There’s simply no easy way to work out just what happened at Tynecastle yesterday.

Maybe we should just start expecting the unexpected with Hibs this season, as Saturday’s drama in Gorgie served up both frustration and exhilaration. Nick Montgomery’s players could hardly have produced two more different halves of football if they tried, but at least they delivered them in the most palatable order for the 3000 who crammed into the Roseburn Stand.

Angst away at Hearts is no surprise to them, but still they would not have expected a team which has been so imposing in their style under a new manager to trundle so meekly out of the traps. It made the 82 seconds of bedlam that followed in the second-half just as startling, but this time in the best possible way.

It was so unexpected because, for 65 minutes, Hibs had offered little to no encouragement that it was possible. Winless at this venue since 2019, a 2-0 deficit against a side which looked eminently comfortable felt like too much to claw back.

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And then there was the fact that it had been three years and seven months since any Hibs side found the fortitude to recover from two goals down. It’s little wonder Tynecastle switched straight into party mode when Alex Lowry’s drive across the box was diverted haplessly into the net by Christian Doidge. But what transpired next calls to mind the words of Mixu Paatelainen, speaking to the Hibs Observer on the eve of the derby, which now feel rather prescient.

“The game consists of thousands and thousands of tiny situations,” he explained. “Situations where if you get the upper hand, it can be the decisive action.”

Hibs needed one of those situations to turn in their favour. In the end, several did.

The first was the introduction of Adam Le Fondre for Doidge. Montgomery’s team had lacked any sort of control in the game, with Hearts’ numerical advantage in midfield ensuring they enjoyed the bulk of possession and territory. Le Fondre’s arrival was imminent even before the second goal, but it made the need for a telling impact all the more desperate.

So much of what the 36-year-old does is subtle in its effectiveness. He picks up pockets of space others wouldn’t, makes decisions that seem simple yet so often aren’t in the stifling heat of derby battle. Post-match, Montgomery felt his side found a sense of calm as the second-half wore on, and there’s every chance he specifically had Le Fondre in mind.

The general thrust of the contest shifted slightly, but still the visitors needed more. It will, therefore, amuse the Hibs fans no end that Hearts decided to give them a helping hand. Steven Naismith’s introduction of an extra defensive midfielder in Beni Baningime, at the expense of the influential Alex Lowry, inevitably changed the dynamic.

Hibs were suddenly enjoying more of the ball, and if you allow this team a platform to build, their weight of numbers – and talent – in attack will cause certain issues. Still, Youan’s first was a bolt from the blue, pouncing on defensive uncertainty with the finish of a man who had been told there was a seat on the bench awaiting him if he didn’t get his act together.

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It’s always fascinating to watch the feel of a game shift in real-time, and it became so clear, so quickly, that a Hibs side who had looked rather jaded were now brimming with energy. That energy turned to utter bedlam in the away end when Youan struck again, ruthlessly punishing a Toby Sibbick error with a composed finish.

There’ll be a more than a few Hibs fans with bumped and bruised shins when they emerged from the sea of bodies, yet somehow I don’t think too many will mind. It wasn’t the Tynecastle victory they so badly crave, but it’s a result being viewed in the context that past iterations of this Hibs side may just have capitulated at 2-0 down.

The manner of their revival has fostered a tentative sense that maybe Montgomery is building a side made of sterner stuff. It certainly takes a certain amount of fortitude to respond in the way they did yesterday, which can only be encouraging for supporters.

The tentative first-half, though, provides the crucial caveat that this very much remains a work in progress, one that Montgomery now has some valuable time to fine-tune over the international break – they never come at a good time, do they?

Mind you, it might just everyone involved yesterday the full two weeks to catch their breath.