Early in proceedings, the Hibernian fans were demanding seven goals. By the time Jason Cummings made it four, just after the interval, Bonnyrigg Rose might have settled for that.
In the end the junior side were shattered 8-1, the romance of their cup run turning slightly sour as they came up against holders determined to avoid the embarrassment of a giant-killing.
Manager Neil Lennon made it clear that he had prepared his team as though they would be facing top-flight opposition yet still Robbie Horn and his Midlothian minnows will have been keeping fingers crossed that the Championship side would underestimate them.
Those hopes were dispelled the minute the team lines were submitted.
“Regardless of the opposition, it was a tie that was always fraught with danger,” said the Hibs boss. “We were in a no-win situation. We wanted to give Bonnyrigg the respect they deserved. They beat Dumbarton in the last round and that’s no small achievement but I’m very pleased with the way we approached the game. We got a bit sloppy just before half-time so I had a few words and we came out and had a really good second half.”
That wasn’t what Rose wanted. Having handed Hibs the perfect start, allowing them to quickly establish a 3-0 lead, they had managed to peg one back from the spot but after another shout for a handball was waved away, they never really looked like closing the gap. The aim for the remainder of the game was to prevent Hibs hitting double figures.
“We didn’t play to our potential,” said Horn. “We had hoped to keep it tight for 25 minutes but instead were 3-0 down by 25 minutes.”
The first goal came from a low Andrew Shinnie strike and goalkeeper Michael Andrews should have done much better. That was in the 11th minute and three minutes later James Keatings was the man making the most of the space in front of the Rose backline, with time to send a looping effort over Andrews and into the net.
Hibs keeper Ofir Marciano hobbled off in agony after taking a Keiran McGachie knee to the kidneys as the big Rose striker challenged for a ball in the Hibs box.
In his absence, Hibs ploughed on. Chris Humphrey darted in at the back post to slot away the third after Andrews had parried a Lewis Stevenson shot in the 24th minute but Rose did pull one back.
Hibs fan McGachie won a penalty, tumbling under the attentions of Jordan Forster, but it was his Hearts-supporting team-mate Dean Hoskins who slotted it past Ross Laidlaw.
“We got back with a penalty and I thought we might have had a shout for another penalty with a handball,” said Horn. “If we had got back to 3-2 it might have been a different game but Hibs were strong and had great movement.
“I feared the score was going to get worse but, to be fair to my players, they dug in and never gave up. I think we have done the Juniors proud with our run in the Scottish Cup. We’ve had a taste for this.”
It doesn’t seem so long ago that Scottish Cup days amounted to torture for Hibs fans. How things have changed since 21 May and they were luxuriating in the early lead, running through their full cup final repertoire of songs. But Neil Lennon could still be heard demanding more from his players as they allowed the tempo to drop.
He has set standards and he expects his men to meet them. They came back out in the second half with that in mind and a double from Jason Cummings in the 52nd and 71st minutes, a Lewis Stevenson 60th-minute effort, a second for Keatings with 15 minutes remaining, and, finally, an 81st-minute header from Forster, wrapped things up. By that time Hibs fans wanted 10. Rose just wanted the final whistle.