Kilmarnock mounted a dramatic second-half fight back to claim a 2-2 draw and ensure newly-appointed Hibernian manager Nick Montgomery was made to wait for his first cinch Premiership win.
After a dominant start to the game, Will Dennis’ unlucky own goal handed Hibs the lead after eight minutes before Dylan Vente’s smart finish just before the hour-mark doubled the visitors’ advantage and seemingly had Kilmarnock at their mercy.
However, Kyle Vassell halved the deficit two minutes later with a close-range finish before Joe Wright headed home Danny Armstrong’s cross to salvage a dramatic point.
Derek McInnes made two alterations from Kilmarnock’s 1-0 defeat to Ross County before the international break as Wright and Vassell came in for David Watson and Thomas Davies.
Montgomery also made two changes from the side that earned their first league win of the season at Aberdeen as Christian Doidge and Rocky Bushiri replaced Josh Campbell and Paul Hanlon.
Montgomery’s side, totally rejuvenated under their new manager, were on the front foot from the first whistle, pinning Kilmarnock back.
Goalkeeper Dennis produced a fine save to deny Martin Boyle inside the first minute after he evaded several challenges.
The Kilmarnock keeper was called into action again minutes later when Lewis Miller’s cut-back across the box found Boyle, who saw his rasping drive tipped over the bar at full stretch.
Hibs’ pressure eventually paid dividends as they broke the deadlock after eight minutes as a corner was kept alive at the back-post.
A touch of class from James Jeggo provided the next twist as his pinpoint header found Miller and his shot from close-range hit the post and bounced in off the unlucky Dennis.
Elie Youan then fired into the side-netting, before another well-worked corner routine almost saw the visitors double their lead as Boyle’s whipped cross found Joe Newell, but his shot was straight at Dennis.
Having weathered the early storm, Kilmarnock tried to gain a foothold in the game and managed to carve out a decent opening after 35 minutes when Armstrong’s cross found Marley Watkins and his header forced a save from David Marshall.
Neither side offered much in a scrappy beginning to the second-half which saw Brad Lyons and Will Fish booked for reckless tackles.
It was a moment of sublime quality that saw Hibs double their lead just before the hour-mark through Vente, who notched his third goal of the season.
Youan did well to retain possession under pressure before sliding the ball in for Vente, who kept his cool and fired into the bottom left-hand corner beyond substitute goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara.
However, their lead did not last long as Kilmarnock gave themselves a lifeline. Marshall did well to save Lyons’ initial effort but the rebound fell kindly for Vassell to slot home.
Matty Kennedy’s venomous 30-yard strike fizzed inches over the bar, while at the other end Adam Le Fondre’s right-footed caressed effort was deflected narrowly wide of the target.
Spurred on by a raucous Rugby Park crowd, Kilmarnock pushed bodies forward in search of a leveller which duly arrived after 79 minutes.
Wright peeled away from his marker to head home Armstrong’s corner inside the six-yard box.