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Aberdeen 0 - 2 Hibernian

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 1 Hibernian

Hibernian scorers: Latapy 4 (pen), Paatelainen 78

19/08/2000 | KO: 15:00

Dons lose uneaten league record amid controversy

Aberdeen finally succumbed to league leaders Hibernian after having to play 86 minutes of the game with only ten men. Ebbe Skovdahl made one change to the team that had drawn with Hearts last week. Seventeen-year-old Darren Mackie replaced the injured Eoin Jess. This meant the Dons lined up with five teenagers. Ebbe had another surprise for the fans when he named 21-year-old Darren Young as captain for the day.

Aberdeen had a chance to take the lead in the third minute when Darren Mackie intercepted a poor pass-back. The youngster rounded Colgan and hit a powerful shot from a tight angle. Unfortunately the experienced Frank Sauzee was on hand to head the effort off the goal line. The game erupted into controversy a minute later when Aberdeen conceded a penalty. Mark Perry appeared to stumble in the box and blocked a Paatelainen shot with his hand. Mr. McCurry awarded a spot kick and then proceeded to wave a red card and send Perry off. A harsh decision under any circumstances and it will be interesting to see the TV highlights of this incident. Russell Latapy made no mistake from the spot, sending Esson the wrong way.

The Dons reorganised by moving Rowson into the centre of defence with Guntveit moving to right back. Aberdeen were now faced with a mountain to climb and to their credit they rose admirably to the challenge. Aberdeen started to ask some serious questions of the Hibs back four and at times it was hard to tell which team had the ten men. In a rare Hibs attack Agathe completely skinned Rowson but his shot on goal was weak and Esson gathered easily. Mackie was having an excellent game on the right and it was the youngster who forced Aberdeen?s first corner in the 20th minute.

Winters had a great chance to level when he broke into the box in the 32nd minute but his shot was driven just wide of Colgans left hand post. Three minutes later Agathe was put clean through despite a hint of offside. The Hibs man failed to connect properly with his effort and Esson saved easily. Aberdeen came so close to levelling matters on the stroke of half time when a Stavrum header was cleared off the line following a corner. At the other end a Zittelli 25-yard drive was well saved by Esson.

Zerouali replaced Stavrum at the interval and Latapy was lucky to escape a booking in the 50th minute after a blatant foul on Zero. Esson was again alert a few minutes later when he held an O'Neil flick. The Dons then produced some more fine play when Winters and Zero combined. However the Hibs defence were able to scramble the ball clear. Zerouali was being given far too much space by the Hibs defence and in 53 minutes he had a fine shot deflected wide. Zittelli was booked in the 61st minute for a shocking tackle on Captain Darren Young.

Two minutes later Esson was again in fine form when he saved well from a deflected Latapy shot. The Dons were still probing for openings with both Mackie and Winters going close. Latapy was finally booked in the 74th minute for shirt pulling. Zero should have done better in the 76th minute when a poor defensive header fell to McNaughton. The youngster found Zerouali in acres of space. Instead of taking a touch, the Moroccan tried a first time effort, which lacked power.

The Dons paid the ultimate penalty a minute later when Hibs sealed the victory. Bannerman made his way down the right and fired in a cross. In an attempt to clear the ball McGuire sliced it against the crossbar where it fell into the path of Paatelainen. The Finn had the simplest of tap in's to wrap up the game. McAllister then replaced Mackie with ten minutes to go. This was our first league defeat of the season, but given the circumstances of playing with ten men and fielding such a young side, the team put in a creditable performance and would probably have given a disappointing Hibs team a much better run for their money with 11 players.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Esson, Perry, McNaughton, Young, McGuire, Guntveit, Young, Mackie (McAllister 82), Winters, Stavrum (Zerouali 46), Rowson.

Unused Subs: Preece, Dow, Inglis.

Bookings:  Perry (4).
Hibernian Teamsheet
Colgan, Laursen (Bannerman 27), McIntosh, Smith, Jack (Zitelli 46), Agathe (Lehmann 82), Sauzee, Latapy, O'Neil, Paatelainen Unused Subs: Westwater, McManus

Bookings:  Bannerman 35,   Zittelli 61,   Latapy 74
Attendance: 13,157
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: T. M. McCurry, Glasgow