The result extends Hearts’ unbeaten run in the fixture to 12 games; however, Hibs will be satisfied to have restored a modicum of pride following the humiliation of May’s Scottish Cup final.
The celebratory mood in the away stand was dampened as the home side controlled the opening period of the match. Hibs had the first chance of note as David Wotherspoon got his head on the end of a Leigh Griffiths freekick, but Hearts’ Jamie MacDonald was able to hold.
Hibs debutant Gary Deegan caught David Templeton with a late tackle in the middle of the park and collected the first booking of the game as a result. Shortly after, Templeton was lucky to escape punishment for lunging out at James McPake in retaliation for a foul from the Hibernian skipper. The atmosphere intensified but returned to a simmer not long afterwards.
From the free-kick, Templeton’s powerful strike was well held by Hibs keeper’ Ben Williams.
Alan Maybury was at fault for Hearts’ goal as his short header back toward Williams was intercepted by Andy Driver, who duly nudged the ball past Williams and into an empty net to give the Jambos the lead.
Leigh Griffiths’ shot from an acute angle inside the left hand side of the Hearts box came back of the post as the Hibs striker sought to drag his team onto level terms six minutes before half time.
Just seconds later Griffiths did find the back of the net. Lewis Stevenson found Wotherspoon on the right flank before the winger cut inside and passed to Griffiths inside the box, the Hibs striker remained composed and prodded the goal through the on-rushing MacDonald’s legs to equalise.
Hearts’ main goal threat appeared to come from set-pieces and Ryan McGowan should have done better with a header from a corner in the early minutes of the second half.
Griffiths spurned an opportunity to put Hibs ahead as he miscued his shot after finding himself free in the box in the best chance of the second half.
Hibs’ chances of finding a winner deteriorated after their main goal threat, Griffiths, was forced off through injury with fifteen minutes remaining. Nonetheless, young striker Ross Caldwell forced a good save from MacDonald at the back post following a deep corner.
Neither side was able to find a winner in the closing phases and the game ended one-a-piece.
The home crowd – unsurprisingly low considering recent events – left a little disappointed that their team were unable claim all three points.
Hearts had been expected to win the match and can perhaps consider themselves fortunate to have earned a point. However, 12 games without defeat ensures that the city’s bragging rights will remain in Gorgie until the reverse fixture at Tynecastle.
Hibernian: Williams, Clancy, Hanlon, McPake, Maybury, Deegan, Cairney, Wotherspoon, Stevenson (Claros, 50’), Griffiths (Handling, 78’), Doyle (Caldwell, 68’).
Subs: Antell, O’Hanlon, Claros, Sproule, Stanton, Handling, Caldwell.
Hearts: MacDonald, McGowan, Barr, Webster, Zaliukas, McHattie, Paterson, Templeton, Driver (Novikovas, 67’), Robinson (Taouil, 58’), Sutton.
Subs: Ridgers, Grainger, McGowan, Taouil, Smith, Novikovas, Carrick.
Referee: Willie Collum