Lawrence Shankland netted his 16th goal of the season in stunning fashion to secure a 1-0 Edinburgh derby win for Hearts deep into stoppage time at Easter Road.
Having missed a penalty earlier in the match, the Hearts Captain had the last laugh as his exquisite strike made sure that Steven Naismith’s side took the Capital City bragging rights from a game low on quality but high on drama.
Hibs had a chance of their own from the spot but Martin Boyle also failed to convert as Nick Montgomery’s side slip eight points behind their city rivals.
The was a fierce atmosphere prior to kick off under Easter Road lights with both outfits looking to gift their fans a late Christmas present.
The visitors were gifted an opportunity to take the lead with the game barely 3 minutes old when VAR spotted a Rocky Bushiri hand ball inside the area. Shankland stepped up looking to make it 16 out of 16 successful penalties for his side but he crashed his effort against the post.
Nick Montgomery’s men were then presented with a spot kick of their own after Dylan Vente’s shot cannoned off of the hand of Kye Rowles and referee John Beaton was left with no choice but to point to the spot. Boyle looked to do what his Hearts counterpart couldn’t moments earlier, but he two was denied by the post, this time via a smart save by Zander Clark.
Boyles missed penalty was to be only shot on target in the first half and after a frantic start the game settled in as the clock ticked towards half time, with Jair Tavares’ dipping strike over the bar the last chance of a goalless first half.
Worryingly for the home crowd they then saw Josh Campbell stretched off the park seven minutes after the re-start, he was replaced by Elie Youan who was looking to add to his three Premiership goals this season – two of which came in the previous clash between the pair.
Hibs had the next real opportunity of the match when Martin Boyle’s ball across the box found Dylan Vente but the forward choked his effort into the ground before Zander Clark comfortably batted it away
The Hearts goalkeeper was tested again with 10 minutes left as he stood up well to Youan’s effort from the edge of the area, before Shankland had a shot similarly beaten away by David Marshall at the other end minutes later.
The Hearts skipper would have the final say on derby day though as made up for his early penalty miss by netting a stunning winner deep into stoppage time. He out-muscled Rocky Bushiri before bending a left footed effort into the top corner to send the points home with the Jambos fans and perhaps more pertinently bragging rights over their city rivals.