Sam Stanton notched his second hat-trick for Hibs Under-20s in the space of two months as Joe McBride’s youngsters extended their unbeaten run to ten games with a 4-2 victory over Partick Thistle last night.
Stanton – who hit a treble against Rangers in October – opened the scoring with a deflected strike on seven minutes.
Partick levelled on 21 minutes when Matthew McInally crossed for Lee Gallacher, who crashed a volley into the top corner.
Alex Harris, Stanton and Scott Martin all went close for the home side before the break. Stanton restored Hibs’ lead four minutes into the second half with a fine strike.
Lewis Allan hit the woodwork for the hosts, but they were not to be denied a third, with Matty Kennedy extending their lead with the best goal of the night. Partick’s defence failed to clear their lines from a set-piece delivery and Kennedy, connecting sweetly from 18 yards, volleyed beautifully into the top corner on 69 minutes.
Two minutes later Stanton sealed his hat-trick as he slotted home from Aaron Dunsmore’s low cross. Basalaj tipped a Harris strike onto the post before Wilson reduced the deficit for Thistle with a thunderous effort from an acute angle which beat Kleton Perntreou in the 89th minute.
Development coach McBride said: “I’m pleased with the result, but I was more pleased with the reaction we got in the second half. We spoke at half-time about not playing at our normal intensity, with and without the ball. Thistle gave us a real tough game throughout, especially in the first half, but we lifted the intensity in the second half and scored three goals and limited Partick to very little shots on target.”
Hibs Under-20s: Perntreou, Dunsmore, Crane (Gardiner, 39), Booth, McGregor, Martin, Harris, Jake Sinclair, L. Allan, Kennedy (Hendry, 73), Stanton (Jordan Sinclair, 73). Unused substitutes: Brennan, Martyniuk, Mulhall, Todd.