Should Kris Commons return to Celtic upon the expiry of his emergency month-long loan contract on 15 January, his secondment to Hibernian is likely to be remembered for his winning thunderbolt against Falkirk.
He exhibited the kind of ferocious ball-striking technique that has made him such a favourite with the Celtic supporters in his five and a half years at Parkhead.
In the 87th minute and with Hibs staring at the genuine prospect of failing to win a fourth match from five Championship outings, Commons assumed immediate responsibility for a promising dead-ball opportunity in a central position just outside the box.
He fathomed that brute power rather than placement was the required weapon for breaching Falkirk’s bulwark and, striking with his left-foot, the ball pierced the porous wall with such velocity that though the effort was well within reach, goalkeeper Danny Rogers had no chance of reacting in time.
Commons wheeled away to take the acclaim of the 2,000 away supporters and Hibs secured a 2-1 victory that propelled them back to the summit ahead of Dundee United.
“I was aiming for heads and was hoping they were going to move, and they did,” said Commons. “For me, being in a wall myself, if anyone hits the ball towards my head, I’m ducking.
“So it takes a brave man to stand there when I hit it that hard to take one in the face.So I just went on instinct to hit it as hard as I could.”
A wonderful strike but Commons says he could have caught it even better.
“When I came off they asked me if I shanked it,” added the 33-year-old, after his first goal since scoring for Celtic in January last year.
“I didn’t catch it as clean as I would have wanted it. I actually wanted to hit it a little bit more to the keeper’s left, but looking at it on video, it looks like a wee cracker.”
Commons has two games left for Hibs: Friday’s top of the table visit of Dundee United and the 14 January trip to Dumbarton.
If attempts are made between the two clubs to extend his stay, it appears that Commons would be receptive. He added: “I’m loving it. It’s good just to meet such a great bunch of guys whose feet are on the ground and who want to work hard.
“For me, it’s a perfect fit because these boys want to win week-in and week-out and I’ve had that for six years at Celtic.”
Craig Sibbald gave Falkirk the lead, scrambling in an effort from close range after goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw had made a point-blank reaction save to deny the midfielder.
The hosts’ advantage lasted just 90 seconds. Commons crossed for Jason Cummings and the striker swept a first-time shot into the corner of the net.
The Bairns, who remain fourth, are now 12 points adrift of Hibs but remain on course to realise their objective of finishing in the play-offs.
Sibbald, however, is not ready to throw in the towel on their title aspirations.
He said: “They are up there as one of the best teams in the league, that’s why they’re top of the league although there are other teams that can compete with them, including ourselves if we get a run going.
“We can easily catch them so we need to keep plugging away.”