By: Hibernian FC on 30 Aug, 2020 20:46
Lewis Ferguson’s first-half penalty was all that separated the sides this afternoon as Hibernian slipped to their first defeat of the season.
Hibs, who were dominant in the opening half-hour, carved out several good opportunities however they failed to convert any of them and were made to pay for their wastefulness.
Aberdeen’s goal came against the run of play, yet once they got their noses in front, Derek McInnes’ men were themselves the dominant side.
Aberdeen controlled proceedings and were unfortunate not to add to their advantage as Hibs toiled to break them down.
With Alex Gogic having to self-isolate following a false positive Covid-19 test result - his place in the side was taken by Melker Hallberg. Drey Wright replaced Daryl Horgan whilst new signing Jamie Murphy was amongst the substitutes.
The home side started brightly and could have gone ahead in the opening minute when Aberdeen’s Joe Lewis uncharacteristically dropped a cross at the feet of Scott Allan; the midfielder poked the ball into the path of Boyle who attempted to lift it over the goalkeeper only to tamely fire straight into his grateful arms.
Josh Doig went close to a first senior goal with a powerful right-foot drive from distance only to be denied by a fine save from Lewis as Hibs put the visitors under early pressure.
Lewis was a busy man in the opening stages, and soon after he had to get down smartly to beat away Boyle’s venomous near-post strike after Drey Wright’s cross-field pass carved out the opportunity and caught the Dons cold.
At the other end, Ofir Marciano’s first involvement was to produce a terrific point-blank save to deny Ryan Hedges after his one-two with Scott Wright saw him goal-side of the home defence.
Hibs were playing as well as they have in any game so far this season and were soon back on the attack. A driven cross from Boyle was dummied by Allan to create time and space for Christian Doidge, however the normally clinical Welshman could not keep his effort down.
Aberdeen were growing into the game and began to gain a foothold in the middle of the park. It took another find save from Marciano to deny Marley Watkins his first Aberdeen goal as play flowed from end-to-end in this entertaining tussle.
Seven minutes before the interval Aberdeen were awarded a penalty kick when Boyle brought down Watkins. The Australian international was in the act of clearing the ball and had not noticed the on-loan Bristol City man coming from behind him to pinch the ball off his toes.
Ferguson took the spot-kick and confidently stroked it home – sending Marciano the wrong way – to break the deadlock.
It was the first time Hibs have found themselves behind this season and they were perhaps fortunate not to fall further behind when Ross McCrorie headed wide from Matty Kennedy’s free-kick just before the break.
Aberdeen enjoyed a flurry of activity in and around the Hibs goal in the opening period of the second half with Kennedy, Scott McKenna and McCrorie all going close to increasing the visitors’ lead.
Hibs had a great chance to restore parity when Paul McGinn’s pass allowed Wright in on goal. With Doidge in the middle the winger appeared caught in two minds about whether to shot or lay it off. In the end he did neither and his delivery flashed across the face of goal.
The home side were finding opportunities hard to come by in the second half with Aberdeen sitting back in numbers. To try and counter this Jack Ross introduced Stevie Mallan, Jamie Gullan and Murphy into proceedings, however Aberdeen continued to be a tough nut to crack.
In fact, it was Aberdeen that appeared the more likely to score again with Marciano at his best to deny substitutes Curtis Main and Dylan McGeouch who both tried their luck with efforts from the edge of the box.
Hibs had a late chance to get back on level terms with Doidge rising to meet Mallan’s corner kick, however he could not find the target and Aberdeen comfortably held on to claim all three points.
Hibernian: Marciano, McGinn, Porteous, Hanlon, Doig (Mallan 63), Hallberg (Gullan 71), Allan (Murphy 53), Newell, Wright, Doidge, Boyle. Unused subs: Dabrowski, Gray, McGregor, Stevenson, Stirling, Murray.
Aberdeen: Lewis, Hoban, Considine, McKenna, Hayes, Hedges (McGinn 76’), McCrorie, Ferguson, Kennedy, Wright (McGeouch 65), Watkins (Main 73). Unused subs: Cerny, Logan, Ojo, Taylor, McLennan, Hernandez.
Referee: Nick Walsh.
Report: Richard Payne.