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Lennon joy as Hibernian show their character to net place in semis

Hibernian 3-2 Livingston

By Ronnie Esplin

Neil Lennon insisted he was a "very happy man" despite seeing his Hibernian side make hard work of Livingston in their Betfred Cup quarter-final.

Hibs eventually prevailed 3-2 thanks to a late Anthony Stokes penalty, but failed to deliver the improvements demanded by Lennon following Saturday's draw with Motherwell.

The 2-2 draw on Saturday drew scathing criticism from the Ulsterman, but he insisted he was delighted to get through.

"I thought we were excellent," he said. "From an attacking point of view we could have scored three goals in the first 10 minutes. We scored two beautiful goals.

"Their second goal was beautiful, there wasn't much we could do. Their first goal was poor because it was set play which we worked on yesterday but we dealt with it and the character the team showed was fantastic.

"You're looking at a very happy man here. We're in the semi-final, we got the win, we played good football, we created umpteen chances and thoroughly deserved to win the game."

The hosts found themselves behind twice in the first half after goals from Alan Lithgow and Raffaele De Vita, but Danny Swanson and Martin Boyle cancelled them out before Stokes' late, contentious penalty.

Livi boss David Hopkin was not impressed by the decision from Bobby Madden. He said: "Some of Bobby's decisions baffled me. I didn't think it was a penalty. I've just seen it on TV again. The linesman didn't give it, no one did. I just think Bobby gave a soft penalty."

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