EDINBURGH, United Kingdom: Substitute James Forrest rescued a point for Celtic as they warmed up for their midweek Champions League match against Ajax with a 1-1 draw with Hibernian at Easter Road.
Hibs took the lead in controversial circumstances in the 18th minute when Paul Heffernan, who looked offside, poked the ball through the legs of Fraser Forster after Kevin Thomson had sent him one-on-one with the keeper.
Kris Commons then missed a good chance to grab the equaliser before limping off with a hamstring injury that makes him a major doubt for the Ajax clash.
Celtic appeared to be heading to their first defeat in the Scottish Premiership this season before Forrest fired in an equaliser with a sensational strike in the 76th minute when Hibernian’s Ryan McGivern was off the pitch receiving treatment.
In the end only a superb save from Ben Williams denied Forrest a winner with the keeper expertly stopping his 88th minute volley.
It means Celtic extend their lead at the top of the table to four points over Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who play Partick Thistle today, and continues their record of having scored in every league match in 2013.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon cut a frustrated figure after the match.
“We dominated the game and dominated the chances and their goal was clearly offside. We didn’t get what we deserved today, which was the three points,” Lennon said.
“I’m delighted with the attitude of the players and our reaction was good. We played very well and should have won the game but for the goalkeeper who made some magnificent saves we would have done.”
His Hibernian counterpart was upset to have let the win get away.
“We had a great start with the goal and Celtic put us under a lot of pressure then and created some chances but we got some good blocks in and some great saves,” Pat Fenlon said.
“When you play Celtic if you can get a point you’ll always be happy enough but when you’re winning for so long you’re disappointed not to pick up all three.”