Lee Johnson’s Hibernian suffer shoot-out defeat to Morton
Lee Johnson’s slow start to life as Hibernian manager continued as his side missed three penalties in a Premier Sports Cup shoot-out loss against Morton.
A 1-1 Easter Road draw, coupled with the bonus point blow, leaves Falkirk as favourites to progress from Group D with Hibs facing elimination after playing all four of their group games.
The Bairns could have wrapped up the group against Bonnyrigg Rose but were also held to a 1-1 draw.
They are tied on seven points with Hibs and trail the Premiership side on goal difference but will qualify for the second round if they avoid defeat at home to Clyde on Saturday.
Hibs – who lost to Falkirk last week – would almost certainly miss out on a place as one of the three best runners-up in that scenario.
Johnson’s side had the bulk of territory and possession in a goalless first half but struggled to test Morton goalkeeper Brian Schwake. Elias Melkersen, Christian Doidge and Rocky Bushiri were off target before Lewis Miller came closer.
The visitors took the lead just after the hour mark when Grant Gillespie netted from the spot after Joe Newell was penalised for handball.
Ewan Henderson levelled 10 minutes later with his third goal in two games when the midfielder dribbled past an opponent and fired home.
The shoot-out proved just as frustrating for Hibs. Henderson, Aiden McGeady and Ryan Porteous missed the home side’s first three attempts and Morton tied up a 3-1 win when Kyle Jacobs scored after Newell converted.
Falkirk got off to the perfect start at New Dundas Park when Callumn Morrison netted from a ninth-minute free-kick.
But the hosts were awarded a penalty for handball and Luke Turner levelled from the spot three minutes before half-time.
Morrison was twice denied by the Rose goalkeeper in the second half but the hosts had the better chances in the latter stages. Ross Gray shot over following a corner and PJ Morrison pulled off a brilliant late stop from Conor Doan.
Falkirk won the shoot-out 4-2 with Gary Oliver sealing the bonus point.
Edinburgh moved above St Mirren in Group E thanks to a 3-0 home win against Cowdenbeath. John Robertson’s double and a Ryan Shanley goal saw the hosts move up to five points ahead of their trip to Paisley on Saturday.
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