At half-time it looked as if this one had got beyond our Aberdeen team, but the Dons fought back and secured a win against 10-man Hibs at a blustery Pittodrie to secure our first home league win since Boxing Day.
There was only one change to the Dons starting line-up that faced Kilmarnock on Wednesday night.
Dylan McGeouch started ahead of Mikey Devlin, who dropped to the bench.
It was Aberdeen that had the opening chance, when Curtis Main met a low cross from Niall McGinn. He tried a back-heeled flick which passed just short of the far post in the third minute.
Two minutes later, Jamie Gullan fired a drive, but Joe Lewis did well to save the shot.
Just shortly after, Christian Doidge met a cross from Paul McGinn but Lewis denied the striker and saved the shot.
Lewis Ferguson had two opportunities in the space of a minute. First he broke into the Hibs penalty area and unleashed a shot at Marciano which the Hibs goalie blocked.
Then he picked up a Connor McLennan cross from the right, but his half volley went wide.
Jamie Gullan had his 18-yard drive blocked by Joe Lewis in the 19th minute.
The Dons went close in the 28th minute, after Connor McLennan picked up a Matty Kennedy cross, but McLennan’s shot went over the bar.
Hibs went ahead in the 39th minute, despite calls for offside from Aberdeen – Christian Doidge played through our defence after picking up a pass from Scott Allan and fired home the opener to the visitors.
And just moments after,. Aberdeen had a penalty claim waved away by John Beaton after Lewis Ferguson was hauled down by Greg Docherty – the players were furious with the decision which continued with Paul Sheerin and Tony Docherty remonstrating with the ref as they headed to the tunnel at the end of the first half.
Ten minutes into the second half and Hibs were reduced to ten men after Steven Whittaker was sent off and given a second yellow for a challenge on Lewis Ferguson.
Derek McInnes took advantage of the extra man, by taking off Shay Logan and putting on Bruce Anderson in the 62nd minute.
And two minutes later, Aberdeen equalised thanks to an Adam Jackson own-goal, when Niall McGinn fired a cross from the left, Jackson took a swipe at the ball, and the ball went into his own net.
In the 67th minute, Aberdeen got their second goal thanks to Andy Considine, who hit home the ball at the back post from a Niall McGinn corner to put the Dons 2-1 ahead.
In the 83rd minute, Aberdeen secured the points with a third from Curtis Main, when Niall McGinn played a pass to Bruce Anderson, his effort was blocked but Main was on hand to pick up the loose ball and fire it home from close range.
Aberdeen have moved to within a point of third-placed Motherwell, an important three points as the sides meet at Fir Park next Friday (13 March 2020).
Derek McInnes told the club website: “I thought it was a deserved score line in the end.
“I didn’t think there was much in the first half, but I thought Hibs showed their attacking threat more than we did.
“Territoriality in the middle of the park there wasn’t much in it. Joe has made a brilliant save again (from Doidge in the first half).
“It doesn’t matter how deep they are, when Hibs turn the ball over, with the speed they have got in the team with players like Boyle and Doidge, you can quickly be defending a situation. That was the case with the goal that we lost.
“I thought we had just grown into the first half; it was quite an assured performance after the first 15 minutes. We are guilty of giving the ball away from a promising position that was deep in their half. They have totally exploited us; it was a brilliant run from Doidge.
“We are disappointed that we never got some big decisions in the first half.
“Considine gets hauled round the neck and he was dragged down. The one that was more obvious was the Ferguson one. Lewis is just trying to work an angle and he is brought down.
“There was a bit of a grievance again at half time, we have shown in the past how good we can be coming from behind. The players deserve so much credit. I thought we started the second half well.
“It needed to be a strong second half performance to beat a good Hibs team.”
“It was a huge moment when Whittaker gets sent off.
“We are not looking to get him sent off, but he stands on the ball and kicks the ball away. We had Dean Campbell two weeks ago who did something similar and was on a yellow card and was sent off. Today it is a different referee. I think John Beaton has dealt with the situation the way it should be dealt with. You don’t want people to be sent off for that.
“Whittaker’s tackle got himself sent off. I thought from there on in the players played with determination, we got the ball into wider areas.
“The intelligence of the team was the thing that pleased me the most.
“You saw McGeouch, Ojo and Ferguson doing the right things, controlling proceedings.
“In the wider areas we were carrying the threat. We started to get a presence in the box. All three goals are from pressure in the middle of the goal. We are delighted we won the game against a good team.
“We had it all to do in the second half and the players done it brilliantly.”
“I am not really interested in how the table looks just now; it is so important that we finish third at the end of the season.
“It was an important game today and will be on Friday. Clubs like Aberdeen should be playing meaningful games at this stage of the season.
“We have got ourselves in a situation through inconsistency, particularly either side of new year. What we have got to do now, is with that consistency of performance that we have been seeing away from home and consistency of results of late, if we can mirror that at home as we did today then we won’t be far away.
“It was a really meaningful and important game today and as long as we keep winning and picking up results then the next game will become just as important. Motherwell next week will be exactly that.
“I am running out of things to say about Ferguson. He is just so young. He can do everything.
“I thought Dylan and Ojo were up in the game and playing the game in the manner in which it was needed to be played in. They were knitting it together with their passing and playing with intelligence. I thought our midfield was very good today.
“We have really struggled with midfield options in the first half of the season through injuries. What you see today is the game needed good midfielders against their midfielders and I thought we came out on top in there today.
“Niall does that (quality of ball in for the first goal). His stats are a joke and how good he has been over the last few years.
“We had a lack of height today. We knew with the team that we had selected we knew we were a wee bit short in height, but we knew with the right delivery and pressure we could still cause problems.
“I think Anderson came on at the right time. I thought it was a really productive performance from Bruce. He used his minutes brilliantly today. He ran the legs off their two big centre backs. He was a breath of fresh air. He chased everything up there and got us up the pitch. He did well.
“Tommie Hoban has done well in training over the last couple of days (with us). He went back down the road last night as his wife is due to give birth. I haven’t spoken to him, but I hope it all went well. He will back with us on Monday.”
|7th March 2020