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Report: U18s 3-1 Chesterfield

Gareth Evans’ U18s put in a top-class performance on Monday Evening as they came out 3-1 winners in their pre-season friendly against Chesterfield.

First half goals from Jacob MacIntyre and Alfie Smith put the wee Hibees in a comfortable position before Josh Landers sealed the win with minutes to spare as they put in an excellent shift at HTC.

Coming into the match, Chesterfield looked a much more physical side, but Hibs didn’t let that throw them off their game and took control of the tempo from start to finish.

Hibs dominated the majority of possession throughout the opening quarter and were moving their opposition around with slick passing moves, looking to find a gap in the visitor’s defence.

The first real opportunity for Hibs came on the quarter-hour mark, when a well-worked move down the left-hand side allowed Harry Brash to get in behind the backline. Brash spotted Bailey McKenzie hovering around the six-yard box, but his pulled back cross was well read by the Chesterfield centre half, and he was able to clear his lines.

Hibs kept on pushing for the opener and broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute.

A slack pass from a Chesterfield defender was picked off by Jacob MacIntyre 25 yards out from goal. MacIntyre drove forward and eased past the last defender before calmly slotting it in the bottom left corner.

Barely a minute after the opener, Jacob MacIntyre was looking to influence things again when he picked the ball up deep inside his own half and started driving forward.

MacIntyre flew past several Chesterfield men before picking out Alfie Smith who had time and space on the edge of the area. Smith struck the ball well, but his effort was dealt with by their keeper’.

We managed to double our lead before half time with a great team goal.

Flying full-back, Harry Wright, began pushing down the right-hand side and slotted Bailey McKenzie in down the right wing. McKenzie was able to loft a cross into the box allowing Alfie Smith to head home from close range.

It was much of the same story in the second half, with the wee Hibees dominating possession and completely limiting Chesterfield's attacking options.

On the hour mark, Chesterfield became more dangerous as they looked to make use of their physical advantage from corners. Great organisation from Hibs allowed them to get the better of the bigger presences in the air, with the English side's only chances coming from long-range efforts which never fully tested Freddie Owens.

Hibs kept the tempo high and almost added a third in the 68th minute.

A free kick just yards away from the corner flag gave second half substitute, Ricky Waugh, the opportunity to whip in a cross. The cross had great pace on it and allowed Jamie Bulloch to meet it at the near post. Bulloch was able to glance his header past the keeper, but it came back off the post.

The wee Hibees never took their foot off the gas and did add a third a minute from time.

Ricky Waugh did well to pick up the ball in midfield and drive forward. Waugh saw Josh Landers, who had replaced Bailey McKenzie, make a run in behind the back line and managed to play him through on goal. Landers took it around the goalkeeper and kept composed before rolling it into the empty net.

Chesterfield did manage to grab a consolation goal when their No.9 converted a free kick from 25 yards out, but it took nothing away from the excellent and incredibly mature performance from the young Hibs side.

The U18’s will now look to take their momentum into Saturday's friendly, where they face Newcastle United U18s at HTC.

Hibs Starting XI: Owens, Wright, Hastie, Bulloch, Brash, Khan, J. MacIntyre, McAllister, Mckenzie, Craig, Smith

Photo Credits: Maurice Dougan

Reporter: Kyle Campbell

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