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Kilmarnock 1-1 Hibernian

Willie Gibson and Darren McCormack tussle at Rugby Park
Kilmarnock and Hibernian fought out an entertaining draw

Kilmarnock hit back to claim a deserved share of the spoils against Hibs at Rugby Park but they remain without a home win since mid-November.

Derek Riordan's deflected volley just before the interval had put the visitors in front.

But a blunder from Paul Hanlon gave Jamie Hamill the opportunity to curl in a sweet equaliser on 76 minutes.

Kille's Alan Combe made saves to deny John Rankin and Sol Bamba, while Hibs' Chris Hogg made a goal-line clearance.

Conor Sammon was the player denied by Hogg in the first half and the Killie forward was again the sinner when he missed a golden chance from point-blank range in the last minute.

Kilmarnock made a sluggish start but were enjoying a good spell at the end of the first half when Riordan struck.

Hibs were under almost constant pressure in the second period and were weakened by the loss of dominant skipper Rob Jones to injury at the break.

The visitors started brightly and Denes Rosa and Bamba threatened with snap-shots, only to see Combe deal with the pressure well.

Rankin's fizzing, long-range effort was kept out by a combination of Combe and the post before former Killie man Colin Nish had the ball in the net from an offside position.

Sammon should have broken the deadlock in the 40th minute when he latched onto a cut-back following fine play by Craig Bryson but somehow Hogg managed to deflect the Irishman's effort, turning the ball over the bar.

On the stroke of half-time Riordan cleverly flicked the ball over an opponent and his volley from 28 yards took a huge deflection off Manuel Pascali to wrong-foot Combe.

Riordan threaten again early in the second half but his first-time effort from the edge of the box was well held by Combe.

Sammon headed over from eight yards after getting on the end of a fine cross from Hamill and captain Pascali should have done better when, from close range, he headed over Garry Hay's free kick.

Hibernian had penalty claims waved away when a Paul Hanlon cross hit the arm of Grant Murray, the match officials deeming it accidental.

With 14 minutes remaining, Killie were level when Hamill benefited from Hanlon's dithering and his shot swung beyond Grzegorz Szamotulski and into the net.

Seven minutes from time, Bamba sneaked through the home defence to connect with a Riordan free-kick but his shot from six yards was excellently saved by Combe.

Sammon should have sealed victory for Kilmarnock in the last minute but he fluffed a great chance from six yards.

Kilmarnock manager Jim Jefferies :
"Hibs had a good first ten minutes but they scored against the run of play and I thought they were very fortunate to go in ahead at the break.

"We took a wee while to adapt but we were well on top before they got a lucky deflection from a pop-shot that was never going in.

"I thought we were the better team overall and we had five great chances.

"We haven't been playing badly but we haven't been killing teams off when chances come our way.

"But we came back well, showed a lot of determination and played some good stuff.

"The referee angered the crowd with some strange decision and I think he knows it wasn't one of his best days."

Hibernian manager Mixu Paatelainen:

"I felt we were on top. We were tremendous in the first half, we were all over them and fully deserved to be in front, but we didn't get that second goal to kill them off.

"Even in the second half we had two or three clear cut chances.

"It was a great first touch from Derek for the goal, he took the ball away from the defender to set up a smashing shot - yes, it took a little deflection and that made it impossible for the keeper."

Kilmarnock : Combe, Murray, Hay, Lilley, Ford, Bryson, Gibson, Skelton, Pascali, Hamill, Sammon. Subs Not Used: Rascle, Locke, Johnston, Clancy, Flannigan, Anson, Nolan.

Booked : Hay, Pascali, Murray.

Goal: Hamill 76.

Hibernian : Szamotulski, McCormack, Hogg, Jones (Chisholm 46), Hanlon, Stevenson, Bamba, Rosa, Rankin, Nish, Riordan. Subs Not Used: McNeil, Yantorno, Fletcher, O'Brien, Keenan, Johansson.

Booked : Chisholm.

Goal: Riordan 45.

Att: 4,649

Ref : C Boyle

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see also
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14 Feb 09 |  Scottish Premier
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14 Feb 09 |  Scottish Premier

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