Scottish League Cup Semifinal – KO 19:45
Hibernian 0 (0) – 1(0) (AET) Ayr
Annand 101 (p)
At Hampden Park, Glasgow
Hibernian: Colgan ,Gary Smith ,Fenwick ,Caldwell ,De la Cruz (Orman ,58 ) ,Brebner ,Wiss ,O’Neil ,Murray ,Zitelli (Hurtado ,63 ) ,O’Connor (Riordan ,81)
Subs not used: Caig,Townsley,
Ayr: Nelson ,John Robertson ,Hughes ,Craig ,Lovering (Sharp ,110 ) ,Sheerin ,Duffy ,McGinlay ,Wilson (Scally ,92 ) ,Annand (McLaughlin ,119 ) ,Grady
Subs not used McEwan,Dodds,
Bookings: Caldwell ,Murray ,O’Neil (Hibernian)
Referee: Michael McCurry (Scotland)
Ayr United reached the first major final in their 98-year history with a battling CIS Insurance Cup semi-final win over Hibs.
An extra time penalty strike from Eddie Annand was enough to separate the sides and set up a 17 March meeting with Rangers.
The First Division side were more than a match for their SPL opponents and former Hibs men Paul Lovering, John Hughes and Pat McGinlay all played significant roles in the usurping of their old club.
The match was watched by a derisory crowd of 11,779 and the action on the Hampden pitch was equally muted.
An over-fussy performance from referee Mike McCurry and a badly cut up playing surface did not encourage free-flowing football.
Hibs started brightly and were anxious to involve Ulises de la Cruz down the right flank, but the Ecuador international was in subdued mood.
Hibs midfielder Grant Brebner was quick to support his forwards and was twice denied a goal in the first 15 minutes.
John Hughes grapples with Garry O’Connor
The former Manchester United man had a smart shot saved by Craig Nelson and soon after David Craig popped up on the goal-line to clear a deflected shot.
David Zitelli, replacing the injured Paco Luna in the Hibs front line, blazed a good chance on the volley high over the bar from just ten yards out.
Ayr had to wait until the 23rd minute to threaten, but Nick Colgan gathered James Grady’s volley on the turn comfortably.
On the stroke of half time a great break from John Robertson saw the Ayr wing back burst past two Hibs defender and into the penalty box only to be stopped in his tracks by a timely Paul Fenwick intervention.
In the 58th minute a wonderful long pass from Annand found McGinlay running from deep, but the midfielder’s powerful shot went straight at Colgan.
A minute later, Zitelli went close with a header after good work from O’Connor.
Alen Orman, a replacement for the out-of-sorts de la Cruz, did well to create a shooting opportunity but Nelson held the low strike easily.
James Grady and Gary Caldwell joust for the ball
Eduardo Hurtado came on for Zitelli and almost set up a goal for O’Connor but, with the Ayr defence posted missing for the first time, his pass was heavy and allowed Craig to make a sliding block.
Ayr, growing in confidence, saw efforts from Lovering, Hughes and Paul Sheerin all go close as the 90 minutes ran down.
The First Division side began extra time with great determination and McGinlay made a mess of a diving header just six yards out.
After 98 minutes Ayr were awarded a penalty when Robertson tumbled under the challenge of Ian Murray.
Annand coolly blasted the ball high into the net from the spot.
Fenwick wasted a glorious chance to equalise when he scuffed a shot wide of the mark from right in front of goal.
Hibs poured men forward in search of a way back but they lacked invention in the final third and Ayr held firm.
Hibernian: Colgan, Smith, Fenwick, Caldwell, De la Cruz, Brebner, Wiss, O’Neil, Murray, Zitelli, O’Connor. Subs: Orman, Hurtado, Caig, Townsley, Riordan.
Ayr United: Nelson, Robertson, Hughes, Craig, Lovering, Sheerin, Duffy, McGinlay, Wilson, Annand, Grady. Subs: McLaughlin, Sharp, McEwan, Dodds, Scally.
Referee: M McCurry