Duthie strikes as young Hibees held by Highlanders

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CONNER DUTHIE was on the scoresheet as Hibs Development Squad drew 1-1 with their Ross County counterparts at Ainslie Park.

The Hibees dominated the first half despite the experience on show from the Highlanders, the likes of Rocco Quinn, Richard Brittain and Steven Saunders no match for the youthful exuberance and neat, attacking play of the home side.

Quinn was the first player to have an effort on goal, but it was wide of the target, before Lewis Allan fired a shot over the bar for Hibs.

The visitors left themselves exposed on 23 minutes when a slack pass was intercepted by Duthie. He cut inside, leaving Saunders in his wake, before firing a crisp strike beyond Peter Tait.

Hibs continued to search for a second, Jordan McGregor coming closest for the side on the stroke of half-time with a header from Duthie’s free-kick.

Ross County started the second half with more purpose and immediately penned Hibs into their own half and the equalising goal came as Brittain’s low free-kick picked out Quinn, who hit a first-time effort home in the 52nd minute.

Ross County were on top and Scott Ferries forced Kleton Perntreou into a save and then Cameron Burgess saw his goalbound effort turned behind for a corner by Callum Crane, before youngster Jack Breen hit the side-netting for Hibs.

Joe McBride’s team ended strongest in the final ten minutes, with Allan coming closest to a winner but his shot on the turn flashed past the post.

Hibs Development Squad: Perntreou, Stirling, Crane, Waugh, McGregor, Scott, Martin (Donaldson, 82), Duthie, Allan, Watson, Hendry (Breen, 68). Unused substitutes: Brennan, Porteous, Smith.