AN entertaining game that showcased so much that is good about Scottish football was, almost inevitably given the spate of sickening incidents which has blighted our national game this season, once again overshadowed by the shameful misconduct of supporters.

Having seen linesman, referees, managers and substitutes struck with missiles during Ladbrokes Premiership matches in recent months, it was the turn of a player to be physically confronted on the field.

As James Tavernier, the Rangers captain, attempted to retrieve the ball from the side of the park shortly after his team mate Daniel Candeias had put his side in front and just before half-time, a Hibs supporter jumped over the advertising hoarding and kicked it away from him. He then squared up the right back before being apprehended by a steward and led away by police.

The altercation took placed near where a glass Buckfast bottle had been thrown at Celtic winger Scott Sinclair as he went to take a corner in a William Hill Scottish Cup game just five days earlier. It provoked a furious reaction from the travelling support and a seat appeared to be torn out and thrown on the park.

It was further proof, as if any was needed, that more is needed to stamp out this escalating problem than strong words. Leeann Dempster, the Hibs chief executive, had issued a warning in the build-up to the game that any supporter caught engaging in behaviour that endangers a player, official or spectator would be dealt with severely. Her plea fell on deaf ears.

Tavernier was unaffected by the incident and finished the game. But calls for sterner action, including strict liability, are sure to grow even louder in the coming days. The hooligan responsible is facing a lengthy banning order and possibly even a custodial sentence. But could Hibs have any complaints if they had a stand closed as punishment?

It was a bad night for Rangers all round. They allowed Florian Kamberi to level in the second-half and were held to a draw by their opponents for the third time in the 2018/19 campaign. The two dropped points mean that their city rivals Celtic can forged 10 points clear at the head of the top flight table if they defeat Aberdeen at Parkhead this afternoon.

When Alfredo Morelos fell to the turf theatrically in the seventh minute after being struck in the face by Darren McGregor’s outstretched arm as they jostled for the ball on the halfway line it looked like being another of those nights where the striker was at the heart of any controversy. The centre half received a yellow card.

The visitors needed no assistance from referee Steven McLean to take control of the game. With Glen Kamara once again showing why Steven Gerrard was so keen to bring him in back in January and Ryan Kent proving a handful out wide for David Gray, they were soon dominating this hosts.

But Rangers were unable to capitalise. Scott Arfield had a shot deflected over the crossbar by Mark Milligan after being teed up by Kent. Hibs keeper Ofir Marciano also saved well from Morelos, after the forward had pinched the ball off the dithering Paul Hanlon, and Kent, even though the shot took a deflection off Daryl Horgan.

Hibs were without Vykintas Slivka, who was suspended, as well as long-term absentees Thomas Ageypong, Martin Boyle, Ryan Gauld, Ryan Porteous and Steven Whittaker. It was a lengthy injury for new manager Paul Heckingbottom to have to contend with. But Daryl Horgan was the only member of the home team who looked a threat. They struggled to get out of their own half.

Andy Halliday, who had come in for Borna Barisic, also fired over after a well-worked attack involving Kent and Arfield. It is no wonder that Gerrard despairs at his charges’ lack of ruthlessness in the final third at times. They had numerous opportunities to take the lead, to build up an unassailable lead in fact, and squandered all of them due to their bad decision making or poor finishing

As the rain came down heavily making the playing surface increasingly treacherous, Morelos tried his luck from fully 25 yards out. Again, Marciano dealt with the attempt.

It took a finish of the highest quality to break the deadlock and came, ironically, immediately after a rare Hibs shot on goal two minutes before half-time. Rangers broke upfield quickly when Connor Goldson blocked a Florian Kamberi shot and Candeias, having seen an initial effort denied, curled a left foot shot into the top left corner.

Whatever Heckingbottom said to his men before the second-half got underway clearly worked. They were a different team when play resumed. Horgan should have levelled after being sent through on goal by Marc McNulty in the 57th minute. But his shot struck the inside of Allan McGregor’s left leg and squirmed wide.

Hibs got the goal their efforts deserved in the 76th minute when McNulty supplied Kamberi in the Rangers six yard box and the Swiss striker coolly side-footed into the net. McGregor then kept his team on level terms with important blocks from McNulty and Kamberi.

McGregor was sent off in injury-time for a professional foul on substitute Jermain Defoe as emotions ran high and both sets of players squared up to each other.