Hibs comfortably negotiated their passage through to the third round of the Co-operative Insurance Cup with a dominant display at home to Second Division side Brechin City.
The result was beyond doubt by the interval as Hibs opened up a two-goal lead courtesy of Derek Riordan’s opener and an own goal from Ian Nimmo.
The second period followed the same pattern with Hibs enjoying greater possession that left the visitors camped deep inside their own half.
It was no surprise when the third arrived in the 55th minute through the boot of Paul Hanlon, who found the top corner of the goal with a delightful shot.
Worryingly for Easter Road boss John Hughes, however, was new signing Anthony Stokes’ failure to convert one of several chances that fell his way.
Moroccan striker Abdessalam Benjelloun was given the chance to enchance his fitness levels with a start for the hosts. His return to Leith following two loan spells allied to Stokes’ much-vaunted transfer from Sunderland had left Hughes with a plethora of attacking options.
Despite making four changes to the side that racked up their second-successive win of the season at Falkirk the previous weekend, a fluidity to the hosts’ play during the early stages left Brechin’s part-timers looking vulnerable every time Hibs mounted an attack.
Riordan opened the scoring in the 11th minute with a sublime chip. The striker accepted Hanlon’s square pass 25 yards from goal and was afforded time to weigh up his options before lifting an exquisite shot over former Hearts goalkeeper Craig Nelson, who had strayed from his line.
City’s plight worsened five minutes later when Riordan’s cross from a short corner skimmed off Nimmo’s head before sailing past his goalkeeper.
Benjelloun then set up an opening with a piercing pass but Stokes slid the ball past Nelson and the post.
Dominant Hibs were then denied a third by the post after John Rankin’s shot came back off the upright. Stokes picked up the rebound but lashed a left-footed shot on the turn over the bar. Brechin rode their luck as their arrears came close to increasing prior to the break. Benjelloun did well to create room for a shot outside the box but his left-footed effort cannoned off the outside of the woodwork.
The visitors reappeared for the second half aiming to keep the score respectable but Hanlon notched the home side’s third ten minutes after the restart. The left-back cut in from the flank and curled a superb effort into the far corner of the net.
Stokes missed another opening to break his duck in a Hibs jersey with just minutes remaining.
Hibs: Stack, Wotherspoon, Hogg, Murray, Hanlon, Rankin, McBride, Cregg, Riordan, Benjelloun, Stokes.