in Match Reports September 15, 2018
Killie returned from the capital full of a sense of frustration and disappointment after a first-half comeback came to nothing.
A contentious penalty dispatched by Florian Kamberi proved to be the winner after the two teams had served up another thrilling match, especially in the opening 45 minutes.
Steve Clarke kept faith with the same starting XI which secured a 2-0 triumph at Aberdeen with Deadline Day signings Jack Byrne and Bright Enobakhare earning spots on the bench.
Despite a promising start, we found ourselves behind after Aaron Tshibola was penalised for a tackle just outside the box. Stevie Mallan dispatched a fine strike over the wall and past Jamie MacDonald to give the hosts the lead.
Lifted by that opening strike, Hibs soon doubled their advantage from a corner. Stevie Mallan drove the ball in with pace and David Gray found space to plant a firm header into the corner of the net to leave the visitors stunned.
Rather than shy away from the challenge, Clarke’s side embraced it and found a way back into the game soon after. Some lovely interplay released Stephen O’Donnell down the right and his cut back was perfect for Eamonn Brophy to prod the ball through Adam Bogdan’s legs and into the net.
The visiting support roared with delight and they had more to cheer just before the interval. Greg Stewart cut inside on his left foot and he unleashed a fierce curling effort past Bogdan to cap a fine comeback.
Goals were harder to come by in the second period with both sides looking more dangerous on the counter attack with a mixture of mistakes and caution gripping each team.
In the end a penalty kick awarded by referee John Beaton would prove to be a key talking point. Kirk Broadfoot stretched to intercept a diagonal through ball with Jamie MacLaren claiming he had been brought down.
Florian Kamberi took responsibility and found the corner past the dive of MacDonald to restore the home team’s lead and leave Killie with a whole load of work to do again.
Byrne and Enobakhare were introduced for their Killie debuts while fellow sub Kris Boyd forced Bogdan to produce an acrobatic save with minutes to spare following a deflected header.
Now playing a 3-5-2 formation, Killie threw everything at the opposition in the closing stages but were denied a penalty of our own when Broadfoot appeared to be clipped by Efe Ambrose.
Beaton waved away those appeals to signal the end of our hopes of taking anything from the match.
Kilmarnock: MacDonald; O’Donnell, Broadfoot, Findlay, Taylor (K.Boyd); Power, Tshibola, Burke (Enobakhare), Jones, Stewart (Byrne), Brophy