Motherwell Under-18s 4, Hibs Under-18s 4: Last-gasp Murray Aiken goal maintains unbeaten run in bad-tempered clash

A stoppage-time goal from Murray Aiken ensured Hibs maintained their unbeaten run in the CAS Elite Under-18s League with a 4-4 draw at Motherwell on Friday night.

Murray Aiken (number 4) heads home a last-minute equaliser for Hibs against Motherwell. Picture: Maurice Dougan
Murray Aiken (number 4) heads home a last-minute equaliser for Hibs against Motherwell. Picture: Maurice Dougan

In a bad-tempered encounter a depleted Hibs side fought back from a goal down on three occasions with Aiken’s late finish earning the point their efforts merited.

Defensive trio Jacob Blaney, Josh McCulloch, and Mack Weir were all absent, with a makeshift defence thrown pieced together.

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The hosts took the lead inside the opening 15 minutes, Ethan Laidlaw unfortunate to put through his own net, but a quickfire double from Josh O’Connor – a header from a corner and a smart finish following a long ball from goalkeeper Murray Johnson – had Hibs in front.

The wee Hibees might have had a penalty when Megwa had his legs taken away from him in the area but referee Luke McCauley waved away the claims.

Another incident saw Connor Young shoved to the turf by an opponent, with the player earning a yellow card for his actions.

Young came close to extending Hibs’ lead shortly before the break but his audacious effort from 40 yards out was scrambled clear.

The home side equalised shortly after the restart despite claims for offside and retook the lead from the penalty spot after Malik Zaid was adjudged to have committed a foul.

Young nearly brought Hibs back level but saw his shot saved before a neat flick by O’Connor teed up Laidlaw for the third goal.

Hibs coach Gareth Evans was then yellow-carded for voicing his frustrations at some of the challenges being put in by the ‘Well players.

The drama continued, Motherwell’s goalkeeper seeing red for handling outside the area and from the resulting free kick Young crashed a fine effort off the underside off the bar.

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With the game winding down, Laidlaw was taken out by the substitute goalkeeper as he chased a Young through-ball but the referee signalled a goal kick.

‘Well took the lead in stoppage time but just when it looked like Hibs might fall to their first defeat of the season, Aiken scored a last-gasp equaliser following a free-kick.

Hibs currently sit fourth in the table, 11 points adrift of leaders Rangers but with seven games in hand including next Wednesday's derby against Hearts.

Hibs: Johnson; J MacIntyre, Aiken, Megwa, O MacIntyre; Wylie, Laidlaw, Hamilton, Zaid; O’Connor, Young.