Hibs finish season to forget with another dismal draw - ratings from Livi

One obvious stand-out on day few will remember

Hibs brought the curtain down on season 2023-24 in fitting fashion, as they surrendered a lead to drop another two points away to a Livingston team long destined for the Championship. A Myziane Maolida strike, his 11th since joining the club in late January, was cancelled out by Bruce Anderson capitalising on a ball hurled into the Hibs box, causing confusion and chaos.

Despite the visitors chasing hard for a winner, urged on by caretaker boss David Gray, they could not find a way past substitute Livi goalie Kieran Wright. And so, inevitably, the campaign ended with a whimper, rather than a bang.

In the final game of a season best forgotten, a footballing year so lacking in entertainment that official Hibs historians may redact it from all future retrospectives, the number of away fans who made the short journey to Livingston served as a reminder of the potential just waiting to be released, when – if – things turn around. Because this was the deadest of dead rubbers. A match carrying such little consequence that it brought new depth to the “meaningless” description trotted out with such frequence at this time of year.

Still, there were a couple of chances to divert the punters in the opening half hour, Michael Nottingham’s header from a corner brilliantly turned aside by Joo Wollacott, while Nectar Triantis saw a low shot deflected wide after a neat one-two with Joe Newell on the edge of the box. If the football was hardly scintillating, both teams were fully committed to playing things out until the last gasp.

Hibs began to improve by carving open central space just outside the box, using the movement of their wingers and fullbacks to drag Livi players out of that zone. Josh Campbell and Newell both got themselves in shooting positions, without beating Shamal George.

The breakthrough came just three minutes into the second half. And no-one would have been surprised to find Maolida making, and then taking, the chance that put Hibs into the lead. The Comoros international showed great feet to juggle a bouncing ball on the edge of the box, then send a left-footed strike beyond George via a deflection.

If Maolida scoring was predictable, so was the nature of the equaliser conceded by a defence consistently unable to do the basics this season. A second ball into the box from a set-piece, a collision of bodies that does nothing to clear the danger – and Anderson left to finish from close range. Same old, same old, from a Hibs perspective.

Livi had a goal disallowed for a fairly obvious offside, while Hibs carved open a couple of half chances. While the fans banged their drums and sang their songs. Dreaming of better days to come.