Robbie Hamilton and Mack Weir on target as Hibs Under-18s edged out by Rangers in final pre-split game
The wee Hibees had tasted defeat for the first time last week when they went down 4-2 to St Mirren at Ralston and faced a stern test when they welcomed the Gers to the Hibernian Training Centre on Friday.
Gareth Evans and Eddie May made two changes to the side that started against the Buddies and reverted to the 3-5-2 formation used in the first few games.
Jack Brydon made his first appearance of the season following his return from a loan spell with Stenhousemuir while Freddie Wylie was handed a start in midfield with Josh Currie returning to the starting line-up in the right wingback role.
Innes Lawson and Brodie Watt dropped out of the starting line-up to join Josh Blair, Ben Reilly, and Reece Holden on the bench while Ethan Laidlaw wasn’t included in the squad due to his involvement with the first team for the Scottish Cup semi-final against Dundee United on Saturday.
A goal-laden first half at East Mains saw the visitors take a 3-1 lead into the interval, with Ross McCausland and Alex Lowry on target for Rangers and Mack Weir on the scoresheet for the hosts as the centre-back netted his third of the campaign.
Midfielder Robbie Hamilton struck his first of the season in the second half as Hibs mounted a comeback but were unable to level things up, with the Gers winning 3-2 and taking all three points.
Hibs now have a free week but will compete in the top half of the split after the final round of matches, facing Celtic, Kilmarnock, Rangers, and St Mirren in the post-split fixtures.
The wee Hibees currently sit third in the table with 14 points from eight games but could find themselves leapfrogged by Celtic if the Hoops beat Kilmarnock today.
Meanwhile, Ben Reilly has joined the Under-18 set-up after a few weeks as a trialist. The former St Johnstone youngster has been featuring for Hibs Under-17s as well as being included in the 18s matchday squads.
Team: Murray Johnson; Jayden Fairley, Jack Brydon, Mack Weir; Josh Currie, Robbie Hamilton, Freddie Wylie, Jacob Blaney, Oscar MacIntyre; Connor Young, Josh O’Connor. Subs: Josh Blair, Innes Lawson, Brodie Watt, Ben Reilly, Reece Holden.