Dhanda’s 99th-minute leveller rescues draw for Ross County

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Dhanda’s 99th-minute leveller rescues draw for Ross County

Yan Dhanda scored a last-gasp equaliser as relegation-threatened Ross County secured a 2-2 draw against Hibernian in the cinch Premiership.

The Staggies had gone in front in the 43rd minute through Josh Sims, who was left with a tap-in at the back post from Simon Murray’s cross, but Hibs powered back through goals from Myziane Maolida and then Adam Le Fondre.

That was not all, though, as in the ninth minute of added time Dhanda popped up to convert Murray’s cross and salvage a point for the hosts in Dingwall.

County had what looked like a golden opportunity to break the deadlock in the first half when they got a three-on-one advantage inside the Hibs half.

Yan Dhanda scored a 99th-minute equaliser to earn Ross County a vital point in their bid to avoid relegation

Image: Yan Dhanda scored a 99th-minute equaliser to earn Ross County a vital point in their bid to avoid relegation

Sims, however, could not pick out Eamonn Brophy in the middle – a moment that summed up the goal threat in the match to that point.

Hibernian suffered a blow when Lewis Miller was forced off through injury around 10 minutes before the interval, but they tried not to let that hamper them, with Will Fish sending the next attempt at goal wide of the mark before Maolida forced George Wickens to dive to his right to keep the ball away from goal.

Just a couple of minutes before the interval, though, the Staggies stole the lead.

Murray’s cross was initially aimed towards Connor Randall, but when David Marshall came out to try and collect it the ball flew past everyone to Sims, who was left with a tap-in at the back post.

The advantage was relatively short-lived, with Hibs pulling back level within 10 minutes of the restart.

Elie Youan slipped Maolida through on goal, and much like in the last match between the two sides he made no mistake in slotting past Wickens.

The visitors dominated possession in the second half, making it difficult for County to reply, and so it was perhaps no surprise when Hibs took the lead in the 77th minute.

Jordan Obita put in an inch perfect cross for substitute Le Fondre, who duly converted at the back post.

There was one final twist in the tale though as, with practically the last kick of the ball, Dhanda announced his return from injury by finding the bottom corner.

Cowie: That point could be invaluable

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Ross County interim boss Don Cowie was frustrated his side couldn’t get the win over Hibs but knows a point could be crucial in the run-in, with County currently in the relegation play-off spot.

Ross County interim manager Don Cowie:

“It backs up what I already know about the character of the group.

“It looked like the game had got away from us, but you have to keep going. That point could be invaluable come the end of the season.

“We’re disappointed to let our lead slip from half-time, but we showed great character to get a point in the end.

“That’s the last three home games where I’ve felt comfortable at half-time, so it’s something I’ve got to look at.

“Naturally the opposition is going to respond, but we need to be ready for that and we need to get better at that.”

Montgomery: Hibs should have won that – it’s frustrating

Hibernian head coach Nick Montgomery:

“We just lost two points we shouldn’t have lost. We dominated the game in the second half and got back into the game, and should have won it.

“A Ross County defender heads it out for our throw-in. I think everyone can see that, and their defender starts heading backwards – but somehow they pick up another ball 10 yards down the pitch, throw it back in and we concede.

“We have to pick out several moments for not defending that, but we lose two points and it’s really disappointing and frustrating.

“We have to be responsible for not defending our box, even though we should not have had to.

“We should be good enough to win anyway, but we also should not have to defend the throw-in.

“We’ve got another game before the international break at home, so we’ll prepare for that now and aim to get three points on Saturday.”

What’s next?

Ross County’s next Scottish Premiership match is at home to Hearts on Saturday, while Hibs host Livingston; both games kick off at 3pm.

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