Aberdeen 1-0 Hibernian

Willo Flood's 22-yard screamer in the 87th minute stole all three points for Aberdeen against Hibernian.

Hibs goalkeeper Ben Williams could only watch the Irish midfielder's sweet strike fly into the corner of the net after Michael Nelson's clearance.

The hosts felt they were denied a first-half penalty when the ball clearly struck Nelson's hand.

Paul Heffernan twice missed chances for Hibs who saw their unbeaten run of five games come to an end.

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Interview - Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes

Derek McInnes's Aberdeen have now won eight of their last nine matches - the most recent three having been sealed with winning goals in the closing minutes.

For so long it looked like this would be the fifth goalless draw in the last 10 league meetings between these teams, but Flood's second goal of the season, and arguably the best of his career, was the difference at Pittodrie.

The Dons' second-place position in the Premiership is consolidated as they now sit four points clear of Motherwell in third, although the Fir Park side have two games in-hand.

Two defensive lapses almost let Hibs take the lead within the opening three minutes.

Jamie Langfield nervously dealt with a wayward Flood backpass before Hibs striker Heffernan nearly took advantage of dithering between Mark Reynolds and the Dons goalkeeper.

Willo Flood (No.8) watches his right-foot strike sail past Hibs goalkeeper Ben Williams

Those close-calls set the tone in the opening period as the visitors pinned Aberdeen in their own half.

But Hibs failed to create any further clear-cut chances and, after the Dons won three corners in quick succession, McInnes' men dominated.

That pressure came to a head when Peter Pawlett's dinked centre over the onrushing Williams clearly hit Hibs defender Nelson's hand in the six-yard box.

But to the home supporters' amazement, referee Craig Thomson awarded nothing.

Williams saved point-blank from a Reynolds header as the centre-back did his best to follow up his match-winner against Kilmarnock with another on his own turf.

The visitors had another chance before the break when Jonny Hayes, in an unfamiliar left-back position, sent a clearance straight to Heffernan, who fired wide.

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Interview - Hibs boss Terry Butcher

Aberdeen, for whom Alan Tate made his debut, also began the second half on the back foot.

Irishman Heffernan's shot kept 'keeper Langfield on his toes, while the late outstretched leg of Dons defender Joe Shaughnessy on Lewis Stevenson drew a booking.

Niall McGinn's header and Barry Robson's blocked shot was the closest the Dons came to Hibs' goal as the match rumbled towards a stalemate.

But when Flood collected a seemingly safe clearance from Nelson, the little midfield dynamo produced a wonderful winner.