Scottish Premiership
Hibernian3Kilmarnock2

Hibernian 3-2 Kilmarnock - Florian Kamberi penalty seals win in Easter Road thriller

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Highlights: Hibernian 3-2 Kilmarnock

Florian Kamberi's penalty returned Hibernian to winning ways after an enthralling contest at Easter Road.

Stevie Mallan's sweet free-kick - his seventh goal of the season - gave Hibs the ideal start and David Gray's bullet header from a corner doubled the lead.

But Kilmarnock hit back impressively, Eamonn Brophy's back-heeled finish completing a fine team move before Greg Stewart curled home a crisp equaliser.

Kamberi's spot-kick earned Hibs the points after Jamie Maclaren was felled.

Victory - their first in the league since the opening-day - lifted Neil Lennon's side above their opponents and into fifth place, still seven points behind Edinburgh rivals Hearts.

This was only a third defeat in 14 games on the road for Kilmarnock, who might have secured a point but substitute Kris Boyd's late header was tipped over by Adam Bogdan.

Mallan the man for a free-kick

Mallan was asked on Friday about becoming known as a free-kick specialist. He said he would "embrace" that label, adding "you always want to be known for something. All the top players are known for certain traits".

Head coach Lennon set him a double-figure target for goals this season, but that will swiftly have to be revised with his sublime strike here - from around 27 yards - his seventh of the season, and his fourth direct from a free-kick.

The 22-year-old also spoke openly about his ambition to follow former team-mate John McGinn into the senior set-up, and his desire to score more goals from open play.

Mallan nearly added to his tally with another long-range effort in the first half that drifted narrowly wide, and was even closer with a similar strike early on the resumption.

Certainly national manager Alex McLeish will note the confidence coursing through the former St Mirren midfielder, who is flourishing again after a disappointing spell with Barnsley in the English Championship last season.

Stewart shows signs of old self

Another player enjoying a new lease of life is Stewart, who appears to be enjoying life at Kilmarnock after arriving on a season-long loan from Birmingham.

Stewart, 28, has had a couple of underwhelming seasons at first the Midlands club, and then on loan at Aberdeen last term.

But there were signs here of the form he showed in a productive spell at Dundee before his move south.

An early driving run saw him beat two players on the edge of the box before firing into the side-netting.

But he had a hand in the visitors' opener, his lay-off feeding the marauding Stephen O'Donnell, whose first-time cross was back-heeled over the line by Brophy.

Brophy might have had a second when Bogdan saved with his feet, but Stewart's equaliser was a thing of beauty, looking up and curling a sweet shot left-footed into the top corner.

Greg Stewart celebrates scoring for Kilmarnock
Greg Stewart scored for the second successive game for Kilmarnock

'Two serious contenders for goal of the season' - Analysis

BBC Scotland's John Barnes at Easter Road:

One former Hibs manager Bobby Williamson apparently said: "If you want entertainment, go to the cinema!" But today you really wanted to be at Easter Road - this was thoroughly entertaining.

Having produced an eight-goal thriller the last time they met in April, we were hoping for something similar and we weren't disappointed.

By the time we reached half-time, it seemed players were trying out-do each other for not just the best goal of the day, but the season.

We had two serious contenders for the latter with Mallan's free-kick setting the standard. The Hibs set-piece specialist then delivered the corner which Gray headed home for their second.

Killie's response was an excellent team goal finished by Brophy before Stewart side-stepped Steven Whittaker to curl a brilliant 22-yard shot into the top left-hand corner of Bogdan's net.

The second half showed the art of defending and counter-attacking as both sides looked for a winner. Wrong options were taken when through on goal, just to add to the drama.

But then came the controversial moment which led to Hibs' winner when referee John Beaton awarded them a penalty which on first look appeared incorrect.

It appeared to this observer that Jamie Maclaren actually kicked the back of Kirk Broadfoot's foot, but Hibs took full advantage to send the majority of the 17,622 crowd home happy.

'It was a soft penalty' - Reaction

Hibs head coach Neil Lennon was "very pleased" with what he felt was a "huge win" from "a high-quality game", featuring four "outstanding" goals, including Mallan's opener.

"His deliveries today were outstanding," Lennon told BBC Scotland. "His play in general was very good and the quality of his goal was magnificent."

"The first four goals were outstanding," he told BBC Scotland. "In the second half, we got control without being penetrative, but the subs made a big difference for us.

Lennon insisted his side deserved their winning penalty. "Jamie is the wrong side of him and gets his foot taken away," he added. "He has read it and he is just a clever player."

Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke disagreed with Lennon's assessment of the penalty.

"It was a soft penalty, no doubt about it," Clarke told BBC Scotland. "To lose to such a soft and dubious decision is disappointing. It looked to me as if Maclaren kicks Kirk on the Achilles, which would make it seem a strange award.

"To compound that, Efe Ambrose kicked Kirk in their box in injury-time and we didn't get that one, so it's a bad day for us.

"I felt we did enough in the first half to show we could have gone on to win. I certainly didn't expect to lose that game."

Line-ups

Hibernian

  • 31Bogdan
  • 2Gray
  • 25Ambrose
  • 36Porteous
  • 16Stevenson
  • 3WhittakerSubstituted forMilliganat 72'minutes
  • 7Horgan
  • 20HyndmanSubstituted forMaclarenat 72'minutes
  • 14Mallan
  • 10BoyleSubstituted forAgyepongat 45'minutes
  • 22Kamberi

Substitutes

  • 5Milligan
  • 8Slivka
  • 9Maclaren
  • 17Agyepong
  • 21Laidlaw
  • 24McGregor
  • 32Shaw

Kilmarnock

  • 1MacDonald
  • 2O'Donnell
  • 5Broadfoot
  • 17Findlay
  • 3TaylorSubstituted forBoydat 82'minutes
  • 29BurkeSubstituted forEnobakhareat 87'minutes
  • 6PowerBooked at 40mins
  • 27Tshibola
  • 11Jones
  • 19StewartSubstituted forByrneat 75'minutes
  • 25Brophy

Substitutes

  • 4Byrne
  • 9Boyd
  • 12Ndjoli
  • 15Enobakhare
  • 16Boyd
  • 20Wilson
  • 26Bachmann
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
17,622

Match Stats

Home TeamHibernianAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home11
Away8
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home5
Away7
Fouls
Home10
Away7

Live Text

Match ends, Hibernian 3, Kilmarnock 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Hibernian 3, Kilmarnock 2.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by David Gray.

Foul by Mark Milligan (Hibernian).

Aaron Tshibola (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Adam Bogdan.

Attempt saved. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Daryl Horgan.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Bright Enobakhare replaces Chris Burke.

Attempt saved. Eamonn Brophy (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Daryl Horgan (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Foul by Lewis Stevenson (Hibernian).

Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Florian Kamberi (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Aaron Tshibola (Kilmarnock).

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Kris Boyd replaces Greg Taylor.

Goal!

Goal! Hibernian 3, Kilmarnock 2. Florian Kamberi (Hibernian) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Penalty Hibernian. Jamie Maclaren draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Kirk Broadfoot (Kilmarnock) after a foul in the penalty area.

Foul by Florian Kamberi (Hibernian).

Greg Taylor (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Jack Byrne replaces Greg Stewart.

Attempt blocked. Thomas Agyepong (Hibernian) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Mark Milligan replaces Steven Whittaker.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Jamie Maclaren replaces Emerson Hyndman.

Attempt missed. Steven Whittaker (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Greg Taylor.

Attempt missed. Thomas Agyepong (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Hand ball by Aaron Tshibola (Kilmarnock).

Thomas Agyepong (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Aaron Tshibola (Kilmarnock).

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Stephen O'Donnell.

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Kirk Broadfoot.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by David Gray.

Chris Burke (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Daryl Horgan (Hibernian).

Attempt missed. Daryl Horgan (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Jamie MacDonald.

Attempt saved. Stephen Mallan (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Second Half

Second Half begins Hibernian 2, Kilmarnock 2.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hearts5500112915
2Celtic531152310
3Livingston531164210
4Rangers522110558
5Hibernian52219638
6St Johnstone52215508
7Kilmarnock52126427
8Aberdeen513145-16
9Motherwell511369-34
10St Mirren511339-64
11Hamilton510438-53
12Dundee5005211-90
View full Scottish Premiership table

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