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Celtic progress past Hibees in tight cup clash

Hibernian 0

Celtic 1

Kerr 30'
  • Friday, 17 February 2017
  • Oriam Centre
  • Under 20´s
  • SFA Youth Cup

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

Celtic secured their passage into the SFA Youth Cup semi-finals on Friday afternoon, as a solitary strike from Josh Kerr midway through the first-half was enough to give The Hoops victory at the Oriam Centre in Edinburgh.

The match started in a manner which carried on for the rest of the 90 minutes; cagey, and Fraser Murray created the only opportunity in the opening 20 minutes for Hibs. Although his first-time strike from Oli Shaw’s neat knockdown went well over.

Shaw was then at the centre of attention again ten minutes later, as he was brought down by Conor Hazard when racing in on goal. Despite protests, the referee adjudged the incident to be nothing more than a booking for the Celtic goalkeeper.

As the first half progressed it was Celtic who began to seize control and dominate possession, and they nearly took the lead on 20 minutes when a sliced clearance from Mark Hill’s corner almost resulted in an own-goal, but the ball looped up over the bar and saved the Hibees from any blushes.

Archibald then came close for Celtic five minutes later, as his powerful effort from distance skidded off the surface, but ultimately drifted off target.

The Hoops, despite creating little, looked the more likely to open the scoring in a tight first-half, and they did just that on the half-hour mark. When a long throw-in went into Jack Aitchison, the tightly-marked striker did well to lay the ball off into Josh Kerr’s path, who was never going to turn down the opportunity from close range.

Calvin Miller, who had been a lively figure for much of the first-half on the left-wing, manged to get a half-decent shot away before half-time, but the angle was narrow and he failed to hit the target from just inside the box.

  • Half Time:
  • Hibernian
  • 0-1
  • Celtic

Oli Shaw; one of Hibs’ brightest talents in the Development league so far this season, seemed desperate to opening his account for the day straight from kick off. Although his effort one minute after the restart never looked like causing Conor Hazard many problems.

The second-half mirrored the first, in the sense that chances were very rare. One of the closest efforts came from Aitchison on 57 minutes, after spinning his marker with his back to goal, the low drive which followed looked dangerous, but it drifted just wide of Patrick Martin’s goal.

As the half worn on, Hibs began to come into the game, aided by the impact of Adam Watson who was introduced around the half-hour mark and injected pace into his side. However, the chances were still hard to come by for both sides; the solid defending having a large part to play in that.

With just over ten minutes remaining Hibs looked desperate to score an equaliser, and Scott Martin looked to provide it, however, his ambitious shot, just like most of his teammates’ efforts, went over.

Substitute Regan Hendry provided one of Celtic’s most dangerous attacks of the second half on 80 minutes. Whether his effort from out wide was a shot or a cross, it nearly caused trouble for Patrick Martin in goal, but he managed to palm away the danger.

New Celtic signing Eboue Kouassi was making his first appearance for the Hoops in the match, and he had pulled the strings in midfield for his side all contest, once he departed the pitch the midfield contest seemed to swing in the Hibees favour.

The last five minutes proved to be frantic; as Fraser Murray managed to work his side’s best chance in the game up until that point. After cutting inside on the left wing, he had a go at Hazard’s near post, although the keeper was there to match the shot, forcing it wide for a corner. The delivery which followed nearly caused panic in the Celtic box, but the visitors managed to clear and just about doubled their advantage on the break, if it wasn’t for Michael Johnston’s shot being blocked before he could pull the trigger.

Hibs had a flurry of corners in the final stages, each of them causing Celtic problems, and one of them even landing on the head of goalkeeper Patrick Martin, which unsurprisingly resulted in a goal-kick.

Shaw had a chance right at the death to equalise when Murray slid him in on goal, but not for the first time, Hazard stood strong and denied him at the near post, and moments later the whistle blew for full-time, confirming the Hoops’ spot in the semi-final.

  • Full Time:
  • Hibernian
  • 0-1
  • Celtic

Lineups

Hibernian
Celtic
1. Partick Martin
2. Callum Donaldson
3. Sean Mackie
4. Ryan Porteous
5. Kevin Waugh
6. Scott Martin
7. Fraser Murray
8. Jack Breen
9. Oli Shaw
10. Innes Murray
11. Jamie Gullan
12. Kane O'Connor
14. Adam Watson
15. Ali Smith
16. Yrik Gallantes
31. Reg Fisher
1. Conor Hazard
2. Anthony Ralston
3. Aidan McIlduff
4. Sam Wardrop
5. Josh Kerr
6. Eboue Kouassi
7. Theodore Archibald
8. Mark Hill
9. Jack Aitchison
10. Joe Thomson
11. Calvin Miller
12. Regan Hendry
14. Aidan McAdams
15. Paul Crossan
16. Michael Johnston
17. Wallace Duffy
18. Lewis Bell
Star Player
Hibernian
Celtic
Kevin Waugh was a rock at the back for Hibs throughout the cup tie.
Eboue Kouassi dictated the tempo of the game on his debut, and the Celtic midfield didn't look the same once he came off.
Magic Moment
Hibernian
Celtic
Shaw's chance at the end of the game was a result of good build up play, and he was unlucky with the finish. Hibs' best chance of the game.
Celtic's goal came through good awareness from Aitchison and the finish from Kerr was deadly.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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