Rangers suffered a Scottish Cup hangover in Edinburgh on Wednesday night as defensive errors gifted Hibernian all three goals in a 3-2 win for the home side at Easter Road.
To the surprise of many Mark Warburton made just the one change from Hampden with Michael O’Halloran coming in for Dean Shiels.
This game was of course a dress rehearsal for the Scottish Cup Final between the two clubs at Hampden on 21st May – but whilst Rangers had already tied up the Championship title Hibs had everything to play for in terms of the Promotion Play-Off positions.
The home side got off to the perfect start in just five minutes when an appalling lapse of concentration on the part of Rob Kiernan allowed a throw-in to be seized upon by Jason Cummings who burst through to blast the ball home.
If that was bad enough then worse was to follow when – in the 18th minute – an Anthony Stokes cross from near the goal-line was diverted into his own net by Wes Foderingham.
Out of the blue the visitors reduced the deficit on 40 minutes when Jason Holt prodded home after a James Tavernier cross had been miss-judged by Hibs ‘keeper Mark Oxley, who allowed the ball to come back off the crossbar.
Mark Warburton reshuffled his attack at the interval with Michael O’Halloran moving into the middle with Kenny Miller wide left and Barrie McKay switching wings.
Rangers enjoyed the majority of possession in the opening stages of the second-half – but it was Hibernian who struck again 12 minutes after the restart when the ball broke to Niklas Gunnarsson from Lewis Stevenson’s in-swinging corner, a right-foot volley leaving Foderingham without an earthly.
Yet again it was a bad goal to concede – and the Light Blues had a mountain to climb, not for the first time in the match.
Mark Warburton mad a double substitution on the hour with Gedion Zelalem and Billy King coming on for Dominic Ball and Michael O’Halloran. Stokes almost added to the Ibrox grief ten minutes later when his twenty-yard free-kick was fisted away by Foderingham.
Dean Shiels substituted for Kenny Miller in the 76th minute then Barrie McKay made it 3-2 eight minutes later with a stunning 25-yard right-foot screamer