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Page last updated at 16:54 GMT, Saturday, 27 December 2008

Hibernian 2-4 Kilmarnock

Danny Invincibile
Danny Invincibile fired a double for Kilmarnock in their win at Easter Road

Kilmarnock pulled off a remarkable win over Hibernian despite being reduced to 10 men after goalkeeper Alan Combe was sent off at Easter Road.

The visitors went 2-0 up in just 11 minutes through great strikes from Danny Invincibile and Allan Russell.

Two back-to-back penalties from Dean Shiels saw Hibernian fight back to restore parity and keeper Combe sent off before half-time.

But further goals from Invincibile and Garry Hay gave Killie all-three points.

Kilmarnock made a bright start to the match and took the lead as early as the fifth minute with a clinical finish from Australian forward Invincibile.

The striker, who had only just returned to the starting line-up following injury, was picked out at the back post by Jamie Hamill and he volleyed the ball past the hapless Yves Ma-Kalambay from close range.

With Hibs still in shock at losing the opening goal, the Rugby Park outfit pounced on their opponents' vulnerability and doubled their lead in the 11th minute.

The goal came from a corner after Rob Jones cleared with Russell about to connect with Hamill's dangerous cross.

Ma-Kalambay flapped at Mehdi Taouil's set-piece at the front post and the ball broke to Russell, who he found the net with a left-footed shot from 10 yards.

Hibs' plight worsened in the 28th minute when captain Jones was forced off injured to be replaced by Steven Thicot.

But the home side turned the game on its head with the award of two penalties in a three-minute spell.

The first came in the 34th minute when referee Euan Norris pointed to the spot after Shiels was fouled.

The midfielder brushed himself down before firing the ball high into the net.

Moments later, Colin Nish raced clear of the Kilmarnock rearguard and was brought down by Combe as he rounded the goalkeeper.

Combe was given his marching orders and Shiels found the net past substitute goalkeeper Damien Rascle with the aid of the post.

Acknowledging his side had been reduced to 10 men, Kilmarnock manager Jim Jefferies brought on pacey winger Willie Gibson for striker Russell.

Gibson was in the thick of the action as Invincibile headed the visitors back in front in the 47th minute.

The substitute chipped a teasing delivery to the back post and the unmarked Australian powered a header past Ma-Kalambay from just two yards.

Hibs tried to respond immediately through David van Zanten but Rascle palmed the full-back's near-post shot wide after working an opening with Shiels.

John Rankin thought he had levelled in the 64th minute when he cut along the 18-yard line and fired in a right-footed shot but his effort was pushed away for a corner by Rascle.

With 15 minutes to go, Hay made a lung-bursting 60-yard run to latch onto Gibson's cross in the Hibs box and finished from six-yards to wrap up a wonderful win for the Ayrshire side.

Hibernian manager Mixu Paatelainen:

"The way we defended set-pieces was very slack. We paid the price for poor man-marking errors.

"But after that, all credit to the boys. They rolled their sleeves up and we started causing them problems.

"We got it back to 2-2 and then there was more sloppy defending. If you don't attack the ball in the SPL, then you get punished."

Kilmarnock manager Jim Jefferies:
"We knew they were going to come at us after getting back to 2-2. But I said to them they will get chances to win the game.

"We were not getting beat so there was still a lot to play for. They took it on board.

"I sat them down after it and said, no disrespect to other teams and players but this is my seventh season and I don't think I've seen a finer performance.

"I was proud of every one of them and everyone at Kilmarnock should be. They should take great heart from that performance."

Hibernian: Ma-Kalambay, van Zanten (Riordan 72), Hogg, Jones (Thicot 29), Murray, Shiels, Bamba, Rankin (Yantorno 81), O'Brien, Fletcher, Nish. Subs Not Used: McNeil, Stevenson, Chisholm, Pinau.

Booked: van Zanten, Nish, Thicot, Fletcher.

Goals: Shiels 36 pen, 40 pen.

Kilmarnock: Combe, Fowler, Murray, Hamill, Hay, Invincibile, Pascali, Skelton, Taouil (Rascle 39), Russell (Gibson 46), Fernandez (Simmonds 90). Subs Not Used: Bryson, Clancy, Flannigan, Nolan.

Sent Off: Combe (38). Booked: Skelton.

Goals: Invincibile 5, Russell 12, Invincibile 47, Hay 76.

Att: 12,117

Ref: E Norris

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see also
SPL as it happened
27 Dec 08 |  Scottish Premier
SPL photo gallery
27 Dec 08 |  Scottish Premier

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