The Hibernian versus Hearts derby at Easter Road finished today with the sides absolutely even: one goal and ten men apiece.
Going into this match, a draw was perhaps to be expected as Hibs have been playing reasonably well all season, particularly winning games by picking up the odd goal against the run of play with deadly finishing from front-men Stokes and Riordan.
Hearts went into today’s derby after finally getting a run of form going by following their 2-1 victory over Celtic with a couple of strong victories.
Today, Gordon Smith (45 + 1) scored on the half time mark for the visitors, however, Stokes (54) soon leveled after the break and Riordan could have put the hosts ahead and pinched the game right at the death.
Hearts had a good chance to regain the lead through an Ian Black volley which was well saved for Hibs stand-in goalkeeper Smith.
Both sides were reduced to ten men as McCormack and Palazuelos were adjudged to have tussled unfairly off the ball at a free kick.
In truth, Hibs had the better chances – Stokes squirmed a shot wide in the first half that he would usually expect to bag – but both sides could well have taken this match: the draw a fair result.
Hibs, in third in the SPL this term, however, will be disappointed not to have gained points on the Old Firm who played out a 1-1 draw at Celtic Park this afternoon. Local bragging rights will have to wait until next time in Edinburgh as at Glasgow.