Leigh Griffiths grabbed a glory double as Hibs came from behind to win a nervy relegation battle with basement outfit Dunfermline.
The victory eased Pat Fenlon’s side four points ahead of the Pars but it was a nail-biting affair in Fife as former Hearts striker Andy Kirk fired the home side ahead only for Griffiths to equalise.
Garry O’Connor stepped off the bench to put Hibs in front but for Pars substitute Liam Buchanan to draw level. But Hibs were ahead within 60 seconds, Griffiths wheeling to claim his second of the game with only seven minutes remaining to leave Dunfermline still without a win at home.
Hibs welcomed midfield powerhouse Isaiah Osbourne back after a five-match absence but O’Connor had to settle for a seat on the bench alongside new signing George Francomb and goalkeeper Graham Stack while Pars boss Jim McIntyre pitched on-loan Preston North End goalkeeper Iain Turner straight into the action.
The visitors started brightly, Griffiths enjoying a first minute run and a low shot which was easily taken by Turner before a terrific interchange down the left touchline between Ivan Sproule and Callum Booth gave young defender Booth the chance to drive in a rising effort which the Pars goalkeeper spectacularly turned round.
But the huge Hibs support behind Mark Brown’s goal were stunned into silence in the 13th minute as Dunfermline took the lead, and again it was the fragility at set-pieces which was the downfall of Fenlon’s team as Kirk was allowed to rise unchallenged to glance Joe Cardle’s free-kick into the net.
Hibs hauled themselves back into the match and an extended period of possession was rewarded with an equaliser in the 33rd minute. Osbourne charged in only for his shot to be blocked, the ball falling for David Wotherspoon who nodded it back in the direction of his team-mate. Osbourne, realising he was offside left the ball alone, allowing it to run through for striker Griffiths who needed no second invitation as he slammed a low shot across Turner and into the far corner of the net.
The game sparked into life again in the 57th minute as Osbourne embarked on a 50-yard run culminating in a powerful shot which Turner pushed aside, the Pars goalkeeper in action again two minutes later as he comfortably took another effort from Griffiths.
The Pars attempted to hit back with a low shot from Cardle which Brown took at his near post before Hibs swept to the other end of the pitch to take the lead. Booth did the hard work before turning the ball inside for Griffiths who, with his back to goal, was aware of O’Connor outside him. He played a simple pass, giving his fellow striker the opportunity to drive the ball into the roof of the net for his 12th goal of the season.
The home side threw everything into a grandstand finish with Michael Hart hooking a Martin Hardie header off the line but there was no-one there as Dunfermline equalised with eight minutes remaining, Hibs fan Buchanan finding space to slide the ball home.
But, sensationally, Hibs raced to the other end where Griffiths turned to drive a low shot under the body of Turner to give Hibs the lead once again.
Hibs: Brown, Hart, Booth, Hanlon, Stephens, Wotherspoon, Stevenson, Sproule, Osbourne, Doyle, Griffiths.