Hibernian continue to stumble through the season after another afternoon in which they were left to curse their self-harming habit.

Paul Heckingbottom’s side find themselves lurking in dangerous surrounds as they remain stuck at the bottom end of the table with their inability to see out a game costing them dearly. If this season’s early form is to avoid scarring then it is imperative that they find a bit of confidence as soon as possible.

Saturday afternoon ought to have been the day in which they found their way towards recovery. It was not just that Stevie Mallan teed it up with a fine opening volley, struck sweetly from an angle at the edge of the box, but that Hibs’ overall play had Hamilton struggling to get out of their own half.

Yet from the minute that Mallan, a little softly, was judged to have felled Blair Alston in the box, all the belief about the Easter Road side was punctured.

In sharp contrast, Ross Cunningham did not look like there were any nerves at all as he strode up to dispatch a fiercely executed strike from the spot. On the pitch just five minutes after taking over from Lewis Smith, Cunningham blasted his effort well beyond the reach of Chris Maxwell and with it went Hibs’ aspirations of bagging what would have been only their second league win of the season.

For Accies it was a celebration of taking a point that looked beyond them at one stage while for Hibs it was a day to curse familiar woes.

Still, Mallan believes that the Easter Road side need the catalyst of just one big win to get them back on track to the upper half of the table and shake off their current malaise.

“It’s just the goals that are lacking,” said the midfielder. “Against Hamilton we could have had three, four, five. We can go on a run, the manager is saying that, we’re just waiting for one game where we go ‘boom’ and destroy a team and obviously that has not happened.

"But I feel it is coming and it’s that one game going forward that takes spirits and team higher.”

Wary of talking himself into trouble with the SFA, Mallan picked his way around what he felt was a contentious decision to give Accies their way back into the game with the second-half penalty call but he did accept that Hibs’ failure to take all three points back to Leith was down to their own short-comings rather than John Beaton.

Hibs had a last-minute goal from Christian Doidge chalked off, a call that seemed to be in keeping with the way luck has fallen on Heckingbottom’s side. 

“I had a bit of afters with the referee after the game,” admitted Mallan. “I felt it wasn’t but I haven’t seen it back. I didn’t think I touched him. It’s hard for a referee. I thought he got in front of me and went down. I am not going to say he dived because it’s a hard decision for the referee, a cluster of bodies. But not a penalty for me. Another day it might not have been.

“I think he didn’t give the goal for a hand-ball but his arms were at his side. I’m not sure if it hit his hand but the favour goes with the defending team sometimes. They are hard decisions and can go for or against you. Today went against us but it’s our fault, not the referee’s.”

Inevitably, Hamilton had a happier camp.

Cunningham, who signed an extended contract with Accies last week, was thrilled with the point and believes such is the confidence within Brian Rice’s side that they feel they can avoid a relegation dog-fight this season.

“This could be the season we avoid the relegation battle,” he said. 

“We want to be better than we were last season and avoid being one of the teams who are fighting for their lives. Come the latter part of the season, hopefully we are in a good position and we are comfortable.”