Hibernian 2-2 Livingston

Livi threw away a two-goal lead for the second time this season as an injury-time equaliser have Hibernian a 2-2 draw at Easter Road.

Quickfire strikes from Stevie Lawless and Craig Sibbald gave the Lions a commanding half-time lead but, after a wrongly-awarded Scott Allan penalty had halved the deficit, Martin Boyle struck at the death to give the home side a share of the spoils.

Gary Holt made three changes from the goalless draw at home to Hearts as Hakeem Odoffin, Scott Pittman – making his first appearance since August – and Sibbald came in for Nicky Devlin, Keaghan Jacobs and the suspended Aymen Souda.

Livi almost broke the deadlock inside three minutes as Pittman was played in down the right and he cut inside before firing in a low shot that beat the goalkeeper but was hacked off the line by Tom James. Hibs then countered and Glenn Middleton broke down the right and tried to find Daryl Horgan but Jack McMillan was able to clear.

The Lions went close again on eight minutes when a corner was only half-cleared as far as Lawless and he fired a low effort across goal and inches wide. Paul Hanlon then made a marauding run forward from defence for Hibs before firing well wide from the edge of the box.

That gave the hosts a lift and Allan stung the palms of Matija Sarkic with a fierce effort on 23 minutes after cutting in from the right. Odoffin then cleared a low Middleton cross two minutes later before the Lions broke and Sibbald fired just wide from the edge of the box. Scott Robinson was then cautioned for a foul on Ryan Porteous.

Sarkic came to Livi’s rescue on 34 minutes when a short corner was well-worked by Stevie Mallan and Horgan who teed up James who fizzed in a long-range effort that was brilliantly tipped over by the Montenegrin stopper. Hibs then claimed for a penalty from the resulting corner but their handball appeals were waved away before Christian Doidge was booked for a foul on Jon Guthrie.

The Lions had done well to weather that storm and then broke the deadlock on 38 minutes when the ball found its way to Lawless and he cut inside before firing a low effort into the bottom corner of the net with the aid of a deflection that wrongfooted Hibs keeper Chris Maxwell.

Livi then found themselves in dreamland three minutes later as they doubled their advantage when Sibbald did well to win back possession inside the Hibs box before bending an effort Maxwell into the top left corner to send the Lions in at the break in control.

Half-time: Hibernian 0-2 Livingston

Hibs made change at the break as Florian Kamberi came on for Middleton but it was the Lions who had the first effort of the second half, Sibbald firing high and wide from long range. Horgan then fired an effort even further over at the other end nine minutes later.

The home side thought they’d pulled one back on 58 minutes when Allan fired home from close range but it was ruled out for an offside against Doidge in the build-up. Livi then made their first change a minute later as Ricki Lamie came on for goalscorer Sibbald.

The hosts were gifted a chance to get back into the match on 63 minutes when Allan drove into the box and then fell over with Marvin Bartley just about in the same postcode, ref Gavin Duncan falling for the theatrics and awarding Hibs a penalty. Allan stepped up to send Sarkic the wrong way from 12 yards.

Livi reacted well to their lead being halved and almost restored their two-goal cushion on 65 minutes when Lamie picked out Robinson at the back post and he headed down for Pittman but Maxwell was out smartly to clear. The Lions then made their second change two minutes later, Scott Tiffoney replacing Robinson.

Hibs should have drawn level on 73 minutes when a corner from the right found Hanlon completely unmarked but he headed a few yards over from inside the six-yard box. James then won possession for Hibs at the edge of the box but fired over the bar.

Livi should have wrapped up the points on 76 minutes when Tiffoney latched on a short back pass and rounded Maxwell but, off balance, he could only prod an effort wide of target. Jacobs then replaced Lawless in Livi’s final change a minute later before Boyle replaced Melker Hallberg soon after.

Livi were still looking for a third and Jacobs fired a 20-yard effort straight at Maxwell on 83 minutes before leading a counter-attack two minutes later and teeing up Tiffoney but his first-time curler flew high over the bar. Sarkic then did well to hold on to a powerful effort from Horgan three minutes from time as Hibs searched for an equaliser.

The Lions looked as though they had done enough but were stunned in the second minute of added time as the home side grabbed a dramatic leveller when a ball was played over the top and the Livi defence seemed to switch off and allow Boyle to run clear and slot past Sarkic and break the Lions’ hearts.

Full-time: Hibernian 2-2 Livingston

Hibernian: Maxwell, James, Porteous, Hanlon, Stevenson, Middleton (Kamberi 45), Mallan, Hallberg (Boyle 80), Horgan, Allan, Doidge
Subs not used: Marciano, Vela, Newell, Jackson, Naismith
Goals: Allan (62 Pen), Boyle (90)

Livingston: Sarkic, Odoffin, McMillan, Guthrie, Lithgow, Bartley, Crawford, Pittman, Sibbald (Lamie 58), Lawless (Jacobs 76), Robinson (Tiffoney 66)
Subs not used: Stewart, Lawson, Stobbs
Goals: Lawless (38), Sibbald (41)

Referee: Gavin Duncan
Match Report: Andy Crawford
Photos: Rae Irvine


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