Hibs U-20s beat St Johnstone to keep pace at top

Alex Harris played for the Hibs Under-20s. Pic: Ian Georgeson
Alex Harris played for the Hibs Under-20s. Pic: Ian Georgeson
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Abedellah Zoubir bagged a brace as Hibs Under-20s comfortably saw off St Johnstone Under-20s 3-1 in Perth.

The skilful Frenchman headed in his first, before powering home a second and Euan Smith scored before half-time to give the away side 3-0 lead in last night’s SPFL Under-20 league.

A late Craig Thomson goal was only a consolation as the Hibs youth team stayed two points off the top of the table in third place behind Rangers and Celtic.

The opening ten minutes of the game were a cagey affair before Hibs gained a foothold. Alex Harris and Danny Handling both saw shots saved following good work from Zoubir as the visitors came close to scoring.

It was soon after these chances that Ryan Baptie, celebrating his 19th birthday, delivered for Zoubir to head home on 29 minutes.

Zoubir collected a loose ball and adroitly skipped past Scott Stevenson before slamming home past Mark Hurst, just nine minutes later, to give himself his second goal of the game.

Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson forced Hibs keeper Paul Grant into a save, his stinging shot being gathered at the second attempt as the Saints tried to halve the deficit. However, their efforts were to prove fruitless, as Hibs once again carved out an opening which ended with Smith stylishly adding a third on the stroke of half-time.

Zoubir, Harris and Dean Horribine all had further efforts on goal in the second half, before substitutes Scott Martin and Callum Crane also tried their luck as Hibs continued to control the game. Thomson’s consolation goal came on 86 minutes after a counter-attack.

The victory extended Hibs’ unbeaten run to six games.

Hibs Under-20s: Grant, Black (Dunsmore, 75), Baptie, Smith, Boateng, Gardiner, Harris, Horribine, Cummings (Crane, 69), Handling (Martin, 56), Zoubir. Unused subs: Horne, Wilson, Todd, McCaffrey.