Hibs 5-3 Kilmarnock: Hibs seal fourth place in epic tussle with Killie
Hibs clinched fourth place in the Premiership table and left themselves very much in the fight for second as they eventually ran out winners in a eight goal thriller with Kilmarnock..
The Easter Road side were twice ahead with goals from Scott Allan and Steven Whittaker only to find themselves pegged back on both occasions as Kris Boyd and then Stuart Findlay hauled Kille, who had arrived in Edinburgh still with a hope of overhauling Neil Lennon's players.
But the Capital club's new-look strikeforce of Jamie Maclaren and Flo Kamberi chipped in with a goal apiece to leave looking comfortable winners only for Boyd to throw the3 Ayrshire outfit a lifeline with a thundering free-kick from 30 yards ten minutes from time.
But substitute Brandon Barker wrapped up thhe points for Hibs with a superb solo goal two minutes into added on time,Hibs were without Dylan McGeouch, the midfielder out with a broken cheekbone, but Scott Allan returned in the middle of the park while Darren McGregor was back in the centre of defence having shaken off the hamstring problem which kept him out of last week's victory over Celtic.
Killie were howling for a penalty within six minutes as Jordan Jones went down under a challenge from McGregor but referee Don Robertson wasn't interested in the slightest. Flo Kamberi's pass set Martin Boyle free but with Lewis Stevenson clear to his left screaming fora first time pass the winger's first touch let him down and the chance for the game's opening goal was gone.
It was az fiesty opening with Killie aware defeat would end their chances of overhauling Hibs in fourth place and ref Robertson moved in to calm things down when Alan Power, having already been booked for a foul on John McGinn, then clattered into Lewis Stevenson and could count himself somewhat lucky not to be heading for an early bath halfway thought the first half.
Hibs, though, had been the better side and after Boyd planted a header into the arms of Ofir Marciano, the Capital club took the lead in the 29th minute with a superbly worked goal, Kamberi and Allan working a deft one-two for the midfielder to lash the ball across Kilmarnock goalkeeper Leo Fasan and into the far corner of his net.
But their lead last only four minutes, Jordan delivering a cross which found Boyd all alone to leave the striker to nod it down past Marciano. The Killie striker himself lclearly thought he was offiside, ooking across to assistant referee Joseph Lawson as if he expected to see the flag raised but it remained down and the goal stood
Hibs almost retook the lead in the minute of added-on time at the end of the first period, Fasan clawing away McGinn's effort only for Darren McGregor to head it goalwards where Kirk Broadfoot's head took the ball off his own line.
There was a scare immediately on the restart for Hibs, SWhittaker gifting possession inside his own penalty area to Stepehn O'Donnell who saw his low cross poked just inches wide of his own goal by McGregoar as he recovered the situation.
Hibs, however, got their noses back in front in the 53rd minute when McGinn spotted Whittaker's run, dropping an inhc-perfect cross into his path, his team-mate not breaking stride as he drilled the ball beyond Fasan.
Again, though, Boyd found himself unmarked to meet Lee Erwin's cross, Hibs enjoying huge slice of luck as, on this occasion, he could only head the ball into the arms of Marciano when he should have been celebrating a second goal.
Hibs didn't take notice of that warning, Jones getting past Efe Ambrose all too easily to get to the bye-line before cutting it back for Findlay to strike the ball down into the ground and into the net for a second Killie equaliser/.
Hibs were soon back in front for a third time, McGinn again the provider with a cross which left Maclaren with a lot to do but the Aussie striker managed to turn and get enough pace on the ball to beat Fasan
Referee Robertson left everyone baffled when, after Kamberi had gone down under a challenge from Findlay, he awarded Hibs a penalty only to change his mind after a quick word with his assistant Lawson.
Kamberi's mood improved greatly a few minutes later when Allan's terrific through ball left him with only Fasan to beat, something the Swiss striker did with ease.
Killie looked finished but Boyd breathed new loife into their game as he hammered a free-kick from fully 30 yards past a static Marciano with ten minutes remaining.
But substitute Barker ensured the three points were Hibs two minutes into the three added on at the end of the match, the winger setting off on a thrilling run before drilling home Hibs fifth of the game.
Hibs: Marciano, Ambrose, McGregor, Hanlon, Boyle, Whittaker, McGinn, Stevenson, S Allan (Swanson 84) Kamberi, Maclaren (Barker 68)
Substitutes not used: Bell, Bartley, Slivka, Porteous, L Allan.
Kilmarnock: Fasan, O'Donnell, Broadfoot, Lindsay, Taylor, Tshibola (Brophy 73) Power, Dicker, Jones, Erwin (Mulumbu 73), Boyd.
Substitutes not used: MacDonald, Kiltie, S Boyd, Simpson, Burke.
Referee: Don Robertson