Hibee History: Wright stuff salvages a point against Gers
KEITH WRIGHT'S header salvaged a badly-needed point for Hibs, who had surrendered pole position in the race for Europe to Motherwell with woeful performances against Partick Thistle and Falkirk.
After seeing Rangers dominate the first half, in which they needed the post and a superb save from Jim Leighton to deny Gordon Durie, Hibs looked much more purposeful after the interval, and were actually enjoying their best spell of the match when disaster struck. Durie was allowed to run on after clearly fouling Graham Mitchell - a one poor decision by referee Bobby Tait - before slipping the ball inside for future Motherwell manager Stuart McCall to fire the ball in.
It was a crippling blow for Hibs who, like the visitors, had been ravaged by injury and suspension and, at that point, they looked in danger of suffering a second successive home defeat.
But, instead, they simply rolled up their sleeves and, with Wright returning to something like the form which makes him such a dangerous striker, they conjured up a goal, although Rangers boss Walter Smith would be unhappy with his defenders as Willie Miller fired in an inch-perfect cross for Wright to send a well-placed header beyond the helpless Ally Maxwell.
A point salvaged, then, but Hibs sensed victory could still be snatched and Joe Tortolano almost got the winner with a late header from a Darren Jackson cross - an effort which had keeper Ally Maxwell sprawling.
Hibs finished the season in third spot but it wasn't enough to secure European football with the final UEFA Cup spot going to shock League Cup winners Raith Rovers.
Hibs boss Alex Miller said: "I felt we thoroughly deserved a point for our second-half performance. We had a horrendous week with injuries and Kevin McAllister played despite the fact that he had only had one day's training - we simply had to play him.
"We allowed Rangers to dictate a bit in the first half, but in the second we pushed up tighter and started to get in behind them.
"Keith Wright will have received a massive boost from his goal and he showed the commitment and attitude needed. In previous weeks he has been feeling a bit down, but that was a bit like the old Keith Wright."