The forward knocking the ball against the post from only a couple of yards was quickly followed by Daizen Maeda claiming a debut strike for the home side, and Maloney recognised the pivotal nature of those contrasting fortunes for the two front men.
However, on a night when Hibs became the first team domestically to upsurp Celtic for possession across 90 minutes, Maloney said that Hibs sticking at it despite being two-own midway through the first period meant he could be “anything but really proud” of his players. With Nisbet given his backing.
“That was a big moment,” he said of the Scotland international’s early aberration. “And sometimes in these games, those are the fine margins which have an impact. But I can’t say too much about Kevin because he’s been excellent since I’ve been here. He was probably the difference for us against Dundee United.
“In those moments sometimes strikers take them and sometimes they don’t. I’m pretty sure in the next game against Cove [Rangers in the Scottish Cup on Thursday] he’ll be in exactly the same position and he has the quality to take it.”