Villa 5; Hibernians 0
Villa continued their blistering start to the league campaign on Thursday last in Connors Park by easily accounting for a Hibernians team who had to play with 10 players a sending off.
Star player for the home side was Niall McCabe who bagged a fine hat-trick. His team-mate, goalkeeper Brandon O’Callaghan did well to keep the game level during the opening minutes but that was as close as Hibs came to scoring. This Villa team is a well-balanced outfit and they will enjoy a successful season, of that there is no doubt.
Villa’s cause was helped somewhat when Hibs midfielder David O’Leary received his marching orders from referee Jim Keely after picking up a second yellow card following a foul on Conor Coad.
It was Coad that could have broke the deadlock for the home side after six minutes after a fantastic move saw Jack Doherty cross superbly from the left, but after the ball broke to the midfielder goalkeeper Sean Whitty proved equal to the task with a decent save.
Hibs could have gone in front themselves less than five minutes later when David O’Leary went on a great run before setting Oisin Morgan clear; however the striker saw his right-footed strike brilliantly saved by O’Callaghan.
Whitty came to his side’s rescue on 16 minutes when he made a superb save to deny Jack Doherty, who got on the end of a Terry Krubu cross but his thunderous left-footed effort from 14 yards was tipped around the posts at the expense of a fruitless corner kick.
A long ball from Rob Power shortly afterwards was brilliantly cut out by Brandon O’Callaghan before Villa took the lead on 18 minutes when the impressive Doherty beat the offside trap to set up Niall McCabe and he powered an effort past Whitty from 14 yards.
After winning a free kick in his own half on 20 minutes, Hibs midfielder David O’Leary was booked by referee Jim Keely for dissent and seconds later, he got the line when he dragged back Coad in midfield.
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