Hibernian U20 2 | Caldwell 71', 90' (Pen)
Aberdeen U20 1 | Considine 12'
SPFL U20 League | Energy Assests Arena, Almondvale, Livingston | FT
Aberdeen U20's were cruelly beaten 2-1 by Hibs in Livingston this evening. The home side were awarded a very controversial penalty in the 90th minute by referee Brian Colvin. The Dons had taken the lead on 13 minutes through Andrew Considine, who had a fine game and got another 90 minutes under his belt. Caldwell equalised for Hibs on 71 minutes and the same player scored the winner from the spot. It was a very entertaining game and both sides played some good football. A draw would have been a fair scoreline.
Neil Cooper was without Cammy Smith and Lawrence Shankland who both played for the Scotland U19s this afternoon and Declan McManus who is on loan at Alloa so they were lacking quite a bit of firepower. The young Dons lined up with Rogers in goal. Rumsby was at right back with Rose and Considine in central defence and McKenna left back. Masson, Storie and Gibbons were in the middle of the park with Murray and O'Neill playing wide and supporting O'Sullivan up front.
There was little action of note in the opening stages apart for a booking for McKenna after 6 minutes. The first chance of the game fell to Handling after 10 minutes. The Dons failed to clear their lines and the ball fell to the Hibs striker but he dragged his shot wide.
On 12 minutes Aberdeen won their first corner and from it came the first goal. Considine made a great run to the near post before bulleting a header home. Jamie Masson, who had a great game, took the corner and did really well to pick Andrew out. It was a superb cross and even better header. A minute later Murray swung in another great ball from the left across the face of goal but there were no takers.
On 19 minutes, from their second corner, Aberdeen should have grabbed a second as they played pin ball inside the 6 yard box. The ball fell to Rumsby whose shot was blocked and then the ball pinged about before being cleared. Handling then had another opening but put his effort wide and on 22 minutes the same player was very unlucky to see a glancing header go inches past. Rogers then had to make a smart stop from Stanton.
Aberdeen at this point enjoyed some good possession and were passing the ball about really well. On 28 minutes Craig Murray, who had a very good game, set up Masson but his shot failed to find the target.
Just after the half hour Hibs had a couple of good chances. On 32 minutes there was a lucky escape for the Dons when Handling could not get his shot away from in front of goal and then the ball was laid back to Caldwell but he put his effort past the post.
Back came the Dons though and skipper O'Neill put in a great cross on 37 minutes which just went inches over the head of Rumsby who had made a great run untracked in the box. A minute later O'Neill floated another great ball across goal but there were no takers.
Aberdeen had been the better team in the first half but had Rogers to thanks for keeping them in front at the break when at full stretch he tipped a Gold effort round the post. An outstanding save.
Just after the interval Handling went close again and was unlucky when he stabbed a shot just past the post. Hibs started to build some pressure but Considine held the back line together well.
After about fifteen minutes Aberdeen enjoyed a better spell and were unlucky not to score when after a great moved Murray's shot had to be tipped over the bar. Then O'Sullivan raced forward before teeing up Murray who had made a great run to get in support. He put his shot just past the post. Aberdeen continued to look dangerous so it was therefore against the run of play when Hibs scored an equaliser. The Dons defence failed to deal with a couple of challenges on the edge of the box and the ball fell kindly for Caldwell who swept it home.
On 73 minutes the Dons made their first change of the game. Marcus Campanile came on for O'Neill. The change almost worked immediately as O'Sullivan had a chance but he put it over. Campanile, who was playing upfront with O'Sullivan, then curled one just past the post. Very unlucky. The Dons at this stage looked more likely to score a winner in the closing stages.
On 85 minutes Murray was put clear down the right and he agonisingly put his effort right across the face of goal.
Aberdeen then continued to threaten and hand a strong hand ball claim with a couple of minutes to go. However it was the home side who were controversially award a penalty in the last play of the game. From a corner the ball was cleared to the edge of the box. Scott Rumsby did what all good defenders should do and went to close the ball down. It was hammered at him from point blank range and the ball appeared to hit him on the chest. However after loud protests from the home players referee Colvin pointed to the spot.
It seemed a very harsh decision. The ball appeared to hit his chest and not his arm. Video replays back this up.
Caldwell scored his second from the spot with a well taken penalty.
Neil Cooper post match interview please click here
To watch the highlights please click here
Subs not used | Tait, Duguid, Ferries, Jones, Kelly
Hibernian Team | Murdoch, Dunsmore, Crane, Gold, Forster, Donaldson, Smith, Paul (Todd 70), Caldwell, Handling (Cummings 62) Stanton
Subs not used | Horne, Black, Gardiner, Sinclair, Beaton