Scott Allan marked his first domestic start for Hibernian since August 2020 by playing a key role in helping his team reach a fifth consecutive semi-final.
The 29-year-old midfielder – who has been working his back to prominence after being diagnosed with a heart problem a year ago – set up the opener and scored the second as the Easter Road side defeated Dundee United 3-1 in the Premier Sports Cup quarter-final at Tannadice.
The victory means Hibs have reached the semi-final of each of the last five domestic knockout tournaments, and all four they have contested under Jack Ross.
United made four changes to the side that started Sunday’s Dundee derby triumph, with Benjamin Siegrist, Kerr Smith, Calum Butcher and Ilmari Niskanen dropping out to make way for Trevor Carson, Kieron Freeman, Dylan Levitt and Nicky Clark.
There were two tweaks to the Hibs side that started the 2-2 draw with St Mirren last weekend, with Lewis Stevenson and Allan replacing Josh Doig and Chris Cadden.
The visitors made the breakthrough from the first chance of the match after just three minutes when Allan slipped a lovely pass through to Joe Newell, who fired an emphatic angled finish high beyond Carson from 15 yards out.
Hibs threatened again five minutes later when Kyle Magennis unleashed a dipping, goalbound effort from 25 yards out which Carson did well to tip over the crossbar.
United were forced into a change after 17 minutes when Charlie Mulgrew went off injured to be replaced by Mark Reynolds.
The hosts’ first opportunity came in the 29th minute but Peter Pawlett fired over the bar from 16 yards out after being set up by Ian Harkes.
United were feeling their way into the game and had another chance three minutes later, but Ryan Edwards headed over after being picked out by Scott McMann’s cross from the left.
But it was Hibs who doubled their lead in the 37th minute when Allan drilled in the rebound from 12 yards out after both he and Kevin Nisbet had seen close-range efforts blocked by United defenders.
The visitors were in full control of the tie by half-time after Martin Boyle slammed in the third from the penalty spot in first-half stoppage time following a foul by Reynolds on Paul McGinn.
Former United midfielder Allan was enjoying himself on his old stomping ground and he fired a powerful strike just over the top from 25 yards out eight minutes after the restart.
The hosts pulled one back in the 58th minute when Peter Pawlett fired in from a Freeman cross.
Pawlett thought he had scored again in the 71st minute but his effort was contentiously chalked off for offside, and Hibs were able to see the game out.
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