Hibs crashed out of the William Hill Scottish Cup this afternoon after losing 2-0 to Neil Lennon’s Celtic.
Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom made one change to his starting XI for the first time in his tenure at Easter Road, with Stevie Mallan being replaced by Stephane Omeonga.
Neil Lennon received a warm if slightly muted welcome from the home support when he appeared from the tunnel.
Celtic started brightly and Oli Burke had an early chance but Ofir Marciano produced a fine save and Paul Hanlon cleared the danger with Scott Sinclair waiting to pounce.
The visitors then dominated possession without putting the Hibs’ defence under any real pressure.
Marc McNulty tested Scott Bain, but his effort was comfortably held by the keeper.
Just after the half-hour mark Odsonne Edouard attempted to round Darren McGregor but slipped at the vital moment and James Forrest’s follow-up was blocked.
Marciano then did well to punch clear a Kieran Tierney cross and the first half ended goalless.
Hibs had the better of the opening period and once again McNulty tested Bain but it was the Hoops that opened the scoring on the hour mark.
Forrest picked up the ball in midfield and beat Mark Milligan the Vykintas Slivka vefore hammering the ball the top corner of the net from 22 yards.
Hibs replaced Milligan and Daryl Horgan with Marvin Bartley and Mallan but with 15 minutes remaining Bartley lost possession and only a superb last ditch tackle by Paul Hanlon denied Edouard.
The ball however ended up at the feet of Scott Brown who beat Slivka and fied the ball high into the net.
Hibs tried in vain to get back into the game but Celtic held on to secure a deserved victory and a semi-final place.
After the game it was revealed that police are investigating after a glass bottle was thrown at Celtic forward Sinclair during the second half as he prepared to take a corner.
The bottle landed just yards away from the Englishman before referee Willie Collum retrieved the object.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “This incident will form part of the post-match inquiry
“We are aware of a bottle being thrown from the crowd to the pitch during the match at Easter Road on Saturday, 2 March 2019.”
A statement from Hibernian said “We will review the CCTV footage and work with the appropriate authorities to identify those involved in throwing items onto the pitch.
“We understand two bottles were thrown, one from each set of supporters. This is entirely unacceptable and puts players and others at risk.
“The match was a good game, played in a great spirit, but unfortunately yet again the headlines will be around this kind of unacceptable conduct.”
Hibernian: Marciano, Gray, McGregor, Hanlon, Stevenson, Milligan (Bartley, 63), Omeonga (Shaw, 77), Horgan (Mallan, 63), Slivka, Kamberi, McNulty. Unused substitutes: Dabrowski, Bigirimana, Mackie, Allan.
Celtic: Bain, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata (Toljan, 85), Tierney, Bitton, Brown, Forrest, Burke (Henderson, 90), Sinclair (Johnston, 76), Edouard. Unused substitutes: Gordon, Hendry, Hayes, Weah.
Referee: William Collum