HIBS go into the second leg of their SPFL Championship promotion play-off tie tomorrow against Raith Rovers hoping that the superior surface of Easter Road will give them an advantage.

The Edinburgh club went down 0-1 in Kirkcaldy to a second-half goal by substitute Harry Panayiotou, and manager Alan Stubbs was indirectly critical of a playing surface with an uneven bounce, especially after star striker Jason Cummings mishit a golden chance to open the scoring when the ball bobbled just as he was about to shoot.

“We created some decent opportunities on a difficult pitch,” said Stubbs. “The ball was bobbling up when players were setting themselves to shoot. At Jason’s chance, the ball bounced probably higher than it should, but he still should have scored.

“We go to Easter Road and we’ll be able to get the ball down and play more. The pitch is the same for both teams. It’s not an excuse but you could see how difficult it was. It’s half time and it’s become clearer what we have to do – score a couple of goals.”

Stubbs is still bitter at the perceived injustice at the hands of match officials on Wednesday night, and he may fall foul of the SFA’s rules on criticising officials especially as television replays suggested that referee Kevin Clancy and his assistants were probably correct to turn down penalty claims.

For his part, Raith Rovers manager Ray McKinnon said he thought the pressure might tell on Hibs.

He said: “It was a really hard-fought game, as usual. We expected a really tough game and Hibs gave us that.

“But a lot of credit to my lads, they’re in good form, they’re a very strong bunch – and they wouldn’t lie down tonight.

“Hibs will have to open up and come at us on Saturday, which may leave them a bit more vulnerable.”