Hibs Maintain Top Spot in Development League

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Hibernian maintained their place at the top of the SPFL Development League on Tuesday afternoon with a 3-0 win over Dunfermline Athletic at Oriam.

A first half Jason Cummings strike and an Oli Shaw brace in the second half, capped off a dominant performance for Grant Murray’s men.

Oriam, Scotland’s new Sports Performance Centre, will be the venue for Hibs’ Development fixtures from August. It has already turned in to somewhat of a fortress, with the team suffering just one defeat in their opening seven games there.

Jason Cummings, Alex Harris and Marvin Bartley all started the match for Hibs, capping their best result of the season to date.

The home side began well and took the lead on 19 minutes, when the ball was cleared long from a Dunfermline corner, resulting in Cummings racing through on goal. The striker, who has been out of favour for the first team in recent matches, rounded the goalkeeper before rolling the ball into the back of the net.

The first real chance for the visitors came midway through the first half, when former Hibs midfielder Conner Duthie’s free kick looked to be goal bound, but the ball fell just wide.

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Dunfermline missed a huge opportunity to draw level on 65 minutes when Callum Smith was played through one on one, but Patrick Martin made an impressive save to keep his side in front.

The Pars would come to rue this miss, as Hibs doubled their lead with ten minutes remaining when Shaw volleyed home a rebound into the top left hand corner.

The hosts made it three in stoppage time when Shaw, who recently represented Scotland at the UEFA U19 Championship, was first to react to a mistake at the back and calmly slotted the ball past the goalkeeper.

After the match, Hibs Development Coach, Grant Murray, said he was very happy with their dominant performance.

He said: “I thought it was a convincing win in the end. We had a word with the boys at half time, because we felt the final ball was missing at times. They turned round in the second half, upped the tempo and improved their accuracy – it was a very good performance.”

Asked how much of an incentive, being at the top of the league, was giving his young players, Murray had this to say: “It is great to be sitting up there and it should give them a big boost but at the end of the day, it is about their development and creating that consistency.”

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