Hibs Under-18s boost title hopes with straightforward win at Aberdeen

Goals from Ethan Laidlaw, Mack Weir, and Malik Zaid secured three vital points for Hibs Under-18s against Aberdeen at Cormack Park as Gareth Evans’ side took a step closer to the league title.

Ethan Laidlaw opened the scoring for Hibs Under-18s in their 3-0 win at Aberdeen. Picture: Maurice Dougan
Ethan Laidlaw opened the scoring for Hibs Under-18s in their 3-0 win at Aberdeen. Picture: Maurice Dougan

Scotland Under-17 internationalist Laidlaw opened the scoring in the first half; Weir made it two with 20 minutes to play, and Zaid rounded off the win near the end.

Barry Robson’s side had won something of a smash-and-grab victory at HTC the previous week, Hibs missing one penalty and seeing another saved as Adam Emslie’s first-half goal gave the wee Dons the three points, but the Capital club won comfortably on their previous visit to the Granite City and did so again.

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Laidlaw had the first sight of goal, his lobbed effort dropping on the wrong side of the post, but he went one better the next time, shaking off a challenge in midfield to run through on goal unopposed to slot the ball past Dons ‘keeper Tom Ritchie from just inside the area.

Connor Young then saw a shot deflected over as Hibs sought a second, but Aberdeen came into the game more, Evan Towler crashing a header just over the bar form Alfie Stewart’s set-piece before Stewart shot narrowly wide after Emslie latched onto a Ritchie clearance to tee up his Dons colleague.

Robson replaced Cammy Wilson at the interval with Timi Fatona, who had been impressive in the HTC fixture, but it was Towler who intervened to deny Laidlaw a second goal shortly after the restart.

Zaid then played in midfield colleague Robbie Hamilton but Ritchie made himself large to block the effort. At the other end Fatona’s cross wasn’t too far away from Liam Harvey but with a little under 20 minutes to play Hibs made it two.

Josh McCulloch’s ball to Young was flicked on to Laidlaw but the Dons defence cleared it for a corner. From the resulting corner, Jacob Blaney picked out his defensive colleague Weir, who rose highest to head past Ritchie.

Young then hit the side-netting and brought an impressive save out of Ritchie before Murray Aiken shot just over.

With time running out Zaid picked up the ball, slalomed past three defenders and slotted into the far corner to make the points safe.

Hibs: Johnson, J MacIntyre, Blaney, Weir, Megwa, McCulloch; Aiken, Hamilton, Zaid; Laidlaw, Young (Molotnikov 82). Subs not used: Carter, Hastie, Wylie, Watt.