Hibs Under-20s’ title hopes are over after the young Hibees drew 1-1 with Kilmarnock in their final game of the season at the Hibernian Training Centre.
James McDonaugh’s men have finished the season on 59 points. They currently lie second in the table, with Rangers top on 61 and Celtic third on 56. Both Old Firm teams have at least two games left to play.
In a match where the woodwork was hit five times, the home side fell behind to a Jack Whittaker goal in the 18th minute, although Euan Smith’s strike on 62 minutes ensured his side earned a point.
David Moberg Karlsson was the first player to hit the woodwork yesterday afternoon, his effort bouncing off the post.
James McPake, continuing his comeback from back surgery, was the next to hit the goal-frame as his header hit the bar with 11 minutes gone.
Whittaker gave his side the lead on 18 minutes, his strike from William Gros’ cut-back trundled beyond Sean Murdoch via Robert Wilson’s legs.
Moberg Karlsson then hit the bar on the counter-attack as Hibs pushed forward trying to equalise instantly.
Duncan Watmore – who had made a good impact for the senior team in last weekend’s derby when he came on as a substitute – almost levelled for the Easter Road youngsters, but his cross drifted over Conor Brennan and onto the crossbar, before the Killie shot-stopper was forced into a save by the Sunderland loanee moments later.
After the break Gros almost pulled off the spectacular, his 40-yard howitzer shaking the frame of the goal as it cannoned off the bar.
With 62 minutes gone, Hibs equalised when Smith controlled the ball on the edge of the box and fired into the far corner to restore his side’s faint chance of winning the league.
Despite their best efforts, Hibs side could not find a way past Brennan, as their title hopes ended in their final match of the SPFL U-20 season.
Hibs Under-20s: Murdoch, Black, Baptie, Smith, Wilson, McPake, Watmore, Tudur Jones, Allan (Hendry, 58), Handling, Todd (Crane, 74). Subs not used: Horne, Dunsmore, Gardiner, Sinclair, McCaffrey.