By: Hibernian Media on 07 Mar, 2020 18:17
Steven Whittaker's red card proved costly as Aberdeen made their numerical advantage count at Pittodrie.
Christian Doidge’s 18th goal of the campaign saw the visitors take a deserved lead into the break after a terrific first-half showing from Hibs.
Yet, the match turned in nine second-half minutes as an own goal from Adam Jackson and an effort from Andrew Considine quickly followed on the heels of Whittaker’s red card.
Curtis Main made sure of a home victory late on with a low shot as Hibernian left the Granite City emptyhanded.
Jack Ross made two changes from Hibs’ last outing with Whittaker and Jamie Gullan replacing Stephane Omeonga and the suspended Marc McNulty.
The visitors started with purpose and in the opening moments youngster Gullan forced Joe Lewis into his first save of the afternoon.
Moment later and Doidge thought he had headed Hibs ahead only for a stunning save from Lewis to deny him.
The home side grew into the game and Lewis Ferguson was soon driving at the Hibs rear-guard.
As the defence backed off the midfielder struck a low shot that Ofir Marciano gathered comfortably.
Ferguson had another effort at goal less than a minute later when he got himself onto the end of Connor McLennan’s cross from the right, only to divert his effort wide of the post from close range.
In the 16th minute Hibernian appeared to have a strong appeal for a penalty kick when Paul Hanlon’s diagonal cross picked out Martin Boyle and the winger hit the turf under a challenge from Considine.
Much to the frustration of the 1000 Hibernian supporters inside Pittodrie, referee John Beaton waved play on when most expected him to point to the spot.
Not long after and calamitous defending from Considine and Ash Taylor was pounced upon by Gullan, who raced through on goal only to be denied by yet another fine save from Lewis in the Aberdeen goal.
The match was an even contest and soon it was Aberdeen’s turn to attack, and they forced a couple of saves from Marciano in quick succession.
First, the Hibs goalkeeper tipped Niall McGinn’s shot direct from a corner kick over the top, before following that up by saving at his near post from Main.
The deadlock was broken seven minutes from half-time when a trademark through-ball from Scott Allan sliced open the home defence and Doidge was onto it in a flash.
The Welsh striker took the ball round Lewis before slotting it into the far corner of the net from an acute angle.
Just before half-time there was another huge call for referee Beaton to make when Ferguson went down in the Hibs box after tussling with Greg Docherty and, again, he saw no infringement as the Aberdeen players surrounded him.
Hibs deserved to take a lead into the break, however an early caution for Whittaker – his second of the afternoon – shortly after the restart saw the Easter Road men down to ten men with over one third of the game remaining.
The loss of Whittaker saw Gullan sacrificed to make way for Melker Hallberg.
However, two goals in as many minutes for the hosts quickly turned the game on its head.
The first on 63 minutes came when Jackson attempted to cut out McGinn’s near-post cross only to divert the ball into his own net before Considine scrambled in another 120 seconds later following a corner kick.
Aberdeen were making the most of a strong wind in their favour and they almost used it to their advantage when an overhit clearance allowed substitute Bruce Anderson to burst clear and only a last-gasp block from Jackson denied him.
With eight minutes remaining Aberdeen made sure of the victory when Main swept in a low shot from 12 yards after Anderson’s effort had been blocked.
Aberdeen: Lewis, Logan (Anderson 62), Taylor, Considine, Ojo, McGeouch, Ferguson, McLennan (Devlin 72), Kennedy, McGinn (Hernandez 83), Main. Unused substitutes: Cerny, Campbell, Bryson, Hedges.
Hibernian: Marciano, McGinn, Jackson, Hanlon, Boyle, Whittaker, Docherty, Stevenson (Horgan 81), Allan (Omeonga 68), Gullan (Hallberg 58), Doidge. Unused substitutes: Bogdan, Gray, McGregor, Murray.
Referee: John Beaton.
Report: Richard Payne.