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Aberdeen 0 - 3 Hibernian

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 1 Hibernian

SPL Youth 18
Hibernian scorers: Laidlaw 16, Weir 71, Zaid 83

03/05/2022 | KO: 18:00

Young Dons lose to Hibs

Hibs ran out deserved winners against the young Dons although the scoreline did not reflect the closeness of the game.

Table toppers Hibernian headed for Cormack Park with last week's defeat at the hands still fresh in their memories, Barry Robson's youngsters keen to follow up on the win as they aimed to set down a marker for next season.

With Peterhead and Elgin City having completed their League campaigns, both Ryan Duncan and Evan Towler who had enjoyed loan spells at the League One and Two sides were able to play while Tom Ritchie made his first appearance in a considerable period following his recovery from injury.

The Dons started brightly without threatening the visitors goal with the strong running of Harvey prominent, but it was the Dons striker's Scotland Under 17 squad team-mate Ethan Laidlaw who had the game's first clear opening, the Hibs man's lobbed effort just the wrong side of the post.

On 16 minutes the deadlock was broken as Laidlaw burst through a midfield challenge to find himself with a clear run to goal and he steadied himself before crashing the ball past Ritchie from around fifteen yards.

Connor Young then had a shot deflected just over as Hibs began to dominate before the Dons finished the half strongly.

Evan Towler's header from Alfie Stewart's corner was just too high, then a sweeping move started by Ritchie's excellent clearance to Adam

Emslie saw the winger's cutback fired inches wide by Stewart. An excellent passage of play which probably deserved a goal, but it was the visitors who went in a goal to the good at the break with the promise of a tight second half to come.

Half time - Aberdeen 0 Hibernian 1

Timi Fatona replaced Cammy Wilson at the interval. A minute after the resumption, only a timely tackle from Towler prevented the dangerous Laidlaw from doubling Hibs' tally.

A clever pass from Malek Zaid gave Robbie Hamilton, grandson of ex Don and former Peterhead boss Jim, an opportunity, but Ritchie spread himself well to block.

The Dons were still very much in the game and Fatona's cross only just evaded Harvey in the middle. However, on 71 minutes, the visitors got a crucial second goal, Mackenzie Weir's powerful header from Jacob Blaney's corner finding the net.

Ritchie again saved well from Young then the excellent Zaid put the game to bed, skipping into the box before calmly passing the ball into the corner of the net. From a Hibs perspective, a really nice goal, although the Dons will be wondering why he was afforded too much space in the box.

Try as they might, the Dons couldn't quite get the goal their overall play deserved, Ryan Duncan's powerful late shot too high to trouble Johnson in the Hibs goal.

In the end, a good three points for Gareth Evans' side, while the Dons have three games left to complete their season, the first at Cormack Park on Friday when Dundee United are the visitors.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Ritchie, Marshall (Mason 83), Watson, Towler, McKenzie, Yeats, Wilson (Fatona 45), Stewart, Harvey, Duncan, Emslie.

Unused Subs: Ochmanski, Shingler.
Hibernian Teamsheet
Johnson, J Macintyre, McCulloch, Blaney, Weir, Megwa, Aiken, Zaid, Laidlaw, Young (Molotnikov 82), Hamilton

Unused substitutes: Watt, Wylie, Hastie, Carter

Bookings:   Aiken 60
Venue: Cormack Park, Aberdeen
Referee: Joel Kennedy