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Aberdeen 2 - 1 Hibernian

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Hibernian

SPFL Development League
Aberdeen scorers: Nuttall 57, Nuttall 65.
Hibernian scorers: Porteous

13/10/2016 | KO: 18:00

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The Young Dons returned to league action this evening after an extended break as they welcomed Hibernian to Peterhead. The Development League is so tight right now a win for Paul Sheerin's side would see them move from 12th in the standings up to fifth spot. The starting eleven saw David Craddock in goal behind a settled looking back four of Sam Robertson, Kesi Omolokun, Sam Roscoe and Toby Wells. Skipper Dylan Thomas anchored the midfield flanked by Aaron Norris and Connor McLennan while Joe Nuttall led the attack supported by Scott Wright and Frank Ross.

The Dons started brightly with Joe Nuttall, sporting a new less flamboyant hairstyle, prominent in the early exchanges. The big striker was picked out well by Omolokun and gave Robertson a crossing chance but the full back's delivery was just too strong for Frank Ross. A bad foul on Ross in midfield saw centre back Ryan Porteous of Hibs booked in the fourth minute but the free kick came to nothing. On eight minutes Connor McLennan came close but a despairing block from Waugh diverted his shot just wide of Martin's left hand post. The Dons were looking in the mood and Martin needed to be sure in his handling as he held a Ross cross under severe pressure from Nuttall.
Hibs had weathered the early storm and were starting to get a foothold in the game. They forced a couple of corners but they could not find a way to put Craddock under pressure although a snap shot from Shaw was only a foot too high. As the half hour came and went the game had become a little scrappy with both sides struggling to gain the upper hand. The home side came closest to breaking the deadlock on 40 minutes when Ross saw his shot cleared off the line by Crane. Had Frank got a cleaner connection on the shot it would undoubtedly have found the net but it was a fine piece of defending from the Hibs skipper. Nice passing by the Dons created an opening for Dylan Thomas seconds from the break but Martin saved his curling left footed effort at the second attempt. After a bright start, a rather disappointing opening 45 with neither side able to manufacture a clear cut opening.

Scott Wright had the first effort of the second half, his twenty yard effort forcing a fine diving save from Martin. The keeper was called into action a couple of minutes later diving to his left to parry McLennan's shot with Nuttall only inches away from turning the rebound into the net. Hibs came close on 56 minutes when Porteous looped a header just over after a free kick from Stirling. The Dons went straight on the offensive again and notched the opening goal thirty seconds later when Joe Nuttall latched on to a perfect Scott Wright pass to dink the ball past Martin into the net. A fine finish from the big man for his first league goal of the season.
Connor McLennan though he had made it 2-0 on 61 minutes when he went round the keeper but Crane got back superbly to block his angled shot out for a corner. Four minutes later it was 2-0 as the Dons turned defence into attack superbly. Frank Ross had to track back deep into his own box to clear a Hibs cross and his clearance found Nuttall who shook off his marker and raced in on goal before showing great coolness to finish powerfully with his right foot. That's eight goals in all competitions now for the striker.
Hibs coach Grant Murray brought Smith on for Watson on 71 minutes and the sub helped create a chance for the visitors but Shaw's volley was well blocked by Omolokun. Six minutes later O'Connor replaced Donaldson. Referee Wright cautioned Frank Ross for simulation but it looked a harsh decision. Terry Taylor was Aberdeen's first change, taking over from McLennan.
David Craddock had been largely a spectator for much of the evening but he produced a top class save on 81 minutes to keep out a superb shot from Gullan. The keeper was helpless a minute later when Porteous fired in a fine left footed shot to make it 2-1. Hibs skipper Crane was booked for dissent before Dangana replaced two goal hero Nuttall. Frank Ross was sent off for a second booking after a challenge in midfield - again the decision looked harsh.

A well deserved win for the Dons who climb to fifth in the table after a much improved second half showing.
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Aberdeen Teamsheet
Craddock, Robertson, Wells, Thomas, Roscoe, Omolokun, Wright, McLennan (Taylor 78), Nuttall, Ross, Norris.

Unused Subs: Mutch, Ross, MacPherson, Dangana, Antoniazzi, Campbell.

Bookings:  Ross (77),  Ross (90).
Hibernian Teamsheet
Martin, Donaldson (O'Connor 77), Crane (c), Porteous, Waugh, Stirling, F. Murray (Campbell 82), I. Murray, Shaw, Watson (Smith 71), Gullan Subs: Cargill (GK)

Bookings:  Porteous 4,   Crane 90
Venue: Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead
Referee: Scott Leslie