How Hibs were haunted by familiar demons in Dundee draw

Hibs were haunted by familiar demonds at Dens Park on Sunday – profligacy in front of goal and softness at the back.

Hibs debutant James Scott battles for the ball with Dundee defender Lee Ashcroft

Paul McGowan’s late header earned Dundee a point after an end-to-end game in the Tayside sunshine but in truth Hibs should have been out of sight by then.

The loss of Kevin Nisbet to illness and Joe Newell to a knock might have been tempered by the inclusion of James Scott, who completed a season-long loan move from Hull City on Friday, and the return to the starting line-up of Alex Gogic but Jack Ross’ side took a while to find their rhythm in the City of Discovery.

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Both teams started brightly, Martin Boyle and Jamie Murphy embarking on runs down the wings that came to nothing while at the other end Matt Macey saved well from Charlie Adam and Cummings.

Darren McGregor did well to pick out Scott with a long ball but the forward ran it out of play and from the resulting goal kick the Dark Blues took the lead. Max Anderson fluffed his lines from Adam’s cross but his touch carried the ball into the path of former Hibs striker Jason Cummings, who rolled it beyond Macey from close range.

Midway through the first period Macey was called into action again, throwing himself high to his left to beat away a Paul McMullan effort. Moments after debutant Scott got his first sight of goal, glancing a header just wide from Josh Doig’s cross.

Kyle Magennis was next to threaten, seeing his effort from Murphy’s cross blocked by the Dee defence. Doig then picked up a loose ball deep inside his own half and drove forward, evading challenge after challenge before slaloming into the box. His effort lacked power and again the home defence cleared their lines.

Seven minutes before the interval Hibs were presented with an opportunity to square the match after Christie Elliott bundled Murphy over in the box. Boyle duly dispatched the spot-kick sending Adam Legzdins the wrong way.

The visitors lost Paul McGinn to illness just after the restart with Lewis Stevenson coming on at right-back.

Scott appeared desperate to open his account, hitting a first-time effort just over the bar after Magennis had teed him up from Doig’s cross, and the on-loan forward then had an effort deflected wide for a corner.

From another set-piece Hibs went in front, Porteous arriving late to steer the visitors in front on the hour mark. Minutes later Macey was at full stretch to tip over an effort from Adam as Dundee sought a quick response.

Boyle flashed another effort just over after good work from Magennis but might have shot when he squared the ball for Murphy shortly after with Legzdins saving well.

It would prove to be a costly miss. Hibs will feel aggrieved at the award of a throw-in to Dundee that could have gone the other way, McMullan crossing for substitute Paul McGowan to plant a header beyond Macey. There may have been a hint of offside in the equaliser but more concerning is Hibs losing yet another soft goal from a cross.

Hibs could have sneaked it at the death but Gogic couldn’t convert from close range after Legzdins had saved from Boyle.

Dundee: Legzdins, Fontaine, McGhee, Byrne, Ashcroft, Elliott, McCowan, McMullan, Anderson, Adam, Cummings. Subs: Lawlor, Sweeney, McGowan, McDaid, Robertson, Panter.

Hibs: Macey, McGinn, McGregor, Porteous, Doig, Doyle-Hayes, Gogic, Magennis, Boyle, Murphy, Scott. Subs: Dabrowski, Stevenson, Mackay, Wright, Allan, Campbell, Gullan.

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