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Aberdeen 1 - 2 Hibernian

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 2 Hibernian

Scottish Premier Reserve League
Aberdeen scorers: Antoniazzi 88.
Hibernian scorers: Gullan 23, Gullan 39

11/02/2019 | KO: 14:00

An experienced Hibs side came out on top in a really entertaining and competitive reserve game but there were plenty of positives for Paul Sheerin to take from the 90 minutes. His side have a reserve cup semi-final to play against Hearts later this month and the U18s have a semi-final against Rangers in the Youth Cup next week.

match report

Following the postponements of their scheduled fixture with Dundee United, Paul Sheerin's team finally saw some action when they welcomed Hibernian to Cove. The visitors currently sit four places higher than the Dons in the table with four more points than their opponents, so a close encounter was on the cards.

First team squad men Tomas Cerny, Dom Ball and Connor McLennan all featured in a strong home side skippered by Dean Campbell.

Hibs were first to threaten in the third minute when Allan powered a header goalward after a fine cross from Donaldson, but Tomas Cerny saved well low to his left.

The Dons keeper was called into action ninety seconds later saving comfortably from Innes Murray's thirty-yard free kick. The visitors had made a sprightly start to the match.

Connor McLennan had the Dons' first shot at goal in eight minutes, Martin dealing well with the winger's right-footed effort. A good break from Miko Virtanen led to Morgan Brown delivering a teasing ball into the area which, unfortunately for the home side, was just out of reach of David Dangana.

Good work down the right from Brown and Ethan Ross saw Campbell having a shot deflected wide for a fruitless corner.

Jamie Gullan broke the deadlock on 23 minutes, turning well on the left side of the box before firing low past Cerny. Shortly after, a trademark run from McLennan almost created an opening for the Dons, Hibs closing ranks at the back to deny the home side.

Aberdeen were pressing to get back on level terms, but Hibs were looking solid at the back and Martin wasn't being called into action too much.

On 39 minutes Hibs made it 2-0, Gullan rapping home the rebound after Cerny had made a fine save from Fraser Murray - the Dons hit with a real sucker punch. The scoreline was tough on Paul Sheerin's side as there was not much between the sides.

Try as they might Aberdeen couldn't create anything clear cut before the interval so would have it all to do in the second half.

Half time - Aberdeen 0 Hibernian 2

A great run from Dom Ball ended with the midfield man winning a corner as the Dons looked to make a positive start to the second period, Hibs again defending well to repel the set piece.

Ross and Campbell both saw shots blocked after a McLennan cross caused panic in the Hibs box as the home side continued to apply the pressure. Ball tried his luck from distance as he continued to have a big influence on the second half action, the shot going wide.

It had been a good opening ten minutes to the half from Paul Sheerin's side, but they couldn't find the creative spark needed to get themselves back into the match.

Jack Mackenzie brought the best out of keeper Martin just before the hour mark, his left footed piledriver denied by a fine parry. A fine move down the left ended with Dean Campbell firing wide from Ross' cutback. The move deserved a goal.

On 61 minutes Ball and McLennan were replaced by Chris Antoniazzi and Lloyd Robertson. Virtanen moved into midfield as Lloyd slotted in at right back while Antoniazzi took the wing role vacated by McLennan.

Lewis Duncan came off the bench to take the place of Virtanen on 72 minutes and the 17-year-old from Fraserburgh was quickly into the action firing over a dipping cross which Martin, at full stretch, tipped to safety.

Gullan tested Cerny on 78 minutes, but the keeper was able to block, the Hibs hitman coming even closer seconds later when his powerful drive crashed off the post to safety. Paton took the place of Innes Murray for the last ten minutes of the match.

The sub almost made it three on 82 minutes but Cerny made another good stop. Brown and Dangana were replaced by Kieran Shanks and Connor Barron for the final five.

Wee Connor almost scored a sensational goal smashing a terrific shot from 25 yards off the keeper's left-hand post. Aberdeen finally got a goal with two minutes left when Antoniazzi stole in at the back post to head Ross's corner past Martin.

It set up a fantastic finish.

Hibs went on the attack again and Mackenzie produced a miraculous goal-line clearance to deny Allan. Sadiki was booked for a late foul on Campbell, give Aberdeen a free kick in a great position. But the set-piece from Ross went agonisingly just over.

A very encouraging second half showing from the Dons but they just couldn't get the better of a stuffy and well organised Hibs defence.

Full time - Aberdeen 1 Hibernian 2

Weather: Mild and Bright
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Cerny, Virtanen (Duncan 72), MacKenzie, Campbell, Power, Harrington, Brown (Barron 85), Ball (Robertson 61), Dangana (Shanks 85), Ross, McLennan (Antoniazzi 61).

Unused Subs: Mykyta, Craddock.
Hibernian Teamsheet
Martin, Stirling, Donaldson, Waugh (C), Sadiki, Mackie, I Murray (Paton 75), Block, Allan, Gullan, F Murray
Unused substitutes - Shanley, Woods, Galantes, O'Connor

Bookings:  Sadiki 90
Venue: Balmoral Stadium, Cove
Referee: Chris Fordyce