BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Hibs striker Jason Cummings admits Saturday’s breathless 1-1 draw against Falkirk represented a “missed opportunity” – nevertheless he believes the result could prove to be a precious point.
In the context of Rangers’ sloppy draw against Morton, the capital club, on paper, blew a wonderful opportunity to cut the gap at the summit of the Championship to a solitary point.
However, given the circumstances of a fascinating contest, most notably John McGinn’s 43th-minute red card, Hibs’ top scorer was loathe to underplay the importance of hard-fought stalemate.
Indeed, when Lee Miller opened the scoring for the Bairns after 84 minutes a draw seemed like wishful thinking for the Hibees. Yet, they showed sufficient resolve and guile to restore parity through Martin Boyle.
“I only found out after the game that Rangers has drawn,” said the Scotland under-21 internationalist. “It was a wee buzz for us to find out that they’ve dropped points.
“It was a little bit of an opportunity missed for us. We could have picked up the three points and got right up to Rangers in the title race. But, down to ten men against Falkirk, you take that result.
“I thought the boys did well and it just shows our spirit to go and get that equaliser.
“It was a kick in the teeth when they got their goal – but there was no doubt in my mind that we were going to go on and get something out of the game.”
Hibs were undeniably the more potent force in the opening period, with James Keatings, Dominique Malonga, Cummings and McGinn all going close.
However, the direction of the fixture was dramatically altered mere minutes before the break when McGinn, attempting to rectify his own mis-control, clumsily barrelled in to Mark Kerr.
Despite their numerical advantage, Falkirk struggled to carve open their hosts during a stodgy second period – until an error from Hibs keeper Mark Oxley.
The former Hull custodian, so reliable all season, fumbled a tame Blair Alston drive into the path of a grateful Lee Miller, who happily prodded the ball over the line.
However, having seen Boyle’s close-range finish rescue a point, Cummings absolved McGinn and Oxley of responsibility for the result.
He added: “McGinn’s challenge happened really fast and obviously the referee felt it was a red card. I’m not too sure – but John will learn from it. He has apologised and I’m sure he will learn from it.
“And Ox [Oxley] has been different class all season. These things happen. The gaffer has told us that everyone makes mistakes.”