It means the Light Blues have to wait a little longer to put second place beyond Aberdeen’s grasp as they are currently eight points ahead with three games to play.

Although Gers failed to get their much sought-after win, the game was a fine advertisement for the SPL and had everything with six goals and a late sending off for Abdessalam Benjelloun. 

The task was simple for Rangers ahead of this game, one win and Champions League football was guaranteed next season.

All very well in theory for Walter Smith’s side but much more difficult to put into practice as they found out against a determined Hibs side. 

Without the familiar faces of Scott Brown and Rob Jones, John Collins’ team started well clearly determined to banish their Scottish Cup blues with a memorable result against Rangers.

Although Dado Prso was unavailable for selection with the flu, Gers were boosted by the return of Charlie Adam and Nacho Novo after suspension.

But it was Hibs that began the brightest and after eight minutes Ross Chisholm came close to opening the scoring when his fierce volley was deflected over the bar.

Almost immediately afterwards, Steven Whittaker should have done better when he smashed Chisholm’s cross high over the bar after collecting unmarked at the back post. 

For reasons unknown, Rangers looked uneasy in the opening exchanges and their inability to keep possession proved costly after 19 minutes.

Benjelloun picked up the ball in midfield and played a defence-splitting pass to release Fletcher into the box and he fired a low shot under McGregor for 1-0.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Adam continued his excellent scoring form to draw the Light Blues level and it was a case of different keeper, same result for the midfielder.

On the last visit to Easter Road the Dundonian bagged a double – firstly catching Simon Brown out with a quick free kick, before the goalie failed to collect a simple shot allowing the ball to slip through his legs.

Today Adam’s eagle eye caught out Hibs’ keeper again, albeit this time it was Andrew McNeil who misjudged the wicked free kick from the right.

To add insult to injury for the goalkeeper was that it had been his own error which led to the decisive incident. 

Two minutes earlier he had flapped at Adam’s ball into the box allowing Kris Boyd to collect and feed back to Ferguson.

As has happened so many times this season, Hutton joined the attack by marauding down the right and his cross was handled by Dean Shiels on the edge of the area.

Adam duly stepped up and curled his effort past McNeil and into the far corner for his 12th goal of the season.

It was almost identical to his opener back in March and gratefully received by his team mates.

The game meandered on with neither side really able to stamp their authority on play, but two minutes into injury time Hibs stunned the visitors by going ahead again.

It was a well-worked move by Collins’ men and a fine strike from the edge of the area. 

But Rangers were clearly sleeping when the short corner was taken and McCann was unchallenged at the edge of the box to drill a cracking shot into the net.

The game carried on in a similar vein after the restart, with Rangers on the back foot and Hibs should have moved further ahead.

Two minutes into the second half Benji broke through on McGregor’s goal and looked certain to extend his side’s lead, but tried to be too clever and curled his effort wide.

It looked like a costly miss too as Gers got themselves back into the game.

Hutton has been in sensational form this season and proved his worth again with a fantastic goal to make it 2-2 after 53 minutes.

Adam found Novo on the right and the Spaniard played in Hutton, who had set off on one of his trademark overlapping runs to burst into the area and coolly chip home over the diving McNeil. 

It was a fine finish for his first SPL goal of the campaign but the game had barely settled when Hibs took the lead yet again.

This time it was their right-back Steven Whittaker who hit home a screaming drive from 20-yards.

Dean Shiels’ free kick into the box was headed out by Ugo Ehiogu but only as far as Benji, who cushioned the ball into Whittaker’s path and he drilled past McGregor.

Every one of the goals at Easter Road were of the highest standard and Adam came up trumps again when he scored another free kick to make it 3-3.

Ivan Sproule brought down Chris Burke with 17 minutes remaining and there was only one man stepping up to try his luck.

And Adam didn’t disappoint curling a magnificent effort up and over the wall to beat McNeil at his near post.

Seconds before the full time whistle, the 22-year-old had a chance for his hat-trick when Benji was sent off for a last man challenge on Kris Boyd, but his low drive was stabbed wide by Ehiogu.

Article Copyright © 2019. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to