Hibernian 15s v Academy 15s
Ayr United 15s travelled to the capital to take on Hibs on Sunday afternoon and it was the home side who opened brightly and tested Louis Kerr early on when the Ayr goalkeeper had to dive at full length to tip a well struck half volley from the edge of the box round the post. In the 20h minute Hibs opened the scoring when a clipped pass was played over the top of the United back line, the big no 9 latched on to the ball to lift it over the onrushing goalkeeper into the empty net. However the Ayr boys rolled the sleeves up and went on to dominate the rest of the half. A good move down the right hand side involving Jarod Kiefer, Chrissie Campbell and Jai Holland resulted in Jai going close, his shot going wide of the upright.
After 38 minutes an Ayr cross to the back post caused panic in the Hibees rearguard but unfortunately the boys couldn’t get the finishing touch. Right on half time another great move down the right involving Richardson, MacMillan, and Chris Campbell (pictured) who was tormenting the left back with his trickery resulted in Jai Holland again going oh so close. The Boys were behind at the end of the half but in this reporters opinion had just shaded the first 40 minutes on balance of play.
Five minutes into the second half a great run down the left by McGuffie opened up the Hibees, he squared for Jai Holland who turned his marker and floated the ball for the far post but his shot went agonisingly wide. A couple of minutes later Jai was again played in but his chip over the goalkeepers head bounced wide of the post. In the 50th minute good driving play by the Hibs centre midfielder created a chance for their no 2 who hit a drive just past the post. Ayr then introduced David McSorley up front to partner Jai Holland switching from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2 in an attempt to get back on level terms. This nearly immediately paid off as McSorley hit a drive over the top from 20 yards and started to link up well with Holland. In fact the two strikers with good interplay created a great chance for Chrissie Campbell cutting in from the right but his volley went straight at the keeper.
As always in football if you don’t score when you’re on top you sometimes pay the price and that’s exactly what happened as the Hibs no 8 hit a great 25 yarder which Louis Kerr brilliantly tipped over. However the resultant corner was swung into the danger area and the 2nd ball was fired into the Ayr net from close in. The referee ended the game as a contest when Lee Williamson won a hard but fair challenge at the edge of the box. To the surprise of all the onlookers the referee pointed to the spot and the Hibs player rasped home the spot kick. This award, not surprisingly seemed to deflate the Ayr lads and Hibs completed the scoring when their no 7 finished well from inside the edge of the box when another 2nd ball from a corner fell to him.
After the game Ayr manager Graeme Neill said “In general terms the boys competed well but we are losing too many soft goals at the back”. The Boys will need to work on this as next week Hamilton Accies, one of the top sides in this 1998 age group, are the callers to Prestwick”.