Hibs 2, Rangers 2: Hibs strike late to snatch point against nine-man Gers after breathless encounter
The midfielder, who scrambled a late winner against St Johnstone on the opening day of the Scottish Premiership season, popped up once again at the death at the end of a rollercoaster 90 minutes that had seen Martin Boyle cancel out James Tavernier’s opener from the penalty spot and a Tom Lawrence header restore the visitors’ lead.
Lee Johnson brought Rocky Bushiri and Josh Campbell back in to the starting line-up following their recovery from injury while Boyle was handed a first start since rejoining the club from Saudi Arabian side Al-Faisaly.
Nohan Kenneh, who scored in last weekend’s 2-1 defeat by Livingston, started on the bench as Johnson went with experience in the middle of the park. Only one of the starting line-up – striker Élie Youan – could be considered a newcomer to this fixture.
Johnson changed things up with a 3-5-2 formation to begin with but dispensed with it in favour of a 4-3-3 before the half-hour mark, hooking the already-cautioned Ewan Henderson and Paul Hanlon, with the latter looking less than delighted at his early substitution.
Hibs were keeping the visitors at bay, reducing them to a long-range effort from Ryan Kent that curled well over, and an Antonio Čolak header that cleared the bar.
It had been a fairly even game until shortly before the interval when Bushiri tugged back Čolak as he chased a back-pass with referee Willie Collum pointing to the spot.
David Marshall guessed correctly but couldn’t prevent James Tavernier from opening the scoring from 12 yards. The award incensed the Hibs players and coaching staff, who were still complaining as the players left the park at half-time.
The incident seemed to galvanise the hosts who came out with renewed vigour for the second period and had levelled inside six minutes with a well-worked goal. Campbell’s pass to Youan took Tavernier out of the equation and the French forward hit the byline, cutting it back for the onrushing Boyle who sneaked it in at the near post.
Rangers retook the lead within ten minutes however, Tom Lawrence powering home a header from Borna Barisic’s cross. Giovanni van Bronckhorst brought on Alfredo Morelos and Scott Arfield for Čolak and Lawrence just after the hour mark but four minutes later the visitors were down to ten, Lundstram shown a straight red for scything down Boyle as the Australian internationalist launched a counter attack. A yellow may have sufficed but Collum was in no doubt and went straight to his back pocket.
Ten minutes later Morelos followed, but there were arguably fewer questions as he was given his marching orders for catching Čabraja in the face with his arm.
With Rangers reduced to nine and Hibs a goal down Johnson went for broke, sending on Lewis Miller and Momodou Bojang for Porteous and Jake Doyle-Hayes.
Hibs had a clutch of chances to snatch a point but when Bushiri headed wide but once again, Johnson’s risk-taking brought reward. The ball broke to Campbell lurking on the edge of the area and he volleyed into the back of the net with Jon McLaughlin motionless.