Hibs Under-20s denied by Gros goal

Danny Handling. Pic: David Lamb
Danny Handling. Pic: David Lamb
Have your say

A late William Gros goal prevented Hibs Under-20s from going two points clear at the top of the table and secured a 3-3 draw against Kilmarnock.

Aaron Splaine had given the hosts an early lead and Danny Handling equalised following heavy Hibs pressure. Chris Johnston restored the home side’s lead, but Handling and Jason Cummings looked to have given the visitors three points before Gros’ late strike earned Kilmarnock a point.

The title-chasers got off to the worst possible start as Splaine guided home a header with five minutes on the clock.

The Hibs youngsters rallied and pinned their hosts back, the industrious forward pairing of Cummings and Handling causing numerous problems.

Despite forcing Conor Brennan into many saves beforehand, the game was levelled in the 39th minute as Cummings teed up Handling to fire home from 18 yards out.

The game was tied at the break, but Kilmarnock grabbed the initiative, again scoring within five minutes of kick-off.

David Karlsson, on loan from Sunderland, played in Johnston who saw his inch-perfect chip find the net.

Again, the Hibs Under-20s regrouped, Euan Smith saw an effort saved, before Handling headed in from Dean Horribine’s cross on 71 minutes to haul his side level.

Brennan had to be alert to deny Handling his hat-trick, the goalkeeper tipping his effort onto the bar, but the forward soon turned provider.

On 80 minutes Handling headed across goal, which allowed Cummings to prod the ball home from close-range and move the visitors 3-2 ahead.

Ryan Baptie almost added a fourth, his howitzer of a free-kick cannoning off the bar with Brennan left helpless.

With 88 minutes gone, Gros cut in from the left and powered a strike into the bottom corner to deny Hibs the victory.

Hibs Under-20s: Grant, Black, Crane, Smith, Maybury, Gardiner, Zoubir, Horribine, Cummings, Handling, Todd (Baptie, 76). Unused substitutes: Perntreou, Dunsmore, Wilson, Sinclair, 
Martin, McCaffrey.