Hibernian 3 Kilmarnock 0

Last updated : 10 April 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Gary Caldwell scored a sensational free-kick as Hibs kept their slim top-six hopes alive at Easter Road.

The defender opened the scoring after 22 minutes with a stunning 30-yard effort. With Steven Whittaker and Garry O'Connor shielding the ball, Caldwell curled a right-foot shot high into the top corner beyond a despairing Colin Meldrum in the Killie goal.

And the Easter Road side repeated the trick on the stroke of half-time when Kevin Thomson curled a left-foot free-kick from an almost identical spot – with an identical result.

Hibs had come close after just six minutes when Meldrum had to save at O'Connor's feet after a throughball from Alan Reid but three minutes later it was Killie who almost struck.

Eric Skora was crowded out in the Hibs box but the ball broke to Craig Dargo, only for Daniel Andersson to block the striker's snap-shot.

Meldrum tipped a Scott Brown header over after 14 minutes and just a minute later Hibs needed a last ditch clearance from Mathias Doumbe to keep on level terms. The French defender cleared off the goalline after Kris Boyd pounced on the rebound from an Andersson parry of a low Dargo drive.

Let off the hook, Hibs were soon ahead with Caldwell's wonder goal and doubled their advantage in the third minute of injury time with Thomson's strike.

Caldwell fired a 50th minute free-kick over as Hibs continued to press and they got their third in the 63rd minute from the penalty spot.

Gordon Greer hauled down O'Connor and Riordan calmly sent Meldrum the wrong way for his 11th goal of the season.

Killie had their chances in the closing stages but found Andersson in irresistible form as the Swede tipped Skora's free kick over the bar then coolly saved Boyd's last minute header with one-hand