The last time these sides met the game ended in a dour nil-nil at Easter Road in September and both teams were determined to avoid a repeat of that. On the evidence of the first half though, it looked as though there may well be a repeat but the game sprung into life in the second half when Peter Pawlett was fouled in the box and Scott Vernon converted the resultant penalty. Just 10 minutes later Pawlett was then sent off for an innocuous looking tackle on Lewis Stephenson, referee Craig Thompson making the decision on advice from his linesman.The Vernon penalty was enough to give the Dons victory and make it 7 points from the last 3 games.
The Dons made three changes to the side that defeated St Johnstone the previous Tuesday. In came- McArdle, Fyvie and Chalali in place of Youl Mawene and Chris Clark who dropped to the bench and Andrew Considine who was suspended after his sending off in Perth.
It was the home side who had the games first chance when Scott Vernon left the ball inside the box to Chalali but he couldn't meet it quick enough and the ball was cleared. In 13 minutes the Dons suffered an early blow when Chalali was forced off after a clash in midfield. He was replaced by Peter Pawlett.
The Dons created their next opening when a Foster crossed superbly towards Vernon but he couldn't connect with it properly. On 20 minutes the Dons won a free kick around 25 yards out. Fraser Fyvie swung the ball in, David Stephens headed it down and Rory McArdle fired the ball over the bar.
Five minutes later Aberdeen created their best chance of the game so far. Rob Milsom's threatening drive down the left set him up to produce an excellent cross for Rory Fallon but the New Zealander could only direct his header over the bar.
Hibernian then created their best chance on 28 minutes when Jason Brown had to pull off a good save to deny Martin Scott giving the Hibees the lead. As the disappointing first half drew to a close Ryan Jack did float in a cross which Stack had to look lively to grasp above his head.
Hibernian started the second half brightly and continued to press in the Dons half without ever troubling Jason Brown or his defenders too much. The makeshift Dons back line, without one of this seasons star men in Andrew Considine, coped well with former Scotland international Garry O'Connor and Ivan Sproule, the latter up against Ryan Jack who performed superbly once again.
As the Hibernian pressure began to ease slightly Aberdeen broke up field and Scott Vernon found Peter Pawlett who was then pushed off the ball by Sproule in the box and referee Thomson awarded the spot kick.A soft penalty maybe, but Vernon made sure the Dons took full advantage as he hammered the ball off Stack's left hand post and into the net to give the home side the lead.
The Dons continued to press to try and find a second goal and they had another great chance when Foster cut the ball back across goal but no one was there to put the ball in the net when all it needed was the smallest of touches.
Minutes later, Peter Pawlett was sent off for a challenge on Lewis Stephenson which even on first look appeared extremely harsh. Replays have since confirmed this and it would appear that referee Thomson acted on the advice of his linesman. Pawlett became the second man to be sent off harshly this week for Aberdeen as they now reached six orderings off since the start of the season.
In order to try and stave off any Hibernian comeback, Craig Brown replaced Rory Fallon with Youl Mawene, a move which saw Kari Arnason slot into midfield. The game then calmed down and while having significant amounts of possession, Hibernian failed to test the Dons in any significant way while the home side did not create many opportunities either. The Dons made another change with Chris Clark replacing Fraser Fyvie on 82 minutes, Fyvie appeared to be injured as he made his way straight down the tunnel.
Scott Vernon was flagged offside just seconds later in what must have been a very tight call for the linesman. Had the flag not gone up, Vernon was through one on one with Stack and may have added to his tally of eight SPL goals this season.
Up the other end Jason brown had to look sharp when a misjudgement from Mawene allowed Akpo Sodje to get a shot in at goal but Brown got down low to his right to deny the Hibernian man.
Hibs continued to look in vein for an equaliser and Chris Clark was booked for a challenge on Lewis Stephenson with a few minutes left on the clock. It wouldn't matter though as the Dons held on to the 1-0 victory and another three points in their fight to climb the table. Three games, two victories and seven points in a week meant the Dons moved six points clear of bottom spot and can set their sights on the battle for the top six ahead of another vital trip to Inverness on Christmas eve.