Hibs Under-18s put four past nine-man Celtic as Rangers win keeps teams neck and neck
An Ethan Laidlaw double and goals from Robbie Hamilton and Connor Young gave Hibs Under-18s a comfortable 4-0 victory over Celtic, who had two players sent off, at HTC on Friday night.
In Glasgow, second-place Rangers recorded a 3-1 win against Hearts to maintain the point difference between the top two in the league.
Gareth Evans named an unchanged line-up from the team that started in the 3-0 victory over Aberdeen at Cormack Park on Tuesday night and Malik Zaid nearly continued his impressive scoring run just five minutes into the clash in Ormiston.
Connor Young’s shot was saved by Rory Mahady and although the midfielder connected with the rebound the Celtic ‘keeper was equal to it. Kanayo Megwa then saw a header saved and Young fired narrowly wide following good work by Murray Aiken and Zaid.
Benny-Jackson Luyeye did well on the right for Celtic and scampered towards the byline but his cutback was saved by Murray Johnson.
Mack Weir came close from a Jacob Blaney free kick but couldn’t get power or accuracy in his backpost header as Hibs sought an opener.
Five minutes before the break they got it; Hamilton closing down Mahady around 30 yards from goal and dispossessing the ‘keeper before running through and slotting into the empty net.
Four minutes into the second half Hibs made it two. Young slipped the ball to Megwa following a half-cleared corner and his first-time cross form the right was glanced in off the post by Laidlaw.
Moments later Celtic were reduced to ten men, Mahady given his marching orders for taking out Young in the ‘D’ as he looked to thwart the striker. Young then stepped up and cracked the free kick in off the post giving substitute goalkeeper Aidan Rice no chance.
Hibs peppered the Celtic goal thereafter with the visitors struggling to contain them and with 20 minutes remaining Rice fumbled a Zaid shot and as the midfielder challenged ‘keeper and defender the ball broke to Laidlaw who lobbed in the fourth from an acute angle.
Celtic were reduced to nine men when Jude Bonnar was shown a straight red for foul and abusive language with Hibs seeing the game out for three points.