NEIL LENNON had a blast at blundering Efe Ambrose and labelled Ross County’s second goal “a piece of nonsense” before Hibs scraped a 3-2 win yesterday.
It took a stoppage-time effort from new boy Daryl Hogan to cement a quarter-final meeting with Aberdeen in the Betfred League Cup at Easter Road next month.
The Edinburgh side’s boss praised the battling qualities of his players who had to claw their way back into the contest twice after the Dingwall outfit had taken the advantage.
Lennon, though, has ordered the error-prone Ambrose to cut out the mistakes which threatened to end his club’s interest in the competition.
The former Celtic centre-back was involved in the penalty-kick that gave allowed the visitors to take a 2-1 lead and his ex-Hoops gaffer said: “We gifted them goals, Efe has to stop it. The second goal was a piece of nonsense, it was uncalled for and we had a bit of a wobble after that goal.
“The players have plenty of character, which is great, but it is almost as if we wake them up from a slumber.
“The reaction was great, Stevie Mallan comes up with a superb goal. He’s been a revelation. And Horgan has got off to a wonderful start. This was his first game for a while, but he is quality.
UP IN ARMS…Neil Lennon has a go at Efe Ambrose.
“I was surprised he lasted the 90 minutes, but I was delighted with his performance.”
Michael Gardyne had fired the Highlanders into a shock lead, but skipper David Gray levelled five minutes later.
However, the home side went behind again as Nigerian international Ambrose made a mess of attempting to control the ball and was then adjudged to have fouled Declan McManus. Josh Mullin put the Championship outfit ahead once more, but Stevie Mallan claimed a second for Hibs with his sixth goal of the season.
Horgan claimed a dramatic winner in added-on time to seal a last-gasp triumph and a date with the Dons in the next stage.
The victory over County saw Lennon complete his SFA touchline ban and he admitted he’s looking forward to getting back into the dug-out.
He added: “It will be a novelty getting back in there, it’s almost as if my season is starting. Now I’ll just keep my mouth shut and get on with my job.”