Conor Pepper hauled Inverness back into the game
Indeed, the Highland capital is a long way from most places. However, in the case of the young Dubliner, the distance he has travelled is a measure of how far he has come in his short career already.
In July, the 18-year-old arrived in Scotland fresh from his school exams, and keen to pass an even greater test. The St Patrick's Athletic youth was flown over by his dad Andy on the hope that he could land a move that would see his career take-off, with the diminutive forward taking part in a trial game for Inverness Caledonian Thistle. The rest is history.
Skip forward two months and Pepper is already proving a shrewd signing by Terry Butcher, the Inverness manager. In his first start for the club he provided the spark to ignite his side's comeback at Easter Road six minutes before the break, his sheer determination resulting in him wrestling the ball away from Alan Maybury before firing it beyond the sprawling Ben Williams, much to the ire of 9000 Hibernian fans. It was a far cry from the public fields in Dublin he played on not so long ago.
"This time last year I was just leaving school and playing with St Pat's," said Pepper. "We only trained twice a week and sometimes we even played on a local park. It's all just happened for me. It was an open trial at Inverness. My agent said 'do you want to go?' So I thought I may as well give it a try. We flew over from Dublin to Gatwick then all the way up. I went away a bit disappointed as I got a bit of a dead leg in the first half, it was just frustrating I couldn't play on. I had just turned 17 so I was hoping that because of my age I was good enough to get in the under-19s."
Inverness' comeback yesterday had more than a hint of a Dublin theme about it, with arch competitor Richie Foran dragging his side back into the match with a typically inspiring display. The club captain was a pillar of strength for the visitors, and it was the 32-year-old Irishman that smashed the ball into the net to level late on; his commitment to the cause and never-say-die attitude defining his side's dogged display in Edinburgh.
"Richie gives me stick because he likes to think he's rough," said Pepper. "He says to me that my old man has a yacht. It's just all dressing-room banter."
For Hibs, it looked like plain sailing for the first 35 minutes on Saturday before Pepper's intervention. Eoin Doyle's solo run and close-range finish had put them ahead before David Wotherspoon doubled their lead with a tremendous half-volley from 25-yards midway through the first half.
The Easter Road club have taken great strides this season, with their William Hill Scottish Cup final demolition in May a distant memory for most. However, in the second half they still exhibited characteristics that left the home support shifting uncomfortably in the stands.
"It's a hard one to take," said James McPake, the Hibernian captain, who was denied putting his side 3-1 up in the second half by an inspired Ryan Esson save. "We had a good first half, created a few chances, we knocked it about well. We let them back in it with another soft goal, it feels like a defeat. Being 2-0 up at home, you have to expect that we can see that out. Everyone in the dressing room is gutted at drawing 2-2.
"Last season we may have been relieved, but we can't keep saying that. It's a new season and there are new standards at this club."
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