Chris Humphrey began his fight to claim a place in Hibs’ Scottish Cup semi-final squad, returning after a nine-match absence as the Easter Road club’s development squad defeated Celtic 2-1.
The winger played the first 45 minutes of the match at Oriam, his first taste of action since suffering a calf injury only minutes into the cup replay victory over Hearts at the end of February.
Now Humphrey, signed on a free from Preston North End until the end of the season, will be hoping to be part of the squad for Saturday’s Championship clash with Queen of the South, seven days before the trip to Hampden to face Aberdeen.
Humphrey was replaced at half-time by Jamie Gullan with Hibs 1-0 up as striker Oli Shaw continued his impressive goal-scoring record of recent weeks by taking his tally for the season to 26 just three minutes into the game, although Celtic had earlier gone close with a Regan Hendry effort which struck the woodwork.
Having taken the lead, the Hibs youngsters looked to stretch their advantage, forcing Hoops goalkeeper Conor Hazard to pull off good saves from Callum Donaldson and Alex Harris, who was getting more game time under his belt following his appearance as a late substitute in the weekend’s draw with Morton.
Gullan could also have added to Shaw’s strike but saw two headers go just wide of the target before Celic equalised in the 69th minute, Michael Johnston playing in Jack Aitchison to beat Hibs goalkeeper Kevin Dabrowski.
Celtic went pressing for the winner, but were caught as Fraser Murray claimed the three points eight minutes from time.
The win leaves Hibs four points behind SPFL Development League leaders Ross County with only three games left, their next being the long journey to Dingwall next Tuesday to take on the Staggies.
Hibs team: Dabrowski, Donaldson, Mackie, Porteous, Waugh, Stirling, Harris, S Martin, Shaw, Humphrey (Gullan 46), F Murray. Substitutes not used: P Martin, I Murray, O’Connor, Gallantes.