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Gullan shines as Hibs edge past East Kilbride in Youth Cup

Hibernian 2

Gullan 26, 63

East Kilbride 1

McInally 45
  • Thursday, 26 October 2017
  • Easter Road
  • Under 20´s
  • Scottish Youth Cup

Jamie Braidwood | YFS South East Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

Jamie Gullan lit up Easter Road with two goals and an eye-catching display as Hibernian overcame East Kilbride in the third round of the Scottish Youth Cup.

Gullan’s goals either side of half-time, the first a well-struck free kick and the second an instinctive finish, were enough to secure victory over a resilient East Kilbride side, who replied through Jay McInally in first-half stoppage time.

“It was just about the result today,” said Gullan afterwards. “We didn’t play our best but we got what we wanted so we’re all happy.

“They were difficult to break down and were right in our faces from the start. We just had to keep passing the ball to find space. In the end two goals were enough.”

From the start, it was clear that the 18-year-old was Hibs’ biggest threat. His speed on the ball allowed him to beat his full-back every time, and drive forward into the space.

The visitors were surely aware of the danger, but there wasn’t much they could do about it. In the 26th minute Gullan again turned at halfway and ran at the East Kilbride defenders, who hauled him down on the edge of the box. Undeterred, Gullan picked himself up and curled a sublime shot up, over the wall, and into the far corner.

“I practice free-kicks in training,” Gullan said. “I want to step up and take them and I fancied my chances.”

East Kilbride continued to sit in, and were fortunate not fall further behind just before the break. From a corner, goalkeeper Kieran Bell was forced into making a save on the line. His palmed effort only went as far as Hibs striker Ruairi Paton, who, from under the bar, couldn’t keep his header down.

Hibs were perhaps a little too comfortable, and the equaliser came from a complete lapse in concentration. Defender Josh Campbell was under no pressure at all, but his back-pass to keeper Maciej Dabrowski was woefully under-hit. East Kilbride forward Gavin Millar burst onto the loose ball but was smothered by Dabrowski. Instead, it broke to McInally, who poked the ball over the line from the edge of the box.

  • Half Time:
  • Hibernian
  • 1-1
  • East Kilbride

While East Kilbride were much brighter in the second half, the home side continued to have the better opportunities. Paton again should’ve done much better with a header from under the bar, before Hibs’ number nine then set up Innes Murray for a low shot that was well saved.

As Gullan again went close with a near post effort from the right side and Sean Mackie’s inviting cross from the left was scrambled away, it was clear that the home side were beginning to turn the screw.

They retook the lead in the 63rd minute. Yrick Gallates’ searching ball to the back post was thundered against the bar by the rising Adam Watson. The rebound fell to Paton, whose fierce shot was blocked by another brave East Kilbride lunge. But then it broke to Gullan and this time he made no mistake, smashing a low strike through the Bell’s legs.

Hibs substitute Ryan Shanley’s introduction brought another round of chances for the home side, with Bell doing especially well to tip his rising near post shot wide of the goal.

As East Kilbride brought on attacking options of their own in search of an equaliser, they left gaps which Hibs began to exploit. A quick counter presented Paton with an opportunity in the box. He had the awareness to find Gregor Woods, who was making a late run into the area. Woods was leaning back, his shot flew over the bar, and the chance was spurned.

A late run forward by Millar was as close of East KIlbride got to levelling the scores and had his low shot across goal bobbled just a yard to the left, things could have been different.

In the end Hibs were comfortable and deserving of their place in the fourth round. Already doing well in the league, this was another important victory for Grant Murray’s side.

“The lads are all confident we’ll get far,” concluded Gullan. “We think we’ve got a good squad and hopefully we’ll get all the way to the final. That’s what we’re aiming for.”

 

  • Full Time:
  • Hibernian
  • 2-1
  • East Kilbride

Lineups

Hibernian
East Kilbride
1. Maceij Dabrowski
2. Ben Stirling
3. Sean Mackie
4. Josh Campbell
5. Kevin Waugh
6. Gregor Woods
7. Adam Watson
8. Innes Murray
9. Ruari Paton
10. Yrick Gallantes
11. Jamie Gullan
12. Ryan Shelvey
14. Scott Walker
15. Dean Cornerlius
31. Patrick Martin
1.Kieren Bell
2. Fraser Robertson
3. Conor Bell
4. Blair Kidd
5. Morgan Smith
6. Michael Anderson
7. Liam Craig
8. Scott Brodie
9. Jay McInally
10. Lewis Doherty
11. Gavin Millar
12. Nathan Khanna
21. Craig Melrose
14. Kyle Caig
15. Jack Mooney
16. Michael McLaughlin
17. Martin Beattie
18. Kieran McGuire
Star Player
Hibernian
East Kilbride
Jamie Gullan Hibs' biggest threat all night looked dangerous every time he got the ball. Took both goals superbly and it's hard to imagine how his team would've won without him.
Blair Kidd Denied Hibs several times with a number of brave blocks and important challenges.
Magic Moment
Hibernian
East Kilbride
Jamie Gullan's free-kick was the highlight of the match, a superb piece of technique.
Kieren Bell's save to deny Ryan Shanley kept his side in the match.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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