GOALS from Scott Allan and Lewis Stevenson eased Hibs to victory over ten-man Dunfermline although a late strike from Faissall El Bahktaoui took a little of the shine off the win.
The Pars were left facing more than 70 minutes a man short after Jason Talbot went over the ball, studs showing, at Dominique Malonga, an action assistant referee Alan Mulvanny considered serious enough to advise match official Nick Walsh it was worthy of a red card.
It was a decision which clearly angered the former Livingston defender, but one which nevertheless was fully merited.
Slowly but surely Hibs began to make their numerical superiority count, Sam Stanton flashing a powerful shot wide before Stevenson saw his angled effort deflected onto the post.
But former Hibs goalkeeper Sean Murdoch, making his debut for the Fife club, was left rooted to the spot as Allan’s superbly curled shot soared high into his net.
Stevenson doubled Hibs lead six minutes into the second half, sliding the ball home from Jason Cummings’ low cross as Alan Stubbs’ side took control.
The usual rash of second half substitutions from both sides ensued, taking much of the tempo out of the game although Hibs had a lucky escape 12 minutes from time, El Bahktaoui’s shot beating Tony Reguero only for the ball to crash back off the inside of the substitute goalkeeper’s left hand post to safety.
But El Bahktaoui did get his goal, drilling a low shot beyond Reguero with six minutes remaining.
Dunfermline: Murdoch, Williamson, Talbot, Fordyce, Richards-Everton, Geggan, Paton (Trialist 61), Falkingham, Moffat (Trialist 64), El Bahktaoui, Hospkirk (Byrne 71).
Substitutes not used: Hutton, Spence, Cardle, Wallace, Thomas, Potter.
Hibs: Oxley (Reguero 61), Forster, Hanlon (Harris 61), Fontaine, Gray (Duthie 76), S Allan (Dunsmore 76), Fyvie (Martin 61), Stanton, Stevenson (Crane 76), Cummings (L Allan 61), Malonga (Sinclair 76).
Referee: Nick Walsh.