Hibernian U20 3-3 Falkirk U20
Hibernian: Virtanen; Trialist (Smith, 80), Porteous, Waugh, Crane; Donaldson, Martin, McGeouch (Campbell, 64), F.Murray; Shaw, Boyle (Gullan, 62).
Falkirk: McMinn, Finlayson, Gallacher, Mitchell, Henderson, Johnson, Langton (Dunne, 79), Blues, Shepherd, O’Hara, Peggie (Stone, 70).
The brand spanking new Orium Performance facilities based at Heriot-Watt University played host to an entertaining 3-3 draw as Hibs fought back against Falkirk after a slow start to maintain their unbeaten run.
The game started as it meant to go on with early half chances for Hibernians 23-year-old striker, Boyles. Boyles continuing threat in front of goal was evident until his departure on the hour mark, but it was Falkirk who took the lead in the 5th minute. Impressive link up play down the right flank between Finlayson and Shepherd earned the corner from which the unmarked Henderson nodded in with ease. 1-0 Falkirk.
Falkirk settled into the game soon after the goal and were beginning to look more comfortable on the ball in midfield through Langton and Blues. They could have easily made it two in the 16th minute after a nice turn and through ball from Langton found Shepherd, but his threatening ball across the six yard box came to nothing.
Cameron Blues continued to probe the Hibs defence well throughout the 1st half and his ball over the top to the highly rated O’Hara left him clear with an opportunity to pick out Shepherd, but the ball across only found Hibs’ Trialist at right back who poked away for a corner. It was from this corner that Falkirk doubled their lead on 20 minutes. O’Hara had two bites of the cherry at the back post as Hibs failed to clear their lines. The Scotland u19 international had time to compose himself and strike the ball low and hard through a crowded penalty area and found the back of the net. 2-0 Falkirk.
Finalyson regularly found space down the right flank as Hibs struggled to adjust to Falkirks wing-back system, but they did manage to get a goal back before the break. It was Boyles who latched on to Trialists through ball, Boyle did the rest and slid the ball under the onrushing Mcminn.
Hibs 1-2 Falkirk
The 2nd half immediately picked up where the 1st half ended. Within 30 seconds, Boyles, had doubled his tally for the afternoon. It was Trialist, again, who’s looping through ball over the napping Falkirk back line found Boyle with time and space in the box. Boyle tucked away at the near post. 2-2.
Hibs were now back in the game, and on the 56th minute a quiet Ollie Shaw sparked into life. A neat through ball from McGeough was met by Shaw who tucked away with calmness beyond his years. This was the first time Shaw’s relentless ‘on the shoulder’ movement had been successfully picked out, and it deservedly put Hibs 3-2 up.
The game settled down somewhat and became far less frantic midway through the 2nd half. A string of substitutions for both sides naturally unsettled the rhythm. But Cameron Blues’ aggression and impressive box-to-box mentality was rewarded in the 73rd minute. His timing was impeccable as he broke through the Hibs midfield and defensive lines to beat the offside trap and find himself on the end of Hendersons perfectly weighted pass. In an almost carbon copy of Boyles opener, he slotted under the onrushing Virtanen to make it 3-3.
Despite a late flurry of corners at both ends, the sides held out for a 3-3 draw. Probably a result that will sit relatively well with both clubs, and a performance that certainly showcased excellent finishing and attacking muscle to a healthy sized crowd in what is a very impressive arena.
Hibernian 3-3 Falkirk
The most impressive youth player for me today was Falkirk skipper, Cameron Blues. Endless energy, biting tackles and constant composure on the ball ultimatly earned himself a place on the scoresheet… and his side a deserved point, well played Cameron!
See you pitchside next time,