Marvin Bartley has admitted letting his Hibs team-mates down by gifting Dumbarton the needless penalty which helped cost the Championship title favourites precious points.
Neil Lennon’s side were forced to settle for a sixth home draw of the season as Christian Nade slotted home the spot-kick, cancelled out by an own goal from Daniel Harvie only for Robert Thomson to fire Dumbarton ahead again before Martin Boyle equalised for a second time.
However, with Morton beating Falkirk, the damage done was limited as those clubs were left trailing Hibs by seven points. The Bairns visit Easter Road this weekend while Jim Duffy’s Ton are in Leith a week on Wednesday.
Nevertheless, 30-year-old Bartley conceded his error had played a part in preventing Hibs opening up a bigger advantage at the top of the table, saying: “We knew we needed to win to keep the pressure on the teams behind us, especially with second and third playing each other. It was extremely frustrating. We let ourselves down with the result and, on a personal level, I let the lads down by giving away the penalty. At my age and with my experience, it should not be happening.”
Referee Gavin Duncan had no hesitation in pointing to the spot as Bartley tripped Dumbarton’s Andy Stirling inches inside the penalty area, the midfielder explaining: “The ball had popped out. I didn’t see the guy and went to toe-poke it away. I haven’t seen it again, but I’m assuming he has maybe put his foot in the way and gone down. It’s part and parcel of football but I should have been aware he was there.”
Bartley believes Hibs had made it easy for Thomson to claim his goal to put the Sons 2-1 ahead. And, with Easter Road striker James Keatings seeing a penalty saved before Boyle managed to salvage a point, Bartley insisted Lennon’s players should have won the game on chances created.
He was adamant, though, the title remains very much in Hibs’ hands, particularly if they can beat Falkirk and Morton in the next eight days. He told Hibs TV: “If we win all our games, we win the league – it’s that simple.”
Hibs have announced tickets for their Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen at Hampden on Saturday, April 22 will go on sale from Friday, March 31. Full details are on the club website.
Meanwhile, the Easter Road club’s Championship match against Morton at Cappielow on Saturday, April 8, will be all-ticket following discussions between the clubs.