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Hibernian 2 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: Hibernian 0 - 0 Aberdeen

SPFL Development League
Hibernian scorers: F Murray 48, Allan 73

17/04/2018 | KO: 14:00

With these sides due to meet in the SFA Youth Cup Final in nine days? time, both were keen to gain some psychological advantage ahead of the Hampden showdown. Hibs currently lead the Development League table by a point from Dundee, last week's conquerors of the Dons, but knew they suffered a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Paul Sheerin's side when they met at Brechin back in September.
Aberdeen welcomed skipper Dean Campbell and central defender Sam Roscoe back after injury while the Hibs line-up featured Olly Shaw, Ryan Porteous and Vykintas Slivka all of whom have scored for their first team this season.

Hibs went straight on to the attack in very blustery conditions and Shaw headed just over at the far post after a free kick from the left from Murray. Shaw tried his luck with a twenty-five-yard free-kick on 7 minutes, but David Craddock was perfectly placed to make a comfortable save. A minute later a wild challenge from Scott Martin on David Dangana saw the Hibs man booked. From the resulting free kick, only a superb point-blank save by Dabrowski denied Sam Roscoe from opening the scoring.
Aberdeen won a free kick on the right side in the 15th minute and when the ball came to McLennan his powerful left-footed effort was deflected wide for a corner. From the flag-kick, Joe MacPherson headed just wide. Olly Shaw was forced to come off after 17 minutes after appearing to twist his knee, Adam Watson taking his place. The Easter Road side will hope their number one striker recovers in time for the Cup Final next week. Both sides were playing at a fierce tempo and Allan was next to have a go at goal but again Craddock was well positioned to make the save.
A good run by full back Donaldson saw him travel deep into Aberdeen territory before firing a left-foot shot wide of the target. It wasn?t all one-way traffic though and a delightful chipped ball forward from Dean Campbell picked out Bruce Anderson, but the striker couldn?t get a good connection on the shot. Campbell himself had a pot-shot from distance on 28 minutes but the ball sailed well wide. A quick break down the right by Ethan Ross saw him pick out his brother Seb on the edge of the area and his mishit shot bobbled just wide with Dabrowski scrambling across his goal. Craddock again saved comfortably from Murray as the table-toppers pushed for the opener, but they were fortunate on 35 minutes when an inviting cross from Danny Harvie found no takers in the Hibs box.
The Dons were shouting for a penalty as the half went into its last few minutes when McLennan appeared to be held back in the box as he tried to turn on to a Seb Ross cross, but the referee was unmoved. A fairly even first half played in very difficult, windy conditions saw the sides head for the dressing rooms with honours even and all to play for in the second forty-five.

Half time Hibernian Under 20s 0 Aberdeen Under 20s 0

Hibs broke the deadlock three minutes into the second half when Watson crossed from the right for Fraser Murray to fire high into the net from six yards. Centre back Ben Stirling showed some neat touches for a big man as he engineered a shooting opportunity but his effort from the edge of the box didn?t seriously trouble Craddock. On 62 minutes, Connor McLennan was booked for simulation when he went down under the close attention of Scott Martin.
Hibs were dominating the possession but without seriously threatening the Aberdeen goal but the Dons strike force of Anderson and Dangana weren?t seeing much of the ball. Craddock saved well at the feet of Allan before Dean Campbell fired a right-foot shot just too high.
On 70 minutes Aberdeen replaced Danny Harvie with Jack MacKenzie and the sub was immediately into the action winning a free kick out on the left, but the Hibs defence snuffed out the treat from the set-piece. With 73 minutes on the clock McLennan had to leave the field for treatment to a knock and, while the Dons were down to ten men, Hibs took full advantage, Allan firing a deflected shot past Craddock after good work on the left by Slivka. Hibs withdrew Slivka on 76 minutes, introducing Campbell while the Dons made a double switch, Dean Campbell and Ethan Ross being replaced by Miko Virtanen and Chris Antoniazzi.
A poor challenge by Donaldson on Antoniazzi saw the Hibs man booked as the game moved into its final quarter of an hour. Connor McLennan whipped a free kick just wide of the far post as the Dons chased a consolation goal, but it just wasn?t their day as Hibs ran out deserved winners taking a giant stride towards the Development League title.
Hibernian Teamsheet
Dabrowski, Donaldson, Mackie, Porteous (C), Stirling, Crane, S Martin, Slivka (Campbell 76), Shaw (Watson 17), Allan, F Murray. Unused substitutes ? P Martin (GK), Waugh, I Murray

Bookings:  S Martin 8,   Donaldson 78
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Craddock, Harrington, Harvie (MacKenzie 70), Campbell (Virtanen 76), MacPherson, Roscoe, McLennan, Ross, Dangana, Anderson, Ross (Antoniazzi 76).

Bookings:  McLennan (62).
Venue: Oriam, Edinburgh
Referee: Duncan Smith