Hibs staged a late fightback against 10-man Kilmarnock to rescue an unlikely point at Rugby Park.

Nick Montgomery's side looked on course for a fourth defeat in five games as an own goal from Dylan Vente and a Matty Kennedy strike left them with a mountain to climb. But a sensational strike from Joe Newell reduced the deficit before Myziane Maolida stepped off the bench to level with a classy finish from the edge of the box.

That followed Corrie N'Daba being shown a straight red card for wiping out Jair Tavares, and set up a potentially stirring finish. It almost got the ending the travelling support craved, but Christian Doidge saw a late header drift agonisingly wide.

Patrick McPartlin and Liam Bryce were in Ayrshire to provide the instant analysis. 

Emiliano shines

It took about five minutes of his first start for it to become clear Hibs have recruited a player of real quality in Emiliano. Despite hardly kicking a ball for over half a year, the on-loan Bournemouth playmaker was sharp as a tack, gliding away from Kilmarnock players as though they were made of thin air, and causing problems with smart use of the ball. His influence prompted an early tactical switch from Derek McInnes to close the spaces he was operating in, and that combined with the against-the-run-of-play Kilmarnock goal combined to throw Hibs massively off their stride. But as second-half spaces opened up, his class began to tell again, and he often looked one or two steps ahead of everyone else on the pitch. He might only be here for a few months, but it might just be worth building the team around while he is.

Liam Bryce

Fear of crosses

If Hibs could defend cross balls they'd probably have won this game. It remains a serious defiency in Montgomery's team, and not helped by the fact the players seem to know it, given the level of anxiety induced by deliveries into the box. The opening goal was a classic 'big man outmuscles smaller man at the back post' in the second phase following a corner, a tale as old as time in Scottish football. That can happen with players out of positions after set-pieces, but Hibs can do better in stopping the delivery altogether. The second goal was a prime example, with Armstrong again allowed to float one to the far side and Hibs failing to deal with it. 

Liam Bryce

Subs make an impact

There were some unkind words written about Myziane Maolida following his debut against Rangers in midweek but it’s worth remembering that not only had he been playing fourth-tier German football until late December, he was up against one of the best teams in the league and playing his first game in Scottish football. 

If it had been a surprise to see him start in midweek, it was less of a shock to see him named on the bench and Emi Marcondes promoted to the starting XI.

Nick Montgomery has repeatedly spoken about the importance of substitutes to his style of play, and the on-loan Hertha Berlin man was introduced shortly after Matty Kennedy made it 2-0 for Killie as one of three changes. His pace is a threat, as is his attacking intent - but even so, when he curled in the equaliser from the edge of the area, it did rather come out of nowhere. 

Fellow sub Rory Whittaker played a part in Joe Newell’s tremendous strike to reduce the deficit, his half-cleared cross sitting up nicely for the midfielder. 

And Christian Doidge came oh-so-close to a winner for Hibs when his header from Paul Hanlon’s cross wasn’t far wide of the post. 

As Montgomery gets more players back from injury, not only will he have a selection headache for the first time in a long time, but he will also have a well-stocked bench capable of making an impact in games. With five subs available, the prospect for turning games on their head, when required, is an intriguing one.

Patrick McPartlin

Youan frustrates 

Élie Youan’s stats for this season so far do not lie. Nine goals and six assists from 30 games going into this match at Rugby Park is a decent return from a player who has, on occasion, popped up with some vital goals at important points in matches. See Hearts away in October, or Motherwell at Easter Road on January 2. 

He is the type of player who commands a place in the starting team purely on the off-chance that he might do something brilliant. But without the moment of magic he can be a frustrating, peripheral figure. 

The problem for Nick Montgomery is that he has no one else with the same skillset as Youan. With Martin Boyle away on international duty, Myziane Maolida still getting up to speed, Jair Tavares not as productive as Youan, and Emiliano Marcondes more of a central figure the Frenchman’s input is vital. 

But he was hooked before the hour mark against Kilmarnock, his most notable contributions a drive that flew well over Kieran O’Hara’s bar, and a clipped effort at the near post that sailed harmlessly wide.  Simply put, Hibs need more from the former Nantes youngster. It’s been clear since last season that he is a streaky player, and perhaps there’s a way of getting more out of him in the set-up. But it is also clear that he needs to bring more himself. He has the ability and the talent and yes, if he could put it all together, he wouldn’t be at Hibs. But he is capable of more and perhaps with Myziane breathing down his neck, he will find that extra gear.