Youth Cup defeat at Dens

The U20s were knocked out of the SFA Youth Cup by Hibs. The Dees were looking to bounce back from a miserable October in which they lost all five of their Development League matches. The competitions age restrictions meant Jimmy Boyle was unable to call upon regulars Sam Dryden, Matty Allan, Jesse Curran and Calvin Colquhoun. This meant that Brian Rice, Josh Skelly, and Conor Quigley were all brought into the starting 11, while there was a place on the bench for 13-year-old Josh Mulligan.

A lively opening saw both sides hit the woodwork inside the opening five minutes. Mark Smith headed Josh Skelly’s cross against the Hibs crossbar before a volley from Ryan Porteous came off the post.

The Dee’s had a golden chance to open the scoring after 18 minutes. Connor Coupe’s low cutback landed at the feet of Josh Skelly, but the winger scuffed his shot, and the ball fell kindly for Hibs keeper Patrick Martin.

The visitors made the breakthrough after 26 minutes. Jamie Gullan collected the ball 20 yards from goal and jinked his way into the box, beating two Dundee defenders in the process, before calmly slotting the ball past Kyle Gourlay.

The Hibs man nearly doubled his sides advantage eight minutes later. The wingers free kick curled just wide of the post.

Dundee continued to press forward in search of an equaliser but failed to test Patrick Martin in the Hibs goal as the Edinburgh side went in to the break one goal to the good.

Ian Smith was next to try and bring the Dee level, but his diving header was easily saved by Patrick Martin. Hibs were beginning to up the pressure on Dundee and would have been in on goal, but the visitors attack was halted by an excellent last ditch challenge from Brian Rice.

Hibs were nearly two ahead after 55 minutes. Olly Shaw broke the offside trap and rounded Gourlay, but his shot came off the base of the post.

Dundee didn’t learn their lesson and less than 60 seconds later, Shaw had doubled Hibs lead. The striker raced away from the Dundee backline and slotted the ball past Gourlay.

Hibs were now in control of the tie and with eight minutes remaining nearly made it three. Innes Murray cut in from the left and managed to get a shot away but his low effort came off the base of the post.

Hibs were looking to widen the margin of victory and nearly did so through Gullan. Ben Stirling met Adam Watson’s corner. Gullan hooked the ball towards goal, but Rice was on the post and cleared the ball.

With three minute’s remaining Connor Coupe was replaced by 13-year-old Josh Mulligan, who was making his debut for the Dens Park side. In injury time, Watson raced away from the Dundee defence, but Kerr Waddell managed to get back and block the wingers shot.

Dundee (4-2-3-1): Gourlay, Clark, Rice, Quigley, Waddell, Smyth, Skelly, Berry, M. Smith (Henvey 65), Coupe (Mulligan 87), I. Smith
Subs Unused: Ferrie, Anderson

Hibernian (4-2-3-1): Martin, O’Connor, Donaldson, Porteous, Stirling, Martin, Watson, Breen, Shaw, Murray, Gullan
Subs Unused: Cargill (GK), A. Smith, Mackie, Galantis, Hall

Goals: Gullan 26’, Shaw 55’

Report: Andrew Creegan

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