Scottish Championship
HibernianHibernian2FalkirkFalkirk2

Hibernian 2-2 Falkirk

By Tom EnglishBBC Scotland

Ten-man Falkirk came from behind with two goals in the closing minutes to snatch a dramatic draw with Hibernian.

Third-top Hibs looked on their way to victory with Jason Cummings goals early in the first half and then again, from a penalty, with nine minutes remaining.

The visitors already had Aaron Muirhead red-carded with 16 minutes left.

The second-top Bairns' comeback was stunning, starting with David McCracken's header and completed by another header from sub Bob McHugh.

Against all odds, Peter Houston's team remain six points clear of Hibs, albeit having played two more games than Alan Stubbs' side.

This was a game that Hibs had to win, not just because they needed to eat into Falkirk's advantage over them in the battle for second place - and the avoidance of those extra play-off games.

But also for Scottish Cup semi-final reasons. Hibs needed some feel-good ahead of that meeting with Dundee United at Hampden on Saturday.

All they got was a sucker-punch.

Jason Cummings scores the opener for Hibs
Jason Cummings pounced on a mistake by David McCracken

They got off to a perfect start. For Hibs, Cummings' opener was a joy. For Falkirk, a total calamity.

A harmless punt downfield became a nightmarish spectacle for McCracken and his goalkeeper. Their breakdown in communication led to the defender heading past Danny Rogers as he was charging from his goal.

The ball trickled goalwards, Cummings helping it on its way. It was going in anyway, but with just one goal in eight games, Cummings was hardly going to shepherd it to the line. Instead, he rifled it into the net.

There was an aggression in the game that reflected the stakes on offer. Lusty tackles flew in, some clumsy, some cynical, some that could have brought a red card instead of a yellow long before Muirhead walked.

There were a couple of penalty appeals from Hibs that provoked anger when they were waved away. Then a row broke out. It wasn't the last one either.

Hibs were well on top, Falkirk an attacking let-down in that opening half. The home team, in truth, should have doubled their lead before the break, but Anthony Stokes wasted a headed chance from three yards out.

Stubbs' side continued to create the chances, but when Falkirk got it together there was an anxiety in that Hibs defence that was obvious and that would haunt them for a finish.

Bob McHugh stoops to equalise for Falkirk
Bob McHugh headed Falkirk's equaliser with minutes remaining

McHugh went painfully close to equalising midway through the second half, but goalkeeper Mark Oxley was in the right place to deny him.

When Muirhead got a second yellow for a daft tackle on John McGinn, it looked like lights out for Falkirk, a feeling that intensified when Cummings scored again.

Falkirk complained bitterly about that penalty decision, given against McCracken for a foul on Paul Hanlon.

It looked desperately harsh, but their fury fell on deaf ears. Crawford Allan, the referee, was having none of it. Neither was Cummings. He smashed his shot into the roof of Rogers' net.

McCracken's frenetic night continued when he sparked the comeback three minutes from the end.

Hibs' defensive frailties were exposed in that moment. Their inability to deal with a delivery into their penalty area cost them one goal and then, incredibly, another when McHugh seized on the chance and levelled it.

All of this was played out in front of the delirious Falkirk supporters. Hibs fans, by contrast, were hushed, much like their shell-shocked team.

Line-ups

Hibernian

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Oxley
  • 2GraySubstituted forGunnarssonat 46'minutes
  • 24McGregorBooked at 75mins
  • 4Hanlon
  • 16Stevenson
  • 17Boyle
  • 8Fyvie
  • 6BartleyBooked at 13minsSubstituted forThomsonat 89'minutes
  • 18McGinnBooked at 42minsSubstituted forHendersonat 83'minutes
  • 28Stokes
  • 35Cummings

Substitutes

  • 3Henderson
  • 14Handling
  • 19Keatings
  • 27Gunnarsson
  • 29Dagnall
  • 30Thomson
  • 32Virtanen

Falkirk

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Rogers
  • 4MuirheadBooked at 74mins
  • 5McCracken
  • 6Vaulks
  • 3LeahyBooked at 81mins
  • 8Alston
  • 7TaiwoBooked at 31minsSubstituted forMillerat 45'minutesBooked at 64mins
  • 11KerrBooked at 76mins
  • 10Sibbald
  • 9BairdSubstituted forMcHughat 65'minutes
  • 22HippolyteSubstituted forO'Haraat 89'minutes

Substitutes

  • 13Maybury
  • 17Smith
  • 18Miller
  • 19McHugh
  • 23Shepherd
  • 28Mehmet
  • 30O'Hara
Referee:
Crawford Allan
Attendance:
10,277

Match Stats

Home TeamHibernianAway TeamFalkirk
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home10
Away5
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home9
Away2
Fouls
Home13
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Hibernian 2, Falkirk 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Hibernian 2, Falkirk 2.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Kevin Thomson (Hibernian).

  4. Post update

    Lee Miller (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Goal!

    Goal! Hibernian 2, Falkirk 2. Robert McHugh (Falkirk) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Will Vaulks.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Kevin Thomson replaces Marvin Bartley.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Falkirk. Kevin O'Hara replaces Myles Hippolyte.

  8. Goal!

    Goal! Hibernian 2, Falkirk 1. David McCracken (Falkirk) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Mark Kerr.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Niklas Gunnarsson (Hibernian).

  10. Post update

    Lee Miller (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Post update

    Martin Boyle (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Luke Leahy (Falkirk).

  13. Post update

    Foul by Marvin Bartley (Hibernian).

  14. Post update

    Lee Miller (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Liam Henderson replaces John McGinn.

  16. Goal!

    Goal! Hibernian 2, Falkirk 0. Jason Cummings (Hibernian) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the top left corner.

  17. Booking

    Luke Leahy (Falkirk) is shown the yellow card.

  18. Post update

    Penalty Hibernian. Paul Hanlon draws a foul in the penalty area.

  19. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Luke Leahy (Falkirk) after a foul in the penalty area.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Lee Miller.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers32254383275679
2Falkirk341812458322666
3Hibernian32186850321860
4Raith Rovers33167104642455
5Morton33119133838042
6Queen of Sth33115174151-1038
7St Mirren33108153848-1038
8Dumbarton3296173057-2733
9Livingston3377193547-1228
10Alloa3346231863-4518
View full Scottish Championship table

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