The Dons lost their third straight SPL match as they went down 1-0 to Hibernian despite dominating for most of the game. Aberdeen made a lively start but went behind in the 15th minute totally against the run of play. Young Pawlett tried to dribble the ball clear from his 18 yard box and lost possession allowing Sodje to score with a decent finish. Aberdeen were denied twice by the woodwork as first Maguire hit the post then late on Magennis beat Brown only for the ball to crash off the woodwork as Hibernian pull five points clear of the Dons. It's Rangers on Wednesday night before Aberdeen travel to Hampden on Sunday for the Scottish Cup semi-final.
Hibs kicked off in glorious sunshine and forced a corner in the opening minute, but Aberdeen cleared comfortably through Aluko. He played a great pass to Maguire on the right, but the final cross went sailing over the bar. Aberdeen had started brightly and Aluko played a dangerous ball into the middle in the 4th minute and seconds later he won the Dons first corner of the match. Milsom's delivery was headed clear, but a minute later Aluko tried a shot from distance and Brown fumbled before collecting.
At the other end Hibs produced some nice play before strolling into an offside position. Aluko was causing all sorts of problems and in the 7th minute he once again found Maguire and his cross was poked wide for the Dons second corner. Brown gathered that one easily, but Blackman showed skill in the 10th minute and unleashed a great shot that wasn't too high over. The Dons should have gone ahead two minutes later when a Smith cross was missed by Pawlett and a surprised Blackman could only prod it goalwards.
After a great start it was another defensive blunder that produced the opening goal for Hibs in the 15th minute. Pawlett tried to dribble the ball clear from his 18 yard box and lost possession allowing Sodje to score. Aberdeen tried to hit back as they continued with some nice football. Another good ball from Smith was bundled away for a corner in the 24th minute. The luck was not with them as a short corner was played and a low shot from Maguire crashed off the base of the post.
Two minutes later Maguire was taken out late, but the free kick was rather wasted as it was played short. Aluko then created another chance, but Jack couldn't control the ball and the chance was gone. Derek Young landed awkwardly in the 33rd minute, but he was able to continue after treatment. Aberdeen had lost much of their early sparkle and in the 37th minute Maguire played a decent ball in front of Blackman just as the striker was dropping deep.
A minute later Young delivered a fine cross, but Blackman couldn't get enough on the header. Aluko then had a dig at goal, but it was tame and Brown easily gathered. Aberdeen pushed for the equaliser towards the half time whistle and won a corner. As the ball came in Brown flapped at the ball and had to run ten yards to recover it. Disappointingly no man in a red shirt made an effort to win it. The half petered out to leave Hibernian with their slender lead.
Hibs carved out the first chance of the second half when Considine gave the ball away and Sodje again strode forward, but this time he fired well over. Two minutes later a free kicked was played into the Aberdeen box and after some confusion the ball was booted clear. In the 52nd minute there was a clash of heads and Vujadinovic went down for another injury scare and was forced to go and get stitched up. Aberdeen immediately won a corner, but couldn't capitalise on the chance.
At the other end Booth fired well wide of the target then Maguire went down in the box, but the referee was not interested as the ball broke to Pawlett. Hibs eventually scrambled the ball clear as the crowd still awaited the return of Vujadinovic. He eventually returned as Hibs introduced Nish and Wotherspoon. Just before the hour mark Vernon replaced Blackman and Aberdeen should have levelled immediately. Maguire was first to a through ball and beat Brown, but watched in agony as the ball hit the post.
At the other end the Aberdeen defence were at sixes and sevens and only a great save from Langfield prevented Stevenson from making it 2-0. In the 62nd minute Vujadinovic made an important block before Robertson replaced Young. A minute later Vernon just failed to collect a great through ball from Jack. Maguire was next to pick up a knock, but he quickly recovered. Aluko forced a corner in the 68th minute and when the second ball came in Vernon scooped it over the bar from a tight angle. Magennis then replaced Pawlett as Aberdeen looked for a way back.
Magennis made an immediate impact with a neat pass to Maguire followed by a low shot that was well blocked by Brown. Another corner quickly followed and the ball travelled across the goal, but Aluko could only scoop it wide as he lost his balance. A shocking challenge from Nish on Robertson earned him a yellow card and it could well have been red. With 15 minutes remaining Milsom won a free kick 22 yards out and after a long delay for treatment to Thornhill Maguire played the ball in, but Brown had a comfortable catch.
In the 80th minute Aluko was pushed into the advertising boarding's, but a throw in was awarded to Hibs who had simply shut up shop now. Smith collected a caution in the 85th minute for a late challenge born out of frustration. Two minutes later Smith collected the ball on the right, cut inside and fired over. Seconds later Nish broke and set up Miller, but Vujadinovic did well to prevent the shot. Murray then collected a harsh yellow following a 50-50 challenge on Considine.
The Dons failed to make anything of the free kick and in the first minute of injury time Maguire won a free kick wide right, but again Hibernian stood firm. Seconds later Magennis was so unlucky as he leapt like a Salmon to reach a Smith cross. Brown was totally beaten, but the ball smashed off the junction of bar and post. Seconds later Magennis headed wide as time ran out for the Dons. A late ball into the box from Langfield was scrambled clear and the final whistle blasted.