This time there was no debate or controversy as Oli Shaw scored for Hibs, just embarrassment for Kilmarnock goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald.
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Three days after the 19-year-old was cruelly denied a legitimate goal in the Edinburgh derby stalemate with Hearts, Shaw’s gift-wrapped effort secured a point for the hosts yesterday in a game they were frustrated not to win.
“I made sure it went over the line this time,” said Shaw.
“It was good to get the goal. I was a wee bit fortunate but they all count.
“I got told before the game to hang on their keeper and if he spilled anything, to be sharp.
“Thankfully I was there to tap it in.”
The goal came after a sustained spell of Hibs pressure in the wake of Kilmarnock’s early opener. The visitors had administered the first telling blow in only 69 seconds when Kris Boyd, demonstrating trademark poise, recorded his 211th top flight goal – moving above Hearts great Jimmy Wardhaugh to fourth in the all-time standings.
The forward made his presence felt as Hibs defender Paul Hanlon failed to deal with a long punt forward and, after taking in Chris Burke’s lay-off, Boyd’s sumptuous left-footed effort glanced off the inside of the far post before nestling in Ofir Marciano’s net. It was a momentary shock to the system for Hibs head coach Neil Lennon and his players. However, they regained their composure as MacDonald lost his.
After Danny Swanson wasted a great chance to level with a close range effort he pulled inches wide, the hosts equalised in the 24th minute.
MacDonald misjudged the trajectory of John McGinn’s corner and spilled the ball as he stretched back towards his goal to try and collect the cross.
Shaw could not believe his luck and was left with the simple task of tapping the ball into the net.
A promising counter-attack led by Swanson then came to nothing in the 32nd minute, the move ending with the playmaker’s shot being deflected wide. Hibs also dominated the second half but were left frustrated by Kilmarnock’s disciplined defensive shape.
A Martin Boyle volley from the edge of the area ruffled the top netting before John McGinn saw a rising drive from 25 yards glance off the top of the bar.
A fruitful run of four wins from an undefeated six-game period has ensured that Kilmarnock will finish 2017 in sixth place in the Premiership at St Johnstone’s expense.
However, Clark fears a slow start to the season under predecessor Lee McCulloch will continue to haunt his side.
Clark said: “There’s still a long way to go and results today make sure you’re always looking over your shoulder in this league because it’s very difficult to move away from the bottom when you’ve only picked up three points from the first eight games.
“I think we’ll suffer for that for the rest of the season.”
Hibs assistant head coach Garry Parker, meanwhile, confirmed that the Edinburgh side are on the verge of signing Dundee goalkeeper Scott Bain as the Easter Road men finished 2017 in fourth place.
The Scotland squad player has not played for the Dens Park side since October following a row with Dundee manager Neil McCann.
Parker said: “He has been in talks because we have only one fit goalkeeper just now.
“So it will be competition for Ofir Marciano and that’s good. That’s what you need at this level.
“Ofir will need to be on his toes.”