Hibernian missed the chance to move closer to Celtic in the Scottish Premiership table as they were held to a draw at Ross County.
Kyle Magennis had an effort cannon back off an upright, while Martin Boyle squandered two great chances for the visitors.
County’s Connor Randall was dismissed late on for cynically bringing down Boyle as he ran through on goal.
Jack Ross’ side stay third, four points behind Celtic, who have a game in hand.
It is just the second time in 11 games that County have kept a clean sheet, as Stuart Kettlewell’s side edge up to seventh place.
The visitors will wonder quite how they head back to Easter Road with just a point, given this game could have been over within the opening 15 minutes.
Despite starting five players who had just returned from international duty, there was no sign of lethargy in the Hibs ranks.
Only a phenomenal challenge from Regan Charles-Cook stopped Boyle rolling in an opener after Joe Newell’s lofted through ball had caught out the County defence.
And, from the resultant corner, Magennis’ stunning effort, rattled a post and bounced clear.
Newell was at it again just minutes later, finding the electric Boyle, whose early shot was dragged wide.
The Hibs onslaught was relentless, and when Ross Doohan was finally beaten by Kevin Nisbet’s strike, Alex Iacovitti was there to clear the ball off the line.
County weathered the storm but Hibs came out on the front foot for the second-half and Nisbet felt he should have had a penalty after being brought down by Charles-Cook. Referee Nick Walsh was not interested.
Doohan then made an outstanding double save from Christian Doidge, stopping the Welshman’s effort before denying Nisbet at the second attempt.
County’s hopes of a point were put in doubt after a clearance caught out Randall, who brought down Boyle when one-one-one and was shown a straight red card.
Doidge then missed a glorious chance, sending a header over at the back post, before new Scotland cap Paul Hanlon had his effort saved by Doohan as County held on for a point.
Man of the match – Ross Doohan
What we learned?
Make no mistake, this was a major let-off for County. Though they had a settled patch in the second part of the first half, they were up against the ropes for the majority of the contest.
Only a mixture of poor finishing by Hibs and Doohan’s outstanding performance earned them this point after they were cut open time and time again.
For the visitors, frustration will be the overriding feeling, but there were plenty of positives to take. Newell was once again outstanding in midfield and, on another day, this could have been a rout.
But there is no doubt Ross will look at this as two points dropped in the hunt for European football.
Ross County face Motherwell at Fir Park next Saturday (15:00 BST), while Hibernian will travel to Kilmarnock the same day (15:00).
- 2RandallBooked at 79mins
- 25DonaldsonSubstituted forGrivostiat 76′minutes
- 19LakinSubstituted forKellyat 77′minutes
- 24PatonSubstituted forTillsonat 88′minutes
- 7GardyneSubstituted forMckayat 82′minutes
- 27StewartBooked at 86mins
- 16StevensonSubstituted forGullanat 84′minutes
- 11NewellBooked at 41mins
- 7MagennisSubstituted forMallanat 64′minutes
Match ends, Ross County 0, Hibernian 0.
Second Half ends, Ross County 0, Hibernian 0.
Attempt missed. Paul Hanlon (Hibernian) header from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left.
Attempt saved. Paul Hanlon (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Paul McGinn with a cross.
Attempt missed. Martin Boyle (Hibernian) header from the left side of the six yard box misses to the left. Assisted by Paul McGinn with a cross.
Attempt missed. Christian Doidge (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Stephen Mallan with a cross following a set piece situation.
Paul McGinn (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Regan Charles-Cook (Ross County).
Substitution, Ross County. Jordan Tillson replaces Harrison Paton.
Attempt blocked. Joe Newell (Hibernian) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Christian Doidge.
Ross Stewart (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
James Gullan (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Ross Stewart (Ross County).
Substitution, Hibernian. James Gullan replaces Lewis Stevenson.
Attempt blocked. Kevin Nisbet (Hibernian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Christian Doidge with a headed pass.
Substitution, Ross County. Billy Mckay replaces Michael Gardyne.
Connor Randall (Ross County) is shown the red card.
Christian Doidge (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Connor Randall (Ross County).
Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Joe Newell.