan Vente’s goal chalked off by VAR but Livingston improved after the hour mark and they came close themselves through Bruce Anderson.
However, they could not force the equaliser as they remain at the foot of the table, five points adrift of 11th-placed St Johnstone.
Livi boss David Martindale made two changes after their last outing against St Mirren, bringing in Ayo Obileye and Jamie Brandon in place of Joel Nouble and Anderson.
Hibs manager Nick Montgomery opted to make four alterations after the midweek defeat to Celtic, drafting in Rory Whittaker, Paul Hanlon, Jordan Obita and Vente.
It was a cagey start to the match, with Sean Kelly having the first effort of note in the 15th minute but his left-footed shot from the edge of the box was deflected wide.
Hibernian had not offered too much as an attacking threat but they took the lead with their first shot of the match in the 28th minute.
There was an element of fortune as Elie Youan’s attempted pass was deflected perfectly into the path of Boyle, who showed great composure to place the ball into the bottom right corner of Shamal George’s goal.
Hibs were looking dangerous in behind and they almost doubled their lead just before the break as Jair Tavares’ lofted through ball released Vente but the striker tugged his left-footed shot wide of the target.
The away side thought they had made it 2-0 just after the break, but this time it was VAR who came to Livingston’s rescue.
Vente was involved again, nodding in at the back post after Whittaker’s cross bounced awkwardly over George. However, following a lengthy review, the striker was adjudged to have been offside when the ball was crossed.
Livingston were also slightly fortunate moments later as referee Grant Irvine opted to show Obileye only a yellow card when the defender brought down the lively Boyle who was breaking forward.
The hosts had been poor but they came to life after the hour mark. First, Sean Kelly tested David Marshall with a low shot from the edge of the area before Scott Pittman’s rebound was well blocked.
Marshall then made an even better stop in the 67th minute, coming off his line to block a close-range effort from Livi substitute Anderson in the centre of the box.
Another replacement, Stephen Kelly, was next to try his luck and he saw his left-footed attempt from the edge of the box deflected just wide after Joe Newell had given the ball away.
In swirling wind and rain, Livingston continued to throw balls forward and deep into added time they almost got their reward in a dramatic conclusion.
Mo Sangare’s shot was saved by Marshall and the ball also appeared to strike Hanlon’s arm in the box but – following a VAR review – the play was eventually brought back for an offside as Hibs held on for a hard-fought victory.