Josh O'Connor on target as Hibs Under-18s record narrow win against Arsenal

A Josh O’Connor penalty was enough to secure victory for Hibs Under-18s against Arsenal in a closed-doors game at the Oriam on Friday.

It was a strong Hibs team with eight of the starting XI regulars in last season’s title-winning 18s side while there was a second start in green and white for Emmanuel Johnson following on from Monday night’s 3-0 victory over Penicuik Athletic under-20s.

The American, fulfilling the left-wingback role, created Hibs’ first chance of the game, slipping in O’Connor for a sight of goal but his effort from an acute angle was saved well by the ‘keeper.

Jacob MacIntyre was next to threaten just before the quarter-hour mark after dispossessing the Gunners centre-back but he was denied the opener by more good goalkeeping.

Hibs goalkeeper Murray Johnson on the other hand was a virtual spectator until five minutes before the break when he was called into action to prevent Arsenal from taking the lead.

On the stroke of half-time Hibs took the lead from the penalty spot. Murray Aiken linked up well with Robbie Hamilton and was felled in the box, with O’Connor sending the ‘keeper the wrong way from 12 yards to give Hibs the lead going into the break.

Kanayo Megwa smacked a shot off the woodwork just before half-time and MacIntyre had another effort saved by the visiting goalie.

The post came to Arsenal’s rescue again when Johnson collected a through-ball from Rudi Molotnikov and fired a low shot at goal.

Josh O'Connor attempts to give the Arsenal defence the slip at Oriam. Picture: Maurice Dougan

Hibs pushed for a second but had to settle for a one-goal win, with the English side struggling to get back into the game.

Hibs: M Johnson, McCulloch, Blaney, Megwa, Hastie, E Johnson, Hamilton, Aiken, J MacIntyre, O’Connor, Molotnikov. Subs: Carter, Wright, Smith, Waugh, McKenzie