Ross County 1-1 Hibs: Shaw's last minute strike salvages vital point for Hibs

Lewis Stevenson gets ready for his 400th appearance for Hibs against Ross County in Dingwall this afternoon
Lewis Stevenson gets ready for his 400th appearance for Hibs against Ross County in Dingwall this afternoon
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Oli Shaw rescued what could be a vital point in the race for second place in the Premiership table with a last minute strike against Ross County.

The Capital side looked to be heading for their first defeat in nine matches as they trailed to Billy McKay's first half goal but Shaw, who had replaced Scott Allan, struck with his fifth goal to earn Neil Lennon's side a draw which almost became a win when Darrren McGregor's header in the fourth minute of added-on time slipped agonisingly wide.

John McGinn made an immediate return to the Hibs side following his two-match suspension, Steven Whitaker making way for the midfielder in an otherwise unchanged team in which Lewis Stevenson was making his 400th appearance for the Edinburgh club.

A glorious cross-field ball from McGinn should have produced an early goal for Hibs as he found Martin Boyle racing free but the winger's first touch let him down before Flo Kamberi rose to meet Scott Allan's free-kick only to his header take a nick off Chris Routis, enough to deflect it off target.

Allan and McGinn tested Staggies goalkeeper Scott Fox with a couple of long-range efforts as the Capital side continued to hold the upper-hand, their patient passing game contrasting with that of County who were looking to use a more direct route to get the ball forward to their strikers although without much success. That was until they combined to give the Diingwall outfit a 28th minute lead.

Alex Schalk, scorer of a hat-trick in County's 4-0 win over Partick Thistle which took County off the foot of the Premiership table, did well to get a low cross in from the left to find McKay who, with McGregor on him, seemed to lose his footing. He recovered quickly, however, to hammer to ball beyond goalkeeper Ofir Marciano from eight yards.

Lennon, back on the touchline for the first time after serving a three-match ban, clearly didn't like the fouls, in quick succession,, by Routis and Ross Draper on John McGinn which brought both /County players a yellow card, the Hibs boss earning a talking to from referee Bobby Madden.

Hibs had an opportunity to equalise four minutes before the interval when Paul Hanlon, coming in at the back post, threw himself at Allan's corner but his downward header thumped up off the turf and sailed over the bar.

Hibs went looking for that equaliser straight from the restart, Jamie Maclaren diving to meet a whipped cross from Stevenson only to see his header fly inches wide of the target. Lennon made his first change in the 57th minute replacing Maclaren with Streven Whittaker, a switch which saw Boyle go through the middle with Kamberi while the newcomer took up station wide on the right.

County's back three had kept Hibs front line at bay but for once Kamberi got in behind former Easter Road defender Liam Fontaine to get on the end of McGinn's searching ball bu tthe Swiss striker couldn't get his shot on target/

As the minutes ticked down Hibs piled on the pressure but were unable to break down the ranks of dark blue shirts arrayed in front of them, County goalkeeper Fox largely untroubled although he had to look sharp to take a McGrregor header away from Kamberi.

Ross County: Fox, Fraser, Routis, Souttar, Fontaine, Gardyne (Kait 61), Schalk (Dow 88), Draper, Lindsay, McKay (Curran 76), Melbourne.

Substitutes not used: McCarey, Ngog, O'Brien, Keillor-Dunn..

Hibs: Marciano, Ambrose (Swanson 71), McGregor, Hanlon, Boyle, McGeouch, McGinn, Stevenson, S Allan (Shaw 71), Kamberi, Maclarern (Whittaker 57)

Substiutes not used: Bell, Bartley, Slivka, Porteous.

Referee: Bobby Madden.

Attendance: 5389