East SENIORS Central Taxis First Division side Craigroyston showed they could be genuine contenders for promotion this season when they beat Hibs Under-20s 2-0 in a pre-season friendly at St Marks Park last night.
Craigroyston took the lead in only the second minute when Errol Douglas calmly converted a low David McNeil cross at the back post. The Hibs youngsters had the majority of the possession although the Craigroyston defence limited the Easter Road boys to a series of long-range shots which keeper Stuart Burnside dealt with well.
Hibs thought they had equalised when Adam Hunter fired a free kick into the net but Jordon Forster was ruled offside.
Early in the second half, Hibs keeper Paul Grant pulled off a good save to deny Craig Dickson. At the other end, Craigroyston continued to limit Hibs to long-range efforts and, slightly against the run of play, the hosts increased their advantage when substitute Tinashe Mukundwa and David Heggie combined to set up Chris Rooney, who netted with a fine finish from inside the penalty box.
Recently-appointed Craigroyston boss Ross McNeil said: “That was an encouraging result for us and hopefully we can take performances like that into our league games.”
James McDonaugh, the Hibs coach, said: “We should have penetrated Craigroyston’s defence more although credit to Craigroyston who have some good players.”
Craigroyston: Burnside, Dunn, Hogarth, Campbell, Jeffrey, Greenhill, McNeil, Lynch, Douglas, Dickson, Low. Subs: Warnock, Addison, Irvine, Newell, Rooney, Heggie, Mukundwa.
Hibs Under-20s: Grant, Hunter, Baptie, Gold, Forster, Wilson, Smith, Horribine, Carse, Paul, Harris. Subs: Black, Horner, Doyle, Adeyemo, Beaton, Horne.