Hibs demolished John Robertson’s Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the quarter-final of the William Hill Scottish Cup at Easter Road tonight. The result actually flattered the visitors as Hibs could easily have reached double figures against the Jags who finished with 10-men.
Head Coach Jack Ross made one change to the starting XI that drew with Livingston last weekend with Steven Whittaker replacing Vykintas Slivka.
Both sides created early chances before Hibs were denied a penalty after Martin Boyle burst through and rounded Mark Ridgers who appeared to clip his ankle causing him to fall.
The home fans screamed for a penalty but referee Nick Walsh booked the Hibs’ player for simulation to the fury of three sides of the stadium.
Hibs did get a penalty moments later after former Hearts’ defender Kevin McHattie grabbed Marc McNulty’s shirt inside the area.
Both Scott Allan and Marc McNulty had previously missed penalties this season, so skipper Paul Hanlon accepted the responsibility, but his effort was brilliantly saved by Ridgers, who then kept out his shot from the rebound.
At the other end, Walsh raced through, skipping past a couple of Hibs players, but his effort was saved by Ofir Marciano.
Hibs eventually took a deserved lead when Christian Doidge flicked on a free-kick, and Adam Jackson clipped the ball perfectly over Ridgers into the net to give the hosts a half-time lead.
Inverness started the second half brightly but Hibs added a second on the break when Boyle found McNulty whose square ball set up Allan who fired the ball into the net from eight yards.
Caley manager John Robertson was booked for protesting, to the delight of the home fans who taunted him over his allegiance to Hearts.
Hibs added a third after Boyle found Paul McGinn on the overlap and the defender cut the ball back to Greg Docherty who fired the ball into the bottom corner of the net to virtually secure the victory.
Inverness gave themselves some hope when Carl Tremarco’s shot deflected in off Lewis Stevenson, but their hopes ended after Brad McKay’s reckless challenge on Doidge earned him a deserved red card.
Hibs continued to press forward and Docherty ran 30 yards into the box before cutting the ball back to the edge of the area for Stephane Omeonga to finish with a tremendous side foot effort which flew into the top corner of the net.
Doidge then did well to lose his marker before firing a perfect cross into the path of substitute Jamie Gullan who scored his first senior Hibs goal.
Nikolay Todorov’s close-range finish from a corner made the final score 5-2 for Hibs who now await their opponents in the semi-finals.
After the game Ross told BBC Scotland:” It was a difficult tie for us. “The expectation and pressure was all on us. We have to handle that and we did it for most parts.
“It was always going to be an open game because of that. A difficult match but one we are delighted to come out on top of.”
Hibs: Marciano, McGinn, Whittaker, Hanlon, Jackson, Stevenson, Boyle, Allan, Docherty, McNulty, Doidge. Subs: Bogdan, McGregor, Hallberg, Slivka, Omeonga, Gullan, Horgan
Ridgers, Rooney,, McHattie, Tremarco, Carson, Trafford, Walsh, Keatings, Doran, Cogan, White. Subs: Storey, Todorov, MacKay, Harper, MacGregor, Russell
Referee: Nick Walsh