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Hibernian 0 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Hibernian 0 - 1 Aberdeen

SPL Youth 18
Aberdeen scorers: Emslie 37.

26/04/2022 | KO: 19:00

U18s stun Hibs after late drama

Although they were massive underdogs, the young Dons produced a fantastic performance as Adam Emslie netted the only goal of the game to see his side gain a memorable victory over Hibernian despite a number of controversial decisions which favoured the home side.

After their fine 5-2 win away to Motherwell, Aberdeen faced as tough a road trip as can be found in the CAS Under 18 League when they travelled to Ormiston to face a Hibernian side seemingly destined to win the League. Gareth Evans' side have been all but invincible this season, winning both previous meetings of the sides by a three goal margin. However, recent results and performances from the young Dons have been very encouraging and promise much for the future.

And this confidence was evident in the opening minutes as a great run from Liam Harvey almost created an opening goal for the visitors, his cutback only narrowly evading the inrushing Cammy Wilson.

The stronger, older and more experienced Hibs side however gained the upper hand and Weir's volley drew a solid save from Jamie Shingler who was to have a major part to play in this match.

Harvey and Molotnikov both had efforts on goal as the sides looked for an opener before Laidlaw missed a glorious opportunity on 20 minutes when he sidefooted Oscar Macintyre's cross wide. Shingler then tipped a twenty five yard rocket from McCulloch on to the bar and away to safety as it looked more likely that the home side would get the first goal.

The Dons had other ideas though, and, after a Wilson effort was saved, they grabbed the all important strike on 37 minutes. A fine diagonal ball from Finlay Murray found Timi Fatona who shrugged off the attentions of a defender to lay the ball into the path of Adam Emslie who fired a crisp shot across the face of keeper Johnson and into the far corner. A fine goal which takes Adam's tally for the League campaign to six.

Hibs continued to pile on the pressure and Young came close as the half drew to a close. The Dons maybe led against the run of play, but their hard work was being rewarded although they knew the second half would be extremely difficult.

Half time - Hibernian 0 Aberdeen 1

Four minutes into the second period and Hibs were given a golden chance to draw level when referee Dickson pointed to the spot, deeming the Dons wall's block on a free kick was a handball. Justice was done though when Young blazed the spot kick wildly over.

The pressure from the home side was relentless as they played mainly route one football to try and take advantage of their greater physicality. However, Aberdeen defended stoutly and Jamie Shingler's goal wasn't seriously tested despite chances for Hamilton and Young.

Indeed, the Dons were not simply defending. A quick break saw Johnson forced into an impressive double save to deny first Alfie Stewart then Harvey. The keeper also had to extend himself to keep out a long range effort from Murray.

The Dons had a strong shout for a penalty when a Hibs defender handled but their appeals fell on deaf ears. However, with four minutes of regulation time left, referee Dickson pointed to the spot after Harvey crashed to the ground in the Hibs box. At this point assistant referee Rory Millar intervened and persuaded the ref to change his decision to the utter bewilderment of the Aberdeen camp. Coach Scott Anderson was called over by the ref and shown a red card.

The post saved the Dons in the 89th minute when Weir's shot got the better of Shingler. A let off which the Dons deserved for their diligent defending.

Despite only a short injury stoppage in the second half, seven minutes of added time were played and controversy erupted again with virtually the last action of the game.

A Hibs attack was blocked at the edge of the area, and it appeared the referee had given a free kick. Again, though he changed his mind after assistant referee Stephen Divers called him over and between them they opted to award Hibs a penalty rather than a free kick.

Once again, Hibs failed to take advantage, Jamie Shingler plunging to his left to parry to safety Jacob Blaney's powerfully struck penalty. For a second time, it appeared to be a case of justice being done.

The final whistle blew to scenes of joyous celebrations from the Dons heroes, all of whom had put in a shift to be thoroughly proud of.

Despite the age gap and the difference in sheer size of the teams, the Dons played some nice football when they could and will have gained invaluable experience from what was a really tough test of their character, fitness, desire and ability.

Next up is a Cormack Park clash with Hamilton Accies on Friday, the game due to kick off at 6pm.

Full time - Hibernian 0 Aberdeen 1


Barry Robson: "First and foremost, that is an incredible result for us.

"We know where Hibs are this season and we are two or in some cases three years younger than them. To come away with a 1-0 win is a brilliant result.

"We could not play the way we wanted to play. All we could do tonight was fight and stay in the game but what we did do was show heart, desire and the things you need to win football matches.

"The players have learned the other side of the game tonight, what it takes to win football matches when you are up against it - you are playing a much more physical side, the conditions are difficult, the officiating was very disappointing and we had to deal with that.

"You are going to come up against these challenges when you play first team football.?

Hibernian Teamsheet
Johnson, J Macintyre (Hamilton 62), O Macintyre, Blaney, Weir, Megwa, Aiken, Molotnikov (Wylie 75), Laidlaw, Young, McCulloch

Unused substitutes: Hastie, Khan, Carter

Bookings:  Laidlaw 41,   McCulloch 67,   Aiken 77
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Shingler, Marshall, Watson, Murray, McKenzie, Fatona, Wilson, Stewart, Harvey, Mason, Emslie.

Unused Subs: Vitols, Ochmanski, Pirie, Mackie.

Bookings:  McKenzie (48),  Shingler (59),  Stewart (71).
Venue: Hibernian Training Ground, Edinburgh
Referee: David Dickson