Hibernian somehow let a two-goal lead slip to miss out on the chance to go top of the Scottish Premier League.

Eoin Doyle put the Edinburgh side ahead, knocking in the rebound after Ryan Esson had saved his initial shot.

David Wotherspoon doubled the lead with a spectacular effort from outside the Inverness penalty box.

But Conor Pepper handed Caley Thistle a lifeline before the break and Richie Foran grabbed a late equaliser to earn his side an unlikely point.

Doyle had given Hibs an early lead against Caley Thistle at Easter Road

Doyle had given Hibs an early lead against Caley Thistle at Easter Road

Hibs were utterly dominant until the visitors scored their first goal and will be left scratching their heads as to how they failed to win the match.

They were almost gifted an early goal as Josh Meekings typified Caley Thistle's start to the game, allowing a Wotherspoon ball into the box to run under his foot and just outside the post.

Pepper had been one of two 18-year-old strikers handed starts at Easter Road, the Caley Thistle man replacing suspended midfielder Owain Tudur Jones.

The other, Ross Caldwell, who came in for the injured Leigh Griffiths in Hibs' forward line, could do no more than fire into the side-netting after Doyle slid a perfectly-weighted pass into his path.

Having rarely ventured into Hibs' penalty area, Caley Thistle forced Ben Williams into a good save as Aaron Doran fired in from 22 yards, but Hibs were in front less than a minute later.

Doyle broke forward and drove into the box before unleashing a shot that was saved by Esson, only for the striker to react quicker than anyone to force the rebound past defender Andre Blackman on the line.

In complete contrast to the Hibs team of last season, this side was playing with supreme confidence and could have extended their advantage before half-an-hour was played as Paul Cairney fired in a shot that bounced to safety off Esson's left-hand post.

That confidence was perfectly illustrated moments later when Wotherspoon let the ball drop just outside the penalty area before unleashing a beautiful dipping shot that gave Esson no chance as it flew into the net.

Inverness somehow forced their way back into the match five minutes before the break when Alan Maybury was brushed off the ball by Pepper, who rifled in a powerful low shot that found its way to goal off Williams' right-hand post.

Almost unbelievably, Caley Thistle could have been level on the stroke of half-time but for a phenomenal Williams reflex save that denied Graeme Shinnie, who had headed goalwards from six yards.

The second half failed to match the first for intrigue and excitement until Eson kept his side in the match with a tremendous save to keep out a close-range McPake volley with 12 minutes left on the clock.

Caley Thistle were more competitive but scarcely tested Williams until the 80th minute when the keeper produced another astounding stop to keep out a Gary Warren shot, but he was helpless as Foran pounced to slam in the equaliser.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (4)

Hibernian

  • 01 Williams Booked
  • 02 Clancy
  • 04 Hanlon
  • 06 McPake Booked
  • 18 Maybury
  • 07 Deegan
  • 08 Claros
  • 11 Cairney Booked (Sproule - 87' )
  • 14 Wotherspoon
  • 10 Doyle
  • 29 Caldwell

Substitutes

  • 21 Antell
  • 03 McGivern
  • 16 Stevenson
  • 17 Sproule
  • 26 Stanton
  • 24 Handling
  • 32 Kuqi

Inverness Caledonian Thistle

  • 01 Esson
  • 02 Raven
  • 03 Shinnie
  • 05 Warren
  • 14 Meekings
  • 25 Blackman (Morrison - 59' )
  • 08 Draper
  • 10 Shinnie (McKay - 70' )
  • 22 Pepper Booked (Roberts - 71' )
  • 09 Foran
  • 17 Doran

Substitutes

  • 12 Reguero
  • 24 Brislen-Hall
  • 19 Morrison
  • 07 McKay
  • 16 Oswell
  • 23 Roberts
  • 32 Cooper
Ref: Norris
Att: 9,908

Match Stats

Shots

14 8

On target

8 6

Corners

8 9

Fouls

11 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:01 Full time

Full Time The match has reached full-time.

85:46

Ryan Esson restarts play with the free kick.

85:46 Substitution

Substitution Ivan Sproule joins the action as a substitute, replacing Paul Cairney.

85:46

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by David Wotherspoon from the right by-line, James McPake concedes a free kick for a foul on Gary Warren.

84:35

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by David Wotherspoon, Josh Meekings makes a clearance.

84:11

The ball is crossed by Aaron Doran.

83:23

Centre by Jorge Claros, Gary Warren manages to make a clearance. Gary Deegan has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses left.

81:58

David Wotherspoon takes the inswinging corner, Gary Warren makes a clearance.

81:41 Booking

Booking The referee books Ben Williams for dissent.

80:31

The assist for the goal came from Josh Meekings.

80:31 Goal scored

Goal! - Richie Foran - Hibernian 2 - 2 Inverness A goal is scored by Richie Foran from inside the six-yard box to the top right corner of the goal. Hibernian 2-2 Inverness CT.

80:04

Corner taken right-footed by Aaron Doran from the right by-line, clearance by Jorge Claros. The ball is crossed by Josh Meekings,

79:18

Foul by Gary Deegan on Billy McKay, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by David Raven.

78:51

Richie Foran takes a shot. Save by Ben Williams.

77:00

James McPake takes a shot. Ryan Esson makes a save. Corner taken by David Wotherspoon from the right by-line, clearance by Graeme Shinnie.

76:29

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Eoin Doyle by Graeme Shinnie. Direct free kick taken by David Wotherspoon.

75:43

The ball is swung over by Graeme Shinnie, clearance made by Alan Maybury.

74:15

Ross Draper gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alan Maybury. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from David Wotherspoon, save by Ryan Esson.

72:34

Outswinging corner taken by David Wotherspoon, clearance made by Gary Warren.

70:53 Substitution

Substitution Conor Pepper leaves the field to be replaced by Philip Roberts.

70:29

Ross Draper has an effort at goal from outside the area which goes wide right of the goal.

69:23 Substitution

Substitution Billy McKay on for Andrew Shinnie.

68:16

Corner taken right-footed by Aaron Doran from the right by-line, Tim Clancy makes a clearance.

67:23

A cross is delivered by Conor Pepper, save by Ben Williams. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Aaron Doran, Tim Clancy makes a clearance.

66:37

The official flags Eoin Doyle offside. Indirect free kick taken by Ryan Esson.

65:24

The assistant referee flags for offside against Andrew Shinnie. Ben Williams takes the free kick.

65:04

Ross Caldwell is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Ryan Esson.

64:13

Jorge Claros takes a shot. Save by Ryan Esson.

63:20

Eoin Doyle takes a shot. Ryan Esson makes a save.

62:42

Corner taken by Aaron Doran, Paul Hanlon manages to make a clearance.

62:08

Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Aaron Doran, clearance made by Paul Hanlon.

61:26

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Richie Foran by Paul Hanlon. Direct free kick taken by Gavin Morrison.

60:44

Gary Deegan takes a shot. Save by Ryan Esson.

59:34

Tim Clancy delivers the ball.

59:05

Corner taken by David Wotherspoon from the right by-line, clearance made by Graeme Shinnie.

58:03

Free kick taken by David Wotherspoon.

58:03 Substitution

Substitution Andre Blackman goes off and Gavin Morrison comes on.

58:03 Booking

Booking The referee books Conor Pepper for unsporting behaviour.

57:54

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alan Maybury by Conor Pepper.

54:12

The ball is swung over by David Wotherspoon, Ryan Esson makes a save.

53:22

The offside flag is raised against Richie Foran. Ben Williams restarts play with the free kick.

52:16

Free kick taken by Josh Meekings.

52:16 Booking

Booking Paul Cairney goes into the book.

52:00

Paul Cairney gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Conor Pepper.

50:56

Corner from right by-line taken by Graeme Shinnie.

50:10

The official flags Ross Caldwell offside. Ryan Esson takes the free kick.

47:50

Ross Caldwell produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.

47:16

Foul by Conor Pepper on Gary Deegan, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Paul Hanlon.

45:24

The ball is delivered by Andre Blackman.

45:01

The second half has started.

45:00 +0:50 Half time

Half Time The referee calls an end to the first half.

45:00 +0:10

The ball is swung over by Aaron Doran, Andrew Shinnie takes a shot. Save made by Ben Williams.

44:31

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Graeme Shinnie from the right by-line, Ben Williams makes a save.

44:09

The ball is swung over by Paul Cairney, clearance made by Gary Warren.

42:04

Graeme Shinnie takes the direct free kick.

42:04 Booking

Booking The referee books James McPake for unsporting behaviour.

42:01

Andrew Shinnie fouled by James McPake, the ref awards a free kick.

40:01

Eoin Doyle challenges Josh Meekings unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ryan Esson restarts play with the free kick.

38:56 Goal scored

Goal! - Conor Pepper - Hibernian 2 - 1 Inverness Conor Pepper fires in a goal from outside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Hibernian 2-1 Inverness CT.

37:51

Paul Hanlon challenges Richie Foran unfairly and gives away a free kick. David Raven takes the free kick.

37:17

Shot from long distance by Eoin Doyle goes wide of the left-hand upright.

33:22

Conor Pepper is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Ben Williams.

32:42

Ross Draper takes a shot. Save by Ben Williams.

30:56 Goal scored

Goal! - David Wotherspoon - Hibernian 2 - 0 Inverness David Wotherspoon scores a brilliant goal from 35 yards. Hibernian 2-0 Inverness CT.

29:32

Paul Cairney concedes a free kick for a foul on Graeme Shinnie. Graeme Shinnie delivers the ball, Headed effort from inside the area by Gary Warren misses to the right of the goal.

29:17

James McPake gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Richie Foran. Graeme Shinnie takes the direct free kick.

28:15

Paul Cairney takes a shot from outside the penalty box and strikes the post.

27:11

Unfair challenge on Paul Cairney by David Raven results in a free kick. David Wotherspoon takes the direct free kick.

25:42

Free kick awarded for a foul by Andre Blackman on Eoin Doyle. Paul Cairney delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing. Outswinging corner taken by Paul Cairney, clearance by Richie Foran.

23:19

Ross Caldwell takes a shot. Ryan Esson makes a save.

22:56 Goal scored

Goal! - Eoin Doyle - Hibernian 1 - 0 Inverness A goal is scored by Eoin Doyle from inside the box low into the middle of the goal. Hibernian 1-0 Inverness CT.

22:12

Aaron Doran takes a shot. Ben Williams makes a save.

21:32

Paul Hanlon produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.

20:38

Corner taken right-footed by David Wotherspoon to the near post, clearance made by David Raven.

18:31

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jorge Claros by Ross Draper. Paul Hanlon restarts play with the free kick.

17:55

Free kick awarded for a foul by Conor Pepper on Alan Maybury. Paul Hanlon restarts play with the free kick.

14:09

Gary Deegan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Aaron Doran. Graeme Shinnie takes the direct free kick.

11:43

Effort from inside the six-yard box by Ross Caldwell goes wide right of the target.

10:29

Graeme Shinnie fouled by David Wotherspoon, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Graeme Shinnie, blocked by Gary Deegan.

9:09

Andrew Shinnie delivers the ball.

7:46

Richie Foran challenges Tim Clancy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Tim Clancy takes the direct free kick.

7:20

The ball is swung over by David Wotherspoon.

5:40

Andrew Shinnie gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tim Clancy. James McPake takes the direct free kick.

2:32

Corner taken short by Aaron Doran. The ball is crossed by Aaron Doran, save by Ben Williams.

1:57

Corner taken left-footed by Graeme Shinnie from the right by-line, clearance by Tim Clancy.

0:00

The game begins.

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