Aberdeen Under 18?s fell to defeat in disappointing fashion on Friday night at Cormack Park against a Hibernian team that enjoyed a strong showing on the road. The young Dons were slightly depleted due to injury and suspension, and suffered a further blow when Alfie Bavidge limped off in the first half, but the Edinburgh side thoroughly deserved the three points after some clinical finishing in front of goal.
Interim head coach Stuart Duff was forced into making two changes to his side that defeated Rangers 3-2 in Glasgow the previous week: Blair Mckenzie and Findlay Marshall missed out through illness and suspension, Jamie Mercer came in for his third start of the campaign, Alfie Stewart returned to the midfield after missing the trip to the Rangers Training Centre through suspension himself.
The meeting of the two sides had already thrown up exciting goal friendly ties previously this season, Aberdeen ran out 4-0 winners at Cormack Park back in September, before being beaten 6-2 in the capital a few months later.
If Aberdeen were going to inflect revenge for the December defeat, they were going to have to do it the hard way. The visitors took an early lead after only two minutes had been played. The impressive Ethan Laidlaw drove down the flank and flashed a ball across the Don?s box, where Jacob MacIntyre was waiting to smash the ball high into the net past Oluyemi.
Aberdeen responded with a selection of half chances of their own, Liam Harvey latched onto a cross from deep in the air, but he could only divert the ball over the top of the goal. Adam Emslie was next, after some strong link up play with Brendan Hamilton, he saw a shot deflected behind for a corner kick.
The resulting corner was cleared back behind for another attempt from the other side. The second effort was a lot more encouraging, Alfie Stewart?s delivery was pinpoint, Hamilton?s header unfortunately wayward.
Aberdeen were dealt a big blow after 26 minutes when Alfie Bavidge was unable to shake off a knock he had picked up earlier in the clash. Bavidge was forced to make way, Cammy Wilson his replacement.
Hibernian missed a golden opportunity to double their advantage soon after Aberdeen made the change, Laidlaw again pushed the ball across the six-yard box, Josh Landers slid in to turn the ball into the net but fortunately for Aberdeen he saw his effort go past the post.
Wilson?s first real involvement after his introduction was to chip a superb effort off the bar from the edge of the box. Although a goal kick was given, keeper Smith Samuels just managed to get a finger-tip on the ball to produce a brilliant save.
The home side were enjoying a good spell and soon after there was a very strong claim for an Aberdeen penalty when Liam Harvey was bundled off the ball by Owen Hastie after the Dons striker managed to get in front of the defender, but the referee waved on, and Aberdeen?s protests were dismissed.
Hibernian then ended the half the slightly stronger of the two sides, but they were unable to grab a second before the interval.
Aberdeen looked bright out the traps as the second half kicked off. A well worked short corner routine ended up at the feet of Dylan Lobban at the edge of the box, the skipper?s effort on the half volley was a great one, and it came cannoning back of the post with Samuels beaten.
Lobban?s attempt was soon followed up by another, this time it was Hamilton who met an inch perfect ball from Harvey as the Northern Irish full-back charged into the box, however his shot was fired into the side netting.
Unfortunately for Aberdeen, with just over half an hour remaining Hibernian were awarded a penalty after Oluyemi was adjudged to have committed a foul in the box. Laidlaw made no mistake from 12 yards, coolly converting.
As Aberdeen pushed bodies forward to try and get back into the game, with 15 minutes to go two became three for the visitors, Laidlaw again in the box was alert and reacted first to fire across Oluyemi.
In between two meek efforts from Stewart and Emslie in the closing stages, Hibernian added a fourth goal, this time it was Rudi Molotnikov who got himself on the scoresheet.
Aberdeen Teamsheet Oluyemi
.Unused Subs: Kondolo, Murray, Ochmanski, Smilie, Boyd, Fatona.Bookings: Enem
amuels, Bulloch, Waugh, Fordyce, Hastie, Khan, Landers, McCallister, Laidlaw, Molotnikov, MacIntyre
Unused Substitutes: Clelland, Craig, McGarva, Smith, Whittaker, Owens
Venue: Cormack Park, Aberdeen
Referee: Owen Lawrence