Kilmarnock 2-2 Hibs: Dream start counts for little as Hibs hang on for point

Hibs striker Florian Kamberi is mobbed by his team-mates having given the Easter Road side the lead after just 29 seconds against Kilmarnock
Hibs striker Florian Kamberi is mobbed by his team-mates having given the Easter Road side the lead after just 29 seconds against Kilmarnock
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Hibs hit Kilmarnock with a whirlwind start, claiming two goals in the first nine minutes but were left hanging on for a point as the Ayrshire club mounted a terrific second half fight back.

Swiss striker Florian Kamberi made it three in four matches as he fired the Capital side into the lead after just 29 seconds and they appeared on course to clock up another win when Ryan Porteous powered home a terrific header for his first Premiership goal.

But Hibs were left reeling as Jordan Jones pulled one back for the Rugby Park outfit before Kris Boyd pulled them level after Killie had been awarded a contentious penalty. Boyd's initial effort was saved by goalkeeper Ofir Marciano but the veteran hitman was first to react, poking home the rebound.

Hibs boss Neil Lennon was clearly furious with referee Kevin Clancy's spot-kick decision and after an angry confrontation on the touchline he sarcastically clapped the official and was promptly sent to the stand.

Hibs were without Paul Hanlon, the defender's wife having given birth last night, his place taken by 18-year-old Porteous in an Easter Road side otherwise unchanged from that which defeated Aberdeen last weekend.It took

Hibs only 29 seconds to get in front, Kamberi starting the move with a strong run before laying it off for Scott Allan to swing wide to Lewis Stevenson on the left. He sent a driven cross into the danger area, the ball taking a deflection off Gary Dicker before Kamberi again displayed his predatory instincts, firing it high into the net with the outside of his boot.

And Hibs were two ahead after nine minutes, Porteous rising all alone to bullet home a header from Scott Allan's corner. Jamie Maclaren could have made it three with seconds but he was unable to make proper connection.

However, it took a great save from Killie goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald to keep the Australian striker out, the former Hearts man getting down low to his left to get a strongt hand to his net-bound shot.
Kilmarnock had been shaken by that whirlwind start from Hibs but they began to settle and Kris Boyd sent a flashing header from Rory McKenzie's cross over as they posed their first real threat to Ofir Marciano's goal, But the Israeli internationalist caused all sorts of problems deep inside his penalty area when he came and failed to take Jones' free-kick, a mistake which prompted a free-for-all before the Edinburgh side managed to clear the danger.

Marciano was then left flat-footed as Jones' shot took a deflection but thankfully for Hibs the ball trickled wide of the target,

Hibs weathered that spell of pressure and should have extended their lead seven minutes before the interval, Allan's square ball leaving Kamberi with only MacDonald to beat but the Swiss striker found the goalkeeper too good on this occasion as he stood big to beat his shot away.

But Jones went close to reducing the deficit for Kilmarnock with a powerfully struck shot from range which crashed back off Marciano's right hand post.

Killie were needing an early goal in the second half to give them hope of salvaging something from the match and they went for it only to find Hibs resolute in defence, skipper Darren McGregor and Porteous happy to put their heads on anything that came into their penalty box.

Steve Clarke's side, however, did get that all-important goal 11 minutes after the restart, Jones coming in from the left to curl a fantastic right-footed shot into the top far corner of Marciano's net.

The home fans were left screaming for Efe Ambrose to be sent off after the defender lost possession to Jones who he pulled back only a yard from the penalty area but referee Kevin Clancy was satisfied with a yellow card.

Hibs, though, paid the price, Killie's initial shot crashing back off the defensive wall only for Kirk Broadfoot to hammer it back in to catch the arm of Porteous. Glancy pointed to the spot with Hibs claiming it was a case of ball to hand rather than any intent from Porteous. Boyd stepped up only to see Marciano get down to save but the veteran striker to net the rebound/

It was all too much for Lennon who had as heated touchline argument with Clancy before foolishly sarcastically clapping the official right in his face and was promptly sent to the stand.

An acorbatic save by Marciano from Youssouf Mulumbu kept Hibs on level terms, the goalkeeper forced to repeat his heroics a few seconds later as he flew full-length to push aside another shot from the Kilmarnock midfielder.

From that stunning start Hibs were suddenly on the ropes, midfield enforcer Marvin Bartley replacing Allan in a bid to shore things up as they battled to hold onto a point as Killie substitute Eamonn Brophy forced Marciano into another decent save before Stephen O'Donnell curled a shot just wide.

A run from substitute Oli Shaw relieved the pressure momentarily but the young striker could do no better than find the sidenetting.

Kilmarnock: MacDonald, O'Donnell, Broadfoot, Findlay, Taylor, Power (Tshibola 83), Mulumbu, Dicker, Jones, McKenzie, Boyd (Brophy 71).
Subs not used: Fasan, Simpson, Kiltie, Wilson, Erwin.

Hibs: Marciano, Ambrose, McGregor, Porteous, Stevenson, Boyle (Whittaker 89), McGeouch, McGinn, S Allan (Bartley 71), Kamberi, Maclaren (Shaw 66).

Subs not used: Bell, Swanson, Rherras.

Referee: Kevin Clancy

Attendance: 5348