Stanton rescues late Hibs point
Sam Stanton rescued what could prove to be a priceless point for 10-man Hibernian as they recorded a 1-1 draw against Partick Thistle.
The talented forward headed in an 88th-minute equaliser to secure a share of the spoils that leaves both teams two points clear of the Premiership relegation play-off place.
Partick went ahead against the run of play after eight minutes when Kris Doolan got a lucky break of the ball to score past Ben Williams.
Jags keeper Paul Gallacher kept his side's lead intact in the first half with a series of stunning saves and the points looked to be heading back to Maryhill when Hibs defender Michael Nelson was shown a second yellow card after 80 minutes.
But Stanton levelled for the hosts with two minutes remaining when he headed in from close range to end a barren run of six-straight defeats.
Hibs made a bright start and gave plenty of encouragement to a vociferous home crowd as they had the visitors pegged back. But the Jags stormed ahead against the run of play as the hosts defensive deficiencies were exposed again in the eighth minute.
Kallum Higginbotham flicked a pass to the unmarked Doolan inside the box and - although his initial effort was blocked by goalkeeper Ben Williams - the ball rebounded off the striker and bounced into the net despite Alan Maybury's desperate attempts to keep it out.
Thistle carved Hibs open again in the 16th minute with a counter-attacking move that involved Higginbotham, James Craigen and Doolan, and ended with Bannigan's shot from inside the area being blocked by Lewis Stevenson's outstretched leg.
It was end-to-end and Hibs responded with an attack of their own but Cummings just missed the target at the front post after getting his head onto Alex Harris' cross.
Thistle goalscorer Doolan was forced off after 19 minutes with an apparent shoulder injury with Lyle Taylor replacing him.
Jags had Gallacher to thank for keeping their slender lead intact with a hat-trick of stunning saves.
The former Scotland internationalist first pushed away a fierce Craig effort from distance in the 19th minute. Gallacher then made a great reflex block to keep out Michael Nelson's powerful drive as the Jags struggled to clear Kevin Thomson's corner.
The ball was still alive, however, and Craig headed an effort off the post from a tight angle, with the visitors happy to concede another corner.
The initial delivery from the set-piece came to nothing but Nelson was denied by a world-class save by Gallacher as the goalkeeper somehow managed to get his fingertips to the defender's header from Harris' cross.
Hibs defender Ryan McGivern then glanced a header just wide from another Thomson corner three minutes before the break.
A Hibs counter in first-half injury time had Thistle in a panic but Cummings had a shot charged down before Stanton sent a deflected half-volley agonisingly wide.
The Jags then broke free from Hibs' own corner but Chris Erskine's tame close-range effort was saved by Williams after being teed up by Taylor.
Thistle created the first meaningful chance after the break but Taylor's effort from distance was deflected just wide by McGivern.
Hibs did much of the pressing but Thistle continued to look a threat on the break. Craigen had an ambitious shot from 50 yards that flew over the bar after goalkeeper Williams ran out of his box to make a clearance.
An intricate passing move just inside the Jags area left Lewis Stevenson with plenty room to spray a teasing ball across the six-yard box but there were no takers.
Hibs goalkeeper Williams got down well to Jags substitute Christie Elliott's low drive inside the area in the 80 minute.
The home side's woes were compounded seconds later when Nelson was shown a second yellow card for bringing down Taylor after team-mate McGivern had initially given possession away.
Hibs captain Craig was presented with a chance to draw his team level with a free-kick in a central position on the edge of the box but Gallacher pushed his fierce drive away.
Against the odds Hibs equalised in the 88th minute through Stanton. McGivern's diagonal ball was met by Collins and the striker teed up Stanton to nod past Gallacher from close range.