Hibernian are on the verge of elimination from the Premier Sports Cup after a bonus point penalty shootout defeat to Greenock Morton.
The Premiership side – finalists in the competition last season – were deeply uninspiring against their second tier opponents and missed all but one of their spot kicks after an insipid 90 minutes.
Grant Gillespie gave the visitors, who had failed to score in the competition before kick off, the lead from 12 yards after Joe Newell handled in the area.
Ewan Henderson levelled ten minutes later, but neither side was able to force a winner in normal time.
‘Ton keeper Brian Schwake saved from both Henderson and Aiden McGeady before Ryan Porteous skied his effort.
Carlo Pignatiello beat David Marshall with the decisive kick to secure a bonus point for the Championship side, who are eliminated despite their efforts.
But the situation now looks dire for Lee Johnson’s Hibs, who have seven points with all four matches played.
Only three group runners-up qualify and three, Airdrieonians, Falkirk and Kilmarnock, have already matched their total, while a further four are on six points.
All of those clubs still have one match remaining in the competition and while it is not mathematically impossible for them to qualify for the knockout stages, it is extremely unlikely.
It will be the first time Hibs have ever crashed out at this stage of the competition.
The Bairns moved level on points with the Leith side at the top of group D after winning their own penalty shootout against Bonnyrigg Rose.
The League One side were ahead on nine minutes through Calumn Morrison, only for Lewis Turner to level from 12 yards in normal time.
Gary Oliver scored the decisive spot kick after the 90 minutes to hand The Bairns a bonus point in a 4-2 win.
They will advance as group winners if they claim a point against Clyde at the weekend.
Elsewhere, FC Edinburgh were comfortable 3-0 winners over Cowdenbeath, who end their competition without a point or a goal.
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