Hibs suffer more self-inflicted heartache - ratings from County collapse

One 4/10 on a day of chances, mistakes and disappointment

Another trip to Dingwall. Another dose of late heartache for Hibs. They must be getting sick of this.

On a day of self-inflicted disasters, goalkeeper Jojo Wollacott’s misplaced pass with three minutes remaining – and the game balanced at 1-1 – proved decisive for a Hibs side who had created chances enough to win several games. And the mini-revival sparked by last week’s win over St Johnstone was ended.

An early goal from Myziane Maolida, his ninth in 15 appearances for Hibs, was quickly cancelled out by former Hibs striker Simon Murray taking advantage of a horrendous mistake by Rocky Bushiri. The fact that the visitors only managed to hold onto their lead for six minutes felt like a fair reflection on a season of mental lapses and sudden collapses.

Nick Montgomery’s team looked well set for a draw, at least, in an entertaining game. But then Wollacott, in for the injured David Marshall, capped an awful performance by gifting County possession with an under-hit pass – and was punished when sub Jordan White bagged the winner. A brutal end to a day that had promised so much.

Monty’s men set a positive tone from the outset, taking control of possession, and testing the County back line. They had chances even before Maolida opened the scoring with just 14 minutes on the clock.

A Joe Newell corner from the right caused all sorts of chaos in the home defence and, when Bushiri’s scrambled effort came back off the post and rolled across the line, Maolida was perfectly placed to tap the ball home. After a cursory VAR check for handball, Hibs had the lead.

But Bushiri, having played such an important role in setting up the opener, was even more involved in the equaliser. We may never know what he was trying to do when he stooped to put his head on a bouncing cross from the right wing. But his cushioned lay-off for Murray was just perfect, inviting the centre forward to beat Jojo Wollacott with a rasping finish.

Hibs were rattled by the loss of that goal, even if they might have gone 2-1 up almost immediately, Emi Marcondes forcing Ross Laidlaw into an outstanding save after a cut-back from Maolida. Their continued frailties in and around their own areas were exposed when Nathan Moriah-Welsh trod on a ball, gifting Murray another chance that he just couldn’t take.

Bushiri was close to conceding one of the unluckiest own goals of the season in first-half injury time, a low Murray cross deflecting off the big centre-half at point-blank range - and hitting Wollacott’s near post before rolling along the goal line. Hibs, who had carved open chance after chance in a thrilling first half, would have been demoralised, to say the least, had they gone in trailing at the break.

Murray came close to making it 2-1 to the home side early in the second half, his thumping downward header bouncing up and off the bar. Almost immediately, Laidlaw pulled off a stunning one-on-one stop from Martin Boyle to prevent the visitors retaking the lead. This was anything but dull.

The half-time introduction of Adam Le Fondre, very nearly a saviour the last time Hibs were here, had definitely added an extra element of threat to the visiting front line. His movement kept County on their toes, certainly.

Maolida hit the post with a low shot midway through the second half, the Comoros international’s fast feet and ability to corkscrew defenders into the ground opening up the chance to shoot from the edge of the box. And Newell forced Laidlaw into yet another strong save with a curling effort from closer range.

But County were hardly without threat in a series of madcap exchanges during the closing stages of this match. And they didn’t need to do much to capitalise on Wollacott’s late howler.