Hibs 1-1 Livingston: Ryan Porteous saves a point for Hibees
A diving header from Ryan Porteous salvaged a point for Hibs as Livingston threatened to inflict a second defeat of the season on the Easter Road side.
Ryan Hardie had put the visitors ahead in the 57th minute before substitute striker Flo Kamberi saw Livingston goalkeeper Liam Kelly, who pulled off a string of impressive saves throughout the match, get down to stop his penalty 12 minutes later.
But as the clock ticked down Porteous threw himself into a crowded penalty area to head home Daryl Horgan’s cross.
Neil Lennon made six changes to the side which drew with Rangers, goalkeeper Ofir Marciano and midfielder Stevie Mallan out through injury while Steven Whittaker, Lewis Stevenson, Daryl Horgan and Kamberi all dropped to the bench as Adam Bogdan, Mark Milligan, Martin Boyle, Darren McGregor, Sean Mackie and Lewis Allan all started.
There was little in the way of incident in the opening 20 minutes, but that all changed when Emerson Hyndman spotted Martin Boyle in space to his right and delivered an inch-perfect pass into his path. Boyle took a touch and unleashed a low shot but Livingston goalkeeper Liam Kelly showed just why he’s been getting rave reviews recently, getting down to put a strong right hand on it and diverting it past the post, with Oli Shaw only inches away from making contact.
Kelly got down to another Shaw effort before Livingston skipper Declan Gallagher nodded wide from a Nicky Cadden free-kick and then got his head to a Boyle cross before Allan could cash in.
Hardie turned Hibs defender Porteous only to send in a weak shot which was easily taken by Bogdan. The Livi striker was then unable to get enough on a Cadden cross to turn it into the Hibs net before Cadden had a go himself, firing in a powerful shot which Bogdan was happy to beat down.
It would have been no surprise to the Hibs fans so see Kamberi come on, the Swiss striker taking the place of Shaw at the start of the second half while Porteous returned with his left knee heavily strapped after receiving some first half treatment.
It was Kamberi who was caught out as Livi took the lead. The forward was shurgged off the ball by Gallagher to allow the Livingston defender to play a simple long ball from inside his own half straight down the middle of the pitch for Hardie to clip it over the head of the exposed Bogdan.
The pace of the game had been ponderous but that goal gave Livingston the opportunity to slow proceedings even further as they looked for their second win of the season over the Easter Road side.
Hibs thought they’d got the break they needed when Alan Lithgow felled the flying Martin Boyle, referee Greg Aitken having no hesitation in pointing to the spot. But Kamberi’s spot-kick was poor and Kelly dived to his right to save, doing so again when the Easter Road striker got his head to Horgan’s free-kick.
The Capital side, though, did get themselves level with ten minutes to play, Porteous diving low in a crowded penalty area to head home Horgan’s cross from the left.
And then a mazy run from Boyle almost put them ahead, the winger ghosting past a series of challenges only to see his parting shot not only beat Kelly but the far post while at the other end Steven Lawson skied a Cadden cross high over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
Hibs: Bogdan, Ambrose, McGregor, Porteous, Boyle, Slivka, Milligan, Hyndman (Horgan 67), Mackie, Shaw (Kamberi 46), Allan (Maclaren 80).
Substitutes: Dabrowski, Gray, Whittaker, Stevenson.
Livingston: Kelly, Gallagher, Halkett, Lithgow, Lawless, Pittman, Byrne, Jacobs, Robinson (Cadden 22), Menga (Miller (59), Hardie (Lawson 75)
Substitutes: Stewart, McMillan, Sibbald, Miller, Hamilton.
Referee: Greg Aitken.
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