By: Hibernian Media on 07 Dec, 2019 19:34
Aberdeen-born Martin Boyle returned to haunt his hometown club as he grabbed a double in Hibernian’s 3-0 victory over the Dons this afternoon.
Hibs’ victory - their largest at home to Aberdeen in the league since January 1957 - was thoroughly merited following a stunning second-half display.
The first half had been even, however Hibernian took complete control after the break and deserved the breakthrough when it came along.
Scott Allan was the architect and Boyle the executioner, with the winger collecting a defence-splitting pass to nudge his side ahead.
The pair repeated the feat 16 minutes later as the Aberdeen heads dropped, and Florian Kamberi added the icing to the cake with a stunning individual finish to kill off the match as a contest and grab Hibs’ third.
Jack Ross made two changes following his side’s midweek defeat by Ross County, with Ofir Marciano and Stevie Mallan returning to the starting XI at the expense of Chris Maxwell and Vykintas Slivka respectively.
Mallan was involved in the first action of note as the home side made a positive start, with the midfielder latching onto a cut-back and his near-post effort was touched onto the woodwork by Joe Lewis.
At the other end, Zak Vyner’s shot from distance was wildly off target before Sam Cosgrove forced Marciano into a save at his near post moments later.
The match was proving to be a feisty encounter, however it was lacking in genuine quality from either side as too often passes were under or over-hit, surrendering possession easily.
In an even first half Aberdeen were enjoying the better of the limited opportunities with Shay Logan shooting wide from distance.
Soon after Marciano raced from goal to clear by foot, only to under-hit it and present Cosgrove with a gilt-edged chance. The normally prolific striker took an age to control the ball, allowing an interception to be made.
Shots from distance were a common theme during an even first period and in the 24th minute Boyle let fly with a powerful strike that Andrew Considine deflected wide for a corner kick.
From the corner, Jason Naismith rose highest only for his looping header to land onto the roof of the Aberdeen net.
Hibernian were almost caught on the counterattack after Mallan’s free-kick struck the defensive wall and Ash Taylor launched the ball up to James Wilson. He then drove into the Hibs box and had his near-post shot beaten away by Marciano.
The rebound fell kindly from Cosgrove, however Marciano was quickly back on his feet and made a terrific block to keep his side level.
In the final action of note during a dreary first half, Melker Hallberg saw his free-kick deflected off-target.
After the break the quality improved dramatically and in the opening moments an angled effort from Kamberi almost found the net.
The home support didn’t have long to wait to witness the opening goal as Allan delivered a sublime through-ball to carve Aberdeen wide open and send Boyle clear; the winger taking it beyond Lewis and slotting into the empty net.
It was all Hibs in the opening exchanges to the second half with Aberdeen having Scott McKenna to thank for preventing them falling further behind.
Allan was again the instigator, threading the ball to Kamberi who quickly found Stevenson; the full-back picked out the run of Boyle and only a brave block from McKenna prevented him notching a quickfire second.
Moments later Lewis save from Naismith at his near post as Hibs once again knocked on the door.
Aberdeen’s response was a long-range strike from Lewis Ferguson that was straight down the throat of Marciano who gathered comfortably.
Pressure was beginning to grow on the home defence, yet it quickly evaporated when Allan once more carved the Dons defence wide open and Boyle raced in on goal, held off Considine and slid the ball beyond Lewis for his second of the afternoon.
Six minutes later it was 3-0. Kamberi took possession wide left from a Boyle pass and immediately cut inside, evading two challenges and slamming the ball beyond Lewis for his eighth goal of the campaign.
With seven minutes remaining Aberdeen were denied a certain consolation goal when Greg Leigh’s drilled cross found Cosgrove six yards from goal but as he attempted to pull the trigger, Hanlon threw his body at the ball to bravely block it.
Cosgrove had another opportunity in the final minute when he was again picked out by Leigh, however his header was straight at Marciano and Hibernian claimed their first cleansheet in the Ladbrokes Premiership since their opening day victory against St Mirren.
Victory, Hibs third win in five under Ross, saw the Easter Road men close the gap on Kilmarnock to just one points
Hibernian: Marciano, Hanlon, Doidge, Boyle (Jackson 75), Mallan, Stevenson, Hallberg (Slivka 69), Naismith, Kamberi (Shaw 84), Allan, Porteous. Unused substitutes: Maxwell, Horgan, James, Murray.
Aberdeen: Lewis, Logan (Campbell 62), Leigh, Considine, McKenna, Taylor, Cosgrove, Ferguson, Gallagher, Wilson (Hedges 62), Vyner (Main 62). Unused substitutes: Cerny, Devlin, McGinn, McLennan.
Referee: Colin Steven.
Report: Richard Payne.
Image: Alan Rennie.