First half goals from Paul Hanlon and Jason Cummings got Hibs back on the winning track as they defeated Cowdenbeath for the second time this season.
But the Capital club were forced to hang on for their victory as Jon Robertson’s header past substitute goalkeeper Kleton Perntreou midway through the second half gave the Fife club, who’d had felt hard done by at being two goals down, fresh heart.
Alan Stubbs stuck by the team which ran Dundee United so close in that epic League Cup tie and named the same bench leaving the total absence of Dylan McGeough, suspended for the quarter final match, as a big surprise to the travelling Hibs support.
And those fans were singing in the rain when Hanlon stole in behind a static home defence to meet Scott Allan’s 24th minute free-kick to slot home his first goal of the season.
Hibs, however, had to endure a few anxious moments, goalkeeper Mark Oxley unable to hold a Kyle Miller free-kick before the same player drilled another shot just wide.
But four minutes from the interval David Gray charged down the right flank and fired in a low cross which was only partially cleared, the ball falling for Cummings who hammered a shot between goalkeeper Robbie Thomson and his near post.
Hibs were forced into a change after the interval, Oxley remaining in the dressingroom having suffered a back injury in a clash with Cowdenbeath striker Kudas Oyennuga, his place going to teenager Perntreou, an unexpected debut for the youngster.
But there was nothing he could do as Robertson rose to meet Lewis Milne’s inviting cross from the opposite flank and power a downward header into the net.
Jimmy Nicholl’s side would have felt the didn’t deserve to be two down and Robertson’s goal breathed new life into their game as Hibs sought to hang onto their now narrow lead as the rain continued to drench Central Park.
Cowdenbeath: Thomson, Wedderburn, J Robertson, Milne, Higgins, Gallagher, Brett, Oyenuga (Sutherland 61), Miller, Marshall (Campbell 73), Fraser.
Substitutes not used: Sneddon, O’Brien, Brownlie, Kane, Scullion.
Hibs: Oxley (Perntreou 46), Gray, Hanlon, Fontaine, Stevenson, S Robertson, S Allan, Craig, Handling (Kennedy 73), Cummings, Malonga (Harris 82).
Substitutes not used: Stanton, Heffernan, Jake Sinclair, Booth.
Referee: Craig Charleston.