Sam Stanton scores for Hibs to stop Pars fightback

Sam Stanton
Sam Stanton
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Hibs Under-20s survived a late comeback against their Dunfermline Athletic counterparts to secure a 3-2 victory last night.

Sam Stanton and Taylor Hendry scored in the first half, before Neil Martyniuk gave Hibs a seemingly comfortable three-goal lead with 28 minutes still to play. James Thomas’ late brace gave the Pars hope, but they could not stop the hosts from securing the victory.

The game got off to a bright start as Stanton saw a drive saved by Cammy Gill, and Lewis Allan teed up the midfielder for a second attempt, only for the assistant to flag for offside as he slammed the ball into the net after 20 seconds.

Stanton’s frustration was short-lived, though, as, with five minutes gone, he rifled a loose ball into the roof of the net to open the scoring.

Hibs continued to put the visitors under pressure and it eventually paid off in the 23rd minute as Hendry’s diving header doubled his side’s advantage.

Dunfermline were unable to offer much in response until the second half, when Andy Stirling, Andy Geggan and Faissal El Bahktoui all went close to scoring. Martyniuk appeared to have put the game beyond the Pars with a simple header in the 62nd minute.

However, Thomas’ 78th minute tap-in reduced the deficit, and just four minutes later the Hibs defence was left exposed as Dunfermline counter-attacked, with Thomas again afforded space to fire low into the net.

Hibs’ Scott Mercer appealed for a penalty as Stirling appeared to handle his cross, but his appeals were ignored. And in stoppage time, Dunfermline’s Cammy McClair fired over the bar when well positioned, ensuring Hibs started 2015 with a victory.

Hibs Under-20s: Perntreou, Dunsmore (Stirling, 63), Crane, Martyniuk, McGregor, Martin, Duthie, L. Allan, Hendry (McCaffrey, 79), Stanton, Mulhall. Unused substitute: Brennan.