Scottish Premiership play-off: Advantage Falkirk after 2-2 draw at Hibernian
By Matthew Treadwell
Last Updated: 10/05/16 10:58pm
Substitute Bob McHugh scored 10 minutes from time to secure a 2-2 draw for Falkirk in the first leg of their Scottish Premiership play-off match with Hibernian at Easter Road.
Lee Miller gave the visitors the half-time lead after he fired home on 34 minutes when he diverted in a Tom Taiwo drive.
Two goals in 10 minutes from Hibs looked to have swung the tie in their favour.
First, midfielder Liam Henderson levelled on 57 minutes before defender Darren McGregor, who scored the crucial goal in the 2-1 aggregate win in the quarter-final against Raith, put Alan Stubbs' side ahead with another thumping header.
But McHugh pounced to fire under Conrad Logan in the home goal hand a slight advantage to the Bairns ahead of the second leg at the Falkirk Stadium on Friday.
Applause rung out around the stadium after 14 minutes in tribute to former Falkirk player Chris Mitchell, who died on Friday aged 27.
The hosts' opener then came after Miller had been fouled by McGregor 25 yards from goal. Leahy's free-kick struck Hibs' defensive wall and spun to Taiwo and his drive from the edge of the box was redirected by the foot of Miller, with the home side wrongly claiming offside.
Midfielder John McGinn went close with a drive at the start of the second half and moments later Anthony Stokes missed a great chance after being put through by Jason Cummings, the on-loan striker blasting over the crossbar with only Falkirk goalkeeper Danny Rogers to beat.
It was therefore little surprise when the home side drew level, Stokes heading into the path of his fellow Celtic loanee Henderson, who fired into the net from 12 yards.
The momentum was with the hosts, and they took the lead when McGregor rose inside a packed six-yard box to power home a Henderson cross with his head.
Hibs were well on top and had a strong claim for a penalty when Bairns skipper David McCracken appeared to put his hand on the ball as he lay on the ground after he and Rogers combined to thwart McGinn, only for referee Alan Muir to wave play on.
Stubbs' charges were made to pay for their inability to score again when McHugh spun inside the box and drove at goal.
Logan made a mess of his attempted save and the ball tantalisingly trickled over the line to set up an intriguing second leg in Falkirk later in the week, with the winner of the tie due to face Kilmarnock in the play-off final.