St Johnstone 1-1 Hibernian: Chris Kane seals a point for the hosts
Last Updated: 16/03/18 10:22pm
Chris Kane's late goal denied Cammy Bell a clean sheet and victory on his impromptu Hibernian debut as St Johnstone fought back for a 1-1 draw against Neil Lennon's 10 men.
Ofir Marciano was sent off for handling 25 yards from his goal but Bell made several decent stops to protect Hibs' lead, which came courtesy of Efe Ambrose's early headed goal.
With head coach Neil Lennon watching from the McDiarmid Park stands as he began a three-match touchline ban, Hibs largely managed the game well.
But Kane's instinctive finish with seven minutes left earned Saints a point and kept Hibs a point below third-placed Aberdeen in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
The hosts almost snatched victory in stoppage-time but Tanser curled a 25-yard free-kick off the bar before substitute George Williams blazed over.
The visitors were without midfielder Dylan McGeouch, who dropped out with a groin strain four days after being handed his first Scotland call-up.
Hibs opened the scoring inside 90 seconds with a straightforward goal. Scott Allan worked space to cross from the left and defender Ambrose rose to head home from six yards.
Saints were handed a lifeline in the 14th minute when Marciano charged well out of his box to challenge Kane as the striker ran on to Chris Millar's long ball down the right.
With at least one defender covering there was no need for the goalkeeper to leave his area but he handed Kane the chance to lob him and clearly handled to stop the shot, earning a red card from John Beaton.
The red card set up a first game of the season for Bell, who signed after leaving Kilmarnock on transfer deadline day.
There was an early scare for the former Rangers and Dundee United goalkeeper when Murray Davidson beat him to Liam Craig's inswinging corner, but the midfielder could not keep his header down.
Bell impressively clutched the subsequent corner and settled down in time to make an excellent 43rd-minute stop from Joe Shaungnessy, who met Tanser's cross first time at the back post.
Hibs soon found themselves in trouble following their own goal-kick but Kane took a heavy touch with only Bell to beat from Craig's square ball and the goalkeeper smothered.
Kane came close from 25 yards inside the first 60 seconds of the second half and Bell soon parried another long-range strike from Williams.
Hibs protected Bell with some penalty-box blocks and bookings for Steven Anderson, Blair Alston, Tanser and Shaughnessy for cynical challenges were evidence of the visitors' ability to kill off the game.
Hibs striker Florian Kamberi squandered three chances to test Alan Mannus before Williams blazed over with 10 minutes left.
But Williams and substitute Denny Johnstone both helped the ball on for Kane to steer home first time from 15 yards and Saints came closer to a winner.