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Aberdeen 1 - 3 Hibernian

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 1 Hibernian

Youth Cup
Aberdeen scorers: McLennan 17.
Hibernian scorers: MacPherson (o.g.) 31, Porteous 73, Gullan 79

26/04/2018 | KO: 19:30

Aberdeen enjoyed some early possession which would have helped settle the nerves but it was Hibs who had the first chance when on three minutes a cross from the right was headed over by Oli Shaw. Joe MacPherson actually did well to make sure the striker, who is a regular in the Hibs first team squad, did not get a free header. A minute later the Edinburgh side won the first corner of the night but the Ross brothers combined to clear.
Connor McLennan managed to get a shot on target but a defection took the power off the hit and it was an easy save for Dabrowski. On five minutes the two Hibs full backs almost created the first goal. The left back Mackie put over a dangerous cross which picked out Callum Donaldson, who had lost his marker. but his cross at the back post went inches wide. A let off for the young Dons. A long clearance from Craddock found Anderson even though he had two markers round about him. The Dons then enjoyed some good possession in and around the area but eventually McLennan's shot was blocked by a defender.
The Development League champions continued to have more of the ball and on 12 minutes Innes Murray fired a shot over from outside the area. In the 13th minute a lovely patient build up from Aberdeen saw Ethan Ross play the ball into the feet of Anderson. He brilliantly turned his man to make room for the shot but it was straight at the keeper who gathered at the second attempt. The chance lifted the Dons who suddenly seemed to grow in confidence. Frank Ross and Connor McLennan were starting to find a bit of space inside the opposition half.
In the 17th minute McLennan picked the ball up wide on the right after a good long ball by Roscoe. It was a great first touch by Connor and he beat the full back and made his way along the by-line. Connor had time to look up but decided to go himself and beat another defender before using his strength to bundle the ball past the keeper and over the line. A superb solo effort and Aberdeen had the lead.
Connor was causing real problems and two minutes later won a free kick about 25 yards out. Frank Ross took it but he could only hit the wall with his first effort and his second was lifted over the bar. On 22 minutes Hibs came very close to an equaliser, Fraser Murray hit the bar with a great shot before the Dons managed to scramble the ball to safety. From the resulting corner Hibs had another half chance before Dean Campbell cleared. The captain was then caught but his fellow skipper with a really late tackle. The Hibs man was booked for a very poor challenge. At first glance it looked a red card offense. Thankfully Dean was able to continue after treatment.
Hibs then enjoyed some more good possession but the Dons players were working very hard to close down the spaces. On 28 minutes Frank Ross won a free kick which was taken quickly and Seb Ross found himself in acres of space down the left, but frustratingly the referee pulled the play back. On the half hour mark Bruce Anderson did very well to hold off a few tackles and created a break despite being pulled back by Stirling. The referee waved play on but Anderson could not find Ethan Ross with his through ball. Had Bruce found a team mate it would have been a very promising attack. Instead Hibs went up the park and moments later a cross from the right was flicked in at the near post by a combination of Oli Shaw and Joe MacPherson and the teams were level again. Joe was trying to get across to cover. The game then settled down a bit. Hibs had more of the ball but Aberdeen looked a threat when hitting on the break.
On 39 minutes Craddock showed a good pair of hands when he claimed and corner and a minute later Anderson at the other end fired a shot wide. A minute before half time Josh Campbell was booked for upending Anderson. Then there was chances at both ends just before the break. A long ball into the box from Harvie saw keeper Dabrowski race off his line and any contact from Seb Ross?s back header would have beat the keeper. Then at the other end a cross into the box was intercepted by Campbell but fell kindly for Fraser Murray. Thankfully he had a rush of blood to the head and fired high and wide and the teams went in at the interval level.

HT. Aberdeen 1 Hibernian 1

At half time a major blow for the Dons as Connor McLennan had to be replaced by Miko Virtanen. Connor had been struggling with an injury ahead of the game and eventually had to admit defeat. Gallan had the first chance at the start of the second half, firing a low shot wide of the target. On 54 minutes the left back Mackie galloped forward before hitting a thumping shot which did not clear Craddock?s post by much. On 55 minutes a moment of controversy when Seb Ross won the ball in a really good area. Brother Ethan appeared to then be taken down on the edge of the area but Anderson was flagged offside. A minute later Sean Mackie was booked for a foul on Anderson. Harvie took the free kick 25 yards out which beat the wall, Dabrowski got down and parried the ball away, with Ethan Ross not far from picking up the scraps.
On the hour mark a really good move by the Dons saw Campbell pick out Harrington. He poked it through to Ethan Ross who worked a cut back which found Anderson. The striker pulled the trigger and his shot looked net bound but Porteous made a very good block that stopped an almost certain goal. On 62 minutes Hibs appealed for a penalty when they claimed Virtanen handled inside the area but the referee correctly waved play on. Then Dean Campbell got himself into a good area after a positive run but his shot was always on the rise.
With a quarter of the match remaining there was a brilliant save from Craddock. The ball broke to Jamie Gullan inside the six yard box but the Dons keeper dived to his left and tipped the ball behind. A really good instinctive stop. Then at the other end a Frank Ross low shot was spilled by Dabrowski at his near post but the keeper was very fortunate to see the ball go behind for a corner and not land up in his net. The game was now becoming quite stretched.
On 72 minutes Hibs took the lead. A cross from Stirling picked out Ryan Porteous and his header from close range bounced down into the net. Aberdeen immediately made a change with Ethan Ross coming off and David Dangana went upfront to partner Anderson. The Dons desperately needed the next goal but it wasn't to be as Hibs grabbed a third in the 79th minute. A long ball picked out Shaw who was covered by Roscoe. The striker had time to look up and his ball across the six yard was tapped home by Gullan at the back post.
After 82 minutes Campbell put over cross which was just deflected out of the reach of Anderson and two minutes later there was some great play by Frank Ross. He beat a number of players after cutting in off the wing. He then got a low shot away which the keeper saved at his near post. With a minute to go Ben Stirling curled a shot inches past and then a last chance for the Dons when the ball broke to Anderson who was one on one with the keeper but his shot was saved. With only two minutes of added time it would have been little more than a consolation.
As the full time whistle sounded the Aberdeen boys had given their all but sadly they did not perform as well as they could and Hibs completed a league and cup double.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Craddock, Harrington, Harvie (Wells 89), Campbell, MacPherson, Roscoe, McLennan (Virtanen 46), Ross, Anderson, Ross, Ross (Dangana 74).

Unused Subs: MacKenzie, Barron, Mair.
Hibernian Teamsheet
Dabrowski, Donaldson, Mackie, Porteous, Waugh, Campbell, F Murray, Stirling, Shaw, I Murray (Watson 85), Gullan Subs Martin, O'Connor, Woods, Paton, Shanley, Gallantes
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow