Referee Craig Thomson took centre stage as 10-man Aberdeen made it three games without defeat with a controversial win over Hibernian at Pittodrie.
Hibs claimed Peter Pawlett had dived to earn the 59th-minute penalty for a Ivan Sproule challenge, after which Scott Vernon fired the winning goal.
Pawlett was sent off eight minutes later for a lunge on Lewis Stevenson amid claims there was little contact.
And Akpo Sodje missed a late chance to equalise for the visitors.
But the Dons held out for a win they just about deserved in a poor game that nevertheless moves them six points clear of Hibs in the relegation zone thanks to gathering seven points within eight days.
Dons boss Craig Brown had been forced to reorganise his defence, with Andrew Considine suspended and Youl Mawene out injured, so in came Rory McArdle, Fraser Fyvie and Mohamed Chalali, with Chris Clark dropping to the bench.
And the former Scotland boss was forced into another change within six minutes when Chalali's third first-team start came to an end when he appeared to twist an ankle, to be replaced with Pawlett.
That seemed to knock the home side, who had until then dominated possession without posing a real threat, out of their stride.
Hibs were without Leigh Griffiths through suspension and Isaiah Osbourne through injury and replacements Danny Galbraith and Martin Scott sparked the Edinburgh side into life.
Galbraith's clever through-ball set free Garry O'Connor to deliver the first shot on target, on the turn after 16 minutes, while Scott also drove straight at goalkeeper Jason Brown from 18 yards.
The Dons' only threat had come after a fumble from goalkeeeper Graham Stack until McArdle lashed over from 14 yards after 22 minutes following a poor attempt at a clearance by David Stephens.
Aberdeen missed an even better chance when Rob Milsom's cross found Rory Fallon unmarked 16 yards out and the New Zealand striker ought to have done better than send his powerful header flashing wide of the far post.
It was the Dons' turn to display poor marking at a curling Galbraith free-kick that was superbly volleyed at the back post by Scott only for Brown to parry clear.
There was little change in the quality of play after the break and it took a spot kick to break the deadlock.
Although Pawlett's dive was a tad theatrical, Thomson ruled that he had been clipped by Sproule as the winger turned just inside the penalty box and Vernon's penalty just evaded Stack's fingers as it nestled in the corner of the net.
Pawlett's next involvement was just as controversial - a studs-first sliding challenge that did little more than graze Lewis Stevenson's toes but led to a red card, seemingly for dangerous play.
Substitute Sodje ought to have saved a point for Hibs with five minutes remaining when he wriggled free of McArdle but fired against the legs of Brown from seven yards.
Galbraith sent a volley straight at Brown before the final whistle stretched Hibs' run to six league games without a win and leaves Pat Fenlon still looking for his first points as manager.
- 32 Brown
- 02 McArdle
- 03 Foster
- 08 Milsom
- 11 Arnason
- 16 Osbourne
- 17 Fyvie (Clark - 82' Booked )
- 22 Jack
- 09 Vernon
- 14 Fallon (Mawene - 70' )
- 18 Chalali (Pawlett - 12' Dismissed )
- 20 Gonzalez
- 05 Mawene
- 07 Clark
- 15 Pawlett
- 10 Mackie
- 21 Magennis
- 23 Megginson
- 01 Stack
- 02 Hart (Sodje - 70' )
- 04 Hanlon
- 05 O'Hanlon
- 20 Stephens Booked
- 07 Wotherspoon
- 11 Galbraith
- 14 Scott
- 16 Stevenson
- 17 Sproule Booked (Towell - 76' )
- 09 O'Connor Booked
- 31 Brown
- 03 Booth
- 06 Murray
- 25 Towell
- 19 Palsson
- 26 Welsh
- 23 Sodje
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee ends the match.90:00 +3:16
Shot from 12 yards from Daniel Galbraith. Save made by Jason Brown.90:00 +1:55
Sean O'Hanlon concedes a free kick for a foul on Scott Vernon. Richard Foster takes the free kick.90:00 +0:08
Free kick taken by Jason Brown.90:00 +0:08 Booking
Booking David Stephens receives a caution.90:00 +0:03
Free kick awarded for a foul by David Stephens on Chris Clark.88:23
Garry O'Connor is caught offside. Kari Arnason restarts play with the free kick.87:54
Unfair challenge on Isaac Osbourne by Richie Towell results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Rory McArdle.86:29
Free kick taken by Lewis Stevenson.86:29 Booking
Booking Chris Clark receives a yellow card.86:23
Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Clark on Lewis Stevenson.85:01
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Martin Scott, clearance made by Robert Milsom.84:47
Akpo Sodje takes a shot. Save by Jason Brown.82:59
The official flags Scott Vernon offside. Graham Stack takes the free kick.81:41
Free kick awarded for a foul by Isaac Osbourne on Sean O'Hanlon. Direct free kick taken by David Stephens.81:23 Substitution
Substitution Chris Clark replaces Fraser Fyvie.78:59
Direct free kick taken by Jason Brown.78:59 Booking
Booking Booking for Garry O'Connor for unsporting behaviour.78:40
Garry O'Connor challenges Kari Arnason unfairly and gives away a free kick.76:55
Foul by Lewis Stevenson on Scott Vernon, free kick awarded. Kari Arnason restarts play with the free kick.
Substitution Ivan Sproule goes off and Richie Towell comes on.73:19
Unfair challenge on Richard Foster by Akpo Sodje results in a free kick. Jason Brown restarts play with the free kick.72:01
Free kick awarded for a foul by Akpo Sodje on Fraser Fyvie. Free kick taken by Kari Arnason.69:10 Substitution
Substitution Akpo Sodje is brought on as a substitute for Michael Hart.69:10 Substitution
Substitution Youl Mawene joins the action as a substitute, replacing Rory Fallon.68:30
Inswinging corner taken by Ivan Sproule, Effort on goal by Garry O'Connor from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.66:58
Paul Hanlon restarts play with the free kick.66:58 Dismissal
Dismissal Peter Pawlett shown a red card for serious foul play.66:50
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lewis Stevenson by Peter Pawlett.65:12
Rory Fallon challenges Sean O'Hanlon unfairly and gives away a free kick. Garry O'Connor produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick, Jason Brown makes a comfortable save.64:43
Unfair challenge on Daniel Galbraith by Rory Fallon results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Michael Hart.60:26
Unfair challenge on Robert Milsom by David Wotherspoon results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Richard Foster.58:12
Peter Pawlett provided the assist for the goal.58:11 Goal scored
Goal! - Scott Vernon - Aberdeen 1 - 0 Hibernian Scott Vernon scores a placed penalty. Aberdeen 1-0 Hibernian.57:46 Booking
Booking Ivan Sproule shown a yellow card.57:13
Foul by Ivan Sproule on Peter Pawlett, Penalty awarded.53:53
Foul by Daniel Galbraith on Robert Milsom, free kick awarded. Fraser Fyvie delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing.52:35
Ivan Sproule takes a shot. Blocked by Rory McArdle.51:34
Isaac Osbourne gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Daniel Galbraith. Shot on goal comes in from Daniel Galbraith from the free kick.50:26
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Ivan Sproule, Isaac Osbourne makes a clearance.45:55
Corner from the right by-line taken by Daniel Galbraith, clearance made by Rory Fallon.45:01
The second half begins.45:00 +2:09 Half time
Half Time It is the end of the first-half.43:34
The referee blows for offside against Garry O'Connor. Free kick taken by Jason Brown.43:01
Unfair challenge on Garry O'Connor by Kari Arnason results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Sean O'Hanlon.38:56
Rory Fallon takes a shot. Blocked by Sean O'Hanlon.38:04
Daniel Galbraith has an effort at goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.37:36
Unfair challenge on David Wotherspoon by Rory Fallon results in a free kick. Sean O'Hanlon restarts play with the free kick.34:41
Daniel Galbraith fouled by Richard Foster, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Graham Stack.34:00
Free kick awarded for a foul by Ivan Sproule on Peter Pawlett. Ryan Jack takes the direct free kick.31:16
Daniel Galbraith is adjudged to have handled the ball. Kari Arnason restarts play with the free kick.28:37
Corner taken left-footed by Daniel Galbraith from the right by-line, Headed effort from close range by Paul Hanlon goes wide left of the target.28:01
Inswinging corner taken by Daniel Galbraith from the right by-line, clearance made by Rory Fallon.27:12
Kari Arnason gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Garry O'Connor. The ball is swung over by Daniel Galbraith, Martin Scott takes a shot. Save made by Jason Brown.25:30
Header by Rory Fallon from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.25:06
Garry O'Connor has a headed effort at goal from just inside the penalty area that misses to the left of the goal.24:08
David Wotherspoon takes a shot. Richard Foster gets a block in.21:35
Effort on goal by Rory McArdle from inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the bar.20:46
Rory Fallon fouled by Michael Hart, the ref awards a free kick. Fraser Fyvie crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, clearance by David Stephens.18:26
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Wotherspoon by Peter Pawlett. Free kick crossed right-footed by Ivan Sproule from right wing, save by Jason Brown.17:58
Rory Fallon gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Sean O'Hanlon. Graham Stack takes the free kick.17:30
Martin Scott takes a shot. Jason Brown makes a save.16:52
David Wotherspoon fouled by Fraser Fyvie, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Graham Stack.15:51
Ivan Sproule takes a shot. Save by Jason Brown.15:23
David Wotherspoon concedes a free kick for a foul on Peter Pawlett. Robert Milsom restarts play with the free kick.14:25
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Martin Scott by Isaac Osbourne. Direct free kick taken by Martin Scott.11:58
Corner taken by Daniel Galbraith from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Kari Arnason.11:58 Substitution
Substitution Peter Pawlett comes on in place of Mohamed Chalali.10:13
The referee blows for offside. Kari Arnason takes the free kick.4:32
Corner taken left-footed by Robert Milsom from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Paul Hanlon.4:13
Corner taken by Robert Milsom from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Sean O'Hanlon.3:04
Mohamed Chalali fouled by Sean O'Hanlon, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Robert Milsom.2:52
The ball is sent over by David Wotherspoon, save by Jason Brown.0:00
The game gets underway.
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