07 Feb Hearts 2-2 Hibs: Last gasp Hanlon goal forces replay
Paul Hanlon’s last gasp equaliser earned Hibs a Scottish Cup replay after a 2-2 draw with Hearts in the Edinburgh derby.
Arnaud Djoum opened the scoring with a terrific right-foot drive and Sam Nicholson doubled the hosts lead before the break.
But Hibs staged an incredible fight back as Jason Cummings gave them a foothold in the game with a looping header.
And Hanlon completed the comeback sliding in from close range to level the scores after Darren McGregor’s header was saved.
Hibs started brightly and had the ball in the back of the net after only five minutes but Cummings’ celebrations were cut short as he was adjudged to be offside – though it looked as though he was on.
The action on the park failed to live up to the hype of an eagerly anticipated Edinburgh derby.
It was more blood and thunder than ‘salt n sauce’; more perspiration than inspiration misplaced passes, poor touches and tackles littered the play in the opening half hour.
But Djoum’s stunning strike ignited this Cup clash and gave Hearts the advantage.
Stevenson’s unorthodox clearance fell kindly to Djoum and he arrowed a shot into the corner for his fourth of the season.
That galvanised Robbie Neilson’s men and they added a second shortly before the break.
Callum Paterson’s delivery was neatly taken down on the chest by Nicholson before the winger rifled a low effort beyond Oxley.
It was 2-0 and perhaps worryingly for Hibs, Hearts looked comfortable and could shift through the gears but to their credit Alan Stubbs’ side looked more threatening in the second half and the question of ‘bottle’ certainly couldn’t be levelled here as they battled back.
Tempers threatened to boil over with referee Craig Thomson handing out a flurry of yellow cards following a melee which ensued after McGregor caught Nicholson with a high boot.
Hearts sat off their opponents which allowed Hibs to come more into the game with substitute Gunnarsson, Henderson and Stokes all coming close.
And Cummings gave the visitors a lifeline with a terrific looping header from Henderson’s delivery.
That lifted the Leith outfit who sensed an equaliser and Stevenson almost provided it but shot straight at Alexander before McGinn dragged his shot wide.
But they finally pulled level when Hanlon slid in from close range to fire home to send the visiting support into raptures.
And the replay was confirmed after some desperate defending, with Thomson clearing off the line from Augustyn’s header in the dying seconds.