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Hibs took the honours in a hard fought mini derby at a snow covered Energy Assets Arena in Livingston last night.

Terry Butcher and Maurice Malpas joined Gary Locke and Billy Brown in the director’s box as the youngsters battled the weather conditions.

Paul Hanlon and Ross Caldwell also attended to lend their support to the youngsters.

Both sides fielded several first team squad players, with Scott Robertson, Paul Heffernan, Alex Harris, Danny Handling and Jason Cummings starting for Hibs whilst Kevin McHattie, Callum Paterson, Callum Tapping and Billy King lined up for Hearts.

As predicted, Hibs new loan signing from Arsenal, Daniel Boateng made his debut in the Hibs’ defence.

Hearts took the lead after ten minutes with a well struck effort from King. The Hearts youngster then went close from the edge of the box before Tom Gardiner forced a fine save from Mark Ridgers who managed to tip his header over the bar.

Callum Tapping then chose the wrong option and fired over the bar from 25 yards, despite two team-mates in better positions.

Hibs were denied a penalty when Handling was brought down in the box by Craigie, however the referee waived away the appeals, much to the annoyance of the fans.

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Groundstaff had to clear the lines at half time due to a heavy snowfall, and the referee inspected the pitch before the game resumed.

Hibs dominated the second period and got a deserved equaliser when Handling scored after a Cummings cross then was inches away from adding a second after some good work from Herffernan,

There were angry scenes in the 65th minute when Elliot Ford was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Cummings.

Hibs immediately took advantage of the extra numbers and Handling scored  his second of the night when as he pounced on a loose ball three minutes later however the goal came at a price as Scott Robertson picked up an injury in the build-up and had to limp off.

With 15 minutes remaining, a Ryan Baptie corner was volleyed home at the back post by man of the match Euan Smith.

Hibs looked to add to their lead, however Hearts pulled one back against the run of play with a well taken McHattie free-kick which curled into the bottom corner.

Boateng had to be on hand to clear off the line and McHattie hit the post  as Hearts tried desperately to equalise but Hibs held on for the victory.

Hibs: Paul Grant, Andrew Black, Daniel Boateng, Tom Gardiner, Ryan Baptie, Euan Smith, Scott Robertson, Alex Harris, Paul Heffernan, Danny Handling, Jason Cummings.

Hearts: Mark Ridgers, Liam Smith, Elliot Ford, Liam Gordon, Kevin McHattie, Angus Beith, Callum Paterson, Callum Tapping, Rhys Craigie, Gary Oliver, Billy King.

Photos by John Preece

http://www.photoboxgallery.com/jlp-photography