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Saturday, 28 July, 2001, 17:45 GMT 18:45 UK
Hibs and Killie share the spoils
Craig Brewster tries his luck for Hibs against Killie
Craig Brewster tries his luck for Hibs against Killie
Hibernian 2-2 Kilmarnock

Hibs and Kilmarnock proved hard to split last season, drawing three of their four league matches, so it was no surprise that both teams left Easter Road with a point each.

The visitors led twice through Michel Ngonge and Christophe Cocard, but a penalty from Franck Sauzee and a late effort from Ulrik Laursen gave Hibs the draw their first half play merited.

Four of Hibernian's summer signings started the game, with Ulises De Le Cruz, Alen Ornan, Francisco Luna and Craig Brewster all making an Easter Road bow.

Kilmarnock boss Bobby Williamson also fielded a new recruit, with Michel Ngonge playing up front.

The former Watford and QPR striker made a dream start with a brilliant finish in the fourth minute.

The Hibs defence were caught napping as the 24-year-old Belgian sprinted through before shooting past Nick Colgan.

Hibs were hoping for a win to celebrate the opening of their new main stand and Brewster twice went close, but Gordon Marshall smothered his header from a de la Cruz cross and in the 12th minute his fierce volley whistled wide.

The Edinburgh side's other new striker Francisco Luna teed up Equador international de la Cruz, who shot just wide from 22 yards.

Hibs were now beginning to find their game and creating some menace and Ian Murray saw his 24th minute point-blank effort blocked by Chris Innes.

Within a minute Orman tried a 20-yard shot which was just over the bar.

A Sauzee free kick went close, then John O'Neil put Luna through and the striker should have done much better than lob wide from a great position.

Paco Luna wins Hibs a penalty
Paco Luna wins Hibs a penalty
With all the Hibs pressure, an equaliser was inevitable and it came after Murray split the Killie defence with a neat pass which put Luna through and the Spaniard was hauled down by Marshall.

Sauzee produced a great spot kick, sending Marshall the wrong way, to level in the 39th minute.

However, Hibs soon found themselves behind again when Cocard finished from close range after Ally Mitchell's cross in the dying minutes of the first half.

Cocard saved Kilmarnock in the 58th minute when he cleared from the feet of Brewster just as he was about to shoot following another accurate de la Cruz cross.

Kilmarnock boss Bobby Williamson freshened up his side with a double substitution on 64 minutes with Calderon being replaced by debutant Michael Pizzo and Cocard went off for Paul Di Giatomo.

Hibs continued to push forward, but lost much of the fluency which marked their play in the opening 45 minutes.

Just when it looked like a lost cause for the home side, they were handed an equaliser in rather bizzare fashion.

With seven minutes remaining, a corner from David Zitelli was spilled by Marshall under pressure from Laursen and the ball bounced home with Ally Mitchell helping it into his own net.

Hibernian: Colgan, De la Cruz, Laursen, Jack, Orman, Smith, O'Neil, Sauzee, Murray, Luna, Brewster.

Subs: Craig, Brebner, Fenwick, Zitelli, O'Connor.

Kilmarnock: Marshall, Canero, Innes, Hay, Mahood, Dindeleux, Sanjuan, Calderon, Ngonge, Mitchell, Cocard.

Subs: Meldrum, Pizzo, Boyd, Fowler, Di Giacomo.

Referee: D Somers

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