Tuesday afternoon saw the Development League leaders bounce back from their SFA Youth Cup loss on Friday to extend their advantage at the top of the table, putting four goals past an Aberdeen side who sit in mid-table. A brace each from Oli Shaw and Jamie Gullan cancelled out Frank Ross’ opener for the visitors.
The game started at a frantic pace, with both sides zipping the ball around at a quick tempo in the opening stages. The first effort on goal came from Adam Watson just two minutes in, although his low strike from outside the box lacked conviction and rolled into Robbie Mutch’s hands.
Watson then tried his luck again five minutes later after Jamie Gullan slid him in, and this time he brought more out of Robbie Mutch, who parried the shot away for a corner.
Despite the Hibees enterprising start, it was the Dons who got their name on the scoresheet first in the 12th minute. When Jack Ross picked up the ball on the edge of the box it appeared nothing was on, but he thought differently, as he drove past the Hibs rear-guard, steadied himself and rifled a shot high beyond Scott Gallacher in goal – a fine example of creating something out of nothing.
Hibs nearly replied instantly through Kevin Waugh in the 15th minute, although his near post header was held by Mutch without any problem.
Gullan then came close for the hosts twice in quick succession, who were certainly knocking on the door at this stage. The first of his chances came in the 18th minute Watson crossed for him at the back post, although he struggled to connect properly with the resulting volley. He also had a firm effort on Aberdeen’s goal two minutes later, but the shot was too central and Mutch was able to guide the shot away from goal.
Hibernian’s pressure paid off on 22 minutes, and it required a bit of class from Oli Shaw to open his side’s account. After Watson slid him in on the right-hand side, he took a magnificent touch to take the ball away from the Dons defender, before calmly slotting the ball beyond Mutch’s grasp into the far corner. A deserved equaliser for the Hibees.
Watson then should have got his own name on the scoresheet two minutes later, although he fluffed his lines after a fast-sweeping counter-attack lead to Sean Mackie drilling the ball across goal, but the finish wasn’t there to match.
Aberdeen, who were struggling to create many opportunities, nearly scored in the 26th minute through Scott Wright. After a mix-up between the Hibs defence, he chipped an effort over Gallacher, and was desperately unlucky to see the ball clip the crossbar and leave the sides level going into the break.