By: Hibernian Media on 05 Nov, 2019 18:00
A thumping header from Kosovar Sadiki was enough to hand the Hibernian Development Squad a deserved 1-0 victory over Celtic at HTC.
The powerful centre-back muscled his way through the Hoops defence to get on the end of a pinpoint corner from Jamie Gullan to cap an impressive afternoon for Lee Makel’s side.
There was a healthy turnout at the training ground for a fiercely competitive contest – with the match having been switched from Tranent Juniors’ Foresters Park after their pitch was flooded.
And there were a few familiar faces within that turnout – with the first team represented by the likes of Darren McGregor, Martin Boyle, Paul Hanlon and Ryan Porteous.
We were also joined by former Hibees Ian Murray and John Collins for the occasion.
The Hibees lined up with Linfield striker Michael O’Connor listed as a trialist, having been granted permission by his club to extend an opportunity to train with the club.
The opening exchanges were keenly fought, with Fraser Murray drilling over for the hosts while Karamoko Dembele dragged wide for the Hoops.
Gullan also fired just wide as Hibs upped the ante ahead of the interval.
Fraser and Oli Shaw were withdrawn at the break for Jayden Fairley and Ryan Shanley, with Fairley still on a high from scoring a screamer for Scotland’s Under-17s.
Gullan tried his luck again with a ferocious free-kick on the hour mark but Hibs were not to be denied.
With nine minutes left on the clock, Gullan turned provider with an excellent delivery for the in-rushing Sadiki – who had thwarted with an identical effort just seconds later.
Steven Bradley replaced Gullan late on as the Development Squad closed out a professional performance.
Afterwards, Lee Makel was full of praise for his side.
He said: “The boys were excellent. We flipped the formation a few times during the game but they can adapt.
“We’ve scored a few from set-pieces of late and could maybe have had another couple against Celtic. Kosovar popped up with a good header.
“We’ve got some good games coming up – Aberdeen, St Mirren and back-to-back games against Brentford and Huddersfield.
“The boys are relishing playing in these games and it’s good for us as coaches to pit our wits against different opposition.
“The boys have been different class all season and have just got to carry on working, training the right way, and I’m sure they will.”
Callum Yeats turned in another assured performance at left-back and feels he’s going from strength to strength since stepping up from the Academy.
He added: “I thought it was a great team performance against Celtic.
“We stuck in right to the end and managed to get the goal and, eventually, the win.”
Looking back on his journey as a Hibee so far he said: “I’ve been at the club since I was nine, so it was good to come through the Academy and sign a professional contract.
“It’s my first year as a full-time professional and I’m really enjoying it.”
Hibernian Development Squad: Martin, Stirling, Yeats, Sadiki, Doig, I. Murray, F. Murray (Fairley), Campbell. Shaw (Shanley), Trialist, Gullan (Bradley). Unused substitutes: Woods, Hodge, Leddie.
Report: Dave Armstrong.