Kilmarnock 1 Hibs 1: Haynes salvages a point

Danny Haynes celebrates his equaliser for Hibs. Pic: SNS

Danny Haynes celebrates his equaliser for Hibs. Pic: SNS

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Hibs hopes of a top six finish were kept alive as Danny Haynes claimed his first goal for the Edinburgh club to salvage a point for Terry Butcher’s side.

Trailing to a first half strike from Killie’s Rory McKenzie, Hibs came roaring back as Haynes met Sam Stanton’s cross to head the ball into the net. And he might have had a second but for a superb challenge from Rugby Park skipper Manuel Pascali as Hibs put in a storming finish in search of a third successive win over the Ayrshire club.

They were forced, however, to settle for a draw which now puts them level with sixth placed St Johnstone although the Perth club do have a game in hand.

Butcher named the side which defeated Ross County last week meaning club skipper Liam Craig, free of the suspension which caused him to miss that match, could only command a seat on the bench.

An early Alex Harris free-kick presented Hibs with their first opening of the game as he found the head of Paul Hanlon but the defender was unable to steer the ball on target, the look on his face as he turned away an admission that he had passed up a decent chance to open the scoring.

Hibs were made to pay for that miss as Boyd spotted the run of McKenzie to his right and delivered a superb crossfield pass in behind Ryan McGivern who frantically tried to get back to the Killie star but couldn’t prevent him sliding a low shot across Ben Williams and into the far corner of the net.

The Capital side had made a slow stat to the match but Haynes attempted to haul them level as he struck the ball with the outside of his right boot only to send the ball inches wide of target.

And on the stroke of half-time Lewis Stevenson drilled an inviting low ball across the Kilmarnock six yard box but there were no takers.

However, Hibs were back in the match 12 minutes after the restart, Haynes picking his spot inside Samson’s left hand post with a precise header from Stanton’s cross.

Stanton went close to making it two for Hibs five minutes later, his superbly struck free-kick whizzing over Samson’s bar with the goalkeeper looking anxiously on.

Just before then Boyd was screaming for a penalty as he clashed with Michael Nelson but referee Craig Thomson was having none of it.

If the first half had been nothing special the second was left on a knife-edge with both sides going for the winner although Haynes came closest, denied only by that block from Pascali.

Kilmarnock: Samson, O’Hara, Ashcroft, Pascali, Tesselaar, McKenzie, Clingan, Slater, Muirhead (Kiltie 46), Eremenko (Gardyne 66), Boyd.

Substitutes not used: Reguero, Irvine, Johnston, Maksimenko, Nicholson.

Hibs: Williams, Forster, Nelson, Hanlon, McGivern, Harris, Taiwo, Stanton, Stevenson (Cairney 77), Handling (Craig 70), Haynes (Collins 87).

Substitutes not used: Murdoch, Collins, Boateng, Maybury, Heffernan.

Referee: Craig Thomson.

Attendance: 4036.