Aberdeen 2-1 Hibernian

By Clive LindsayBBC Scotland Sport

Aberdeen deservedly ended their seven-match wait for a home win - and Hibernian's hopes of ending the day top of the Scottish Premier League.

Gavin Rae scrambled in the 71st-minute winner from close range from a low Josh Magennis cross.

Niall McGinn had pounced to give the Dons the lead after Ben Williams saved a fourth-minute Scott Vernon drive.

Eoin Doyle levelled with a long-range drive after 33 minutes, but Rae ended Hibs' six-game unbeaten league run.

Rae is subdued in his celebration after his goal brings Aberdeen victory
Rae is subdued in his celebration after his goal brings Aberdeen victory

And Aberdeen, returning to virtually full strength after their midweek Scottish Communities League Cup win over Dunfermline Athletic, stretched their run without a defeat to nine and ended a sequence of five home draws, four this season.

There appeared to be as many seagulls around Pittodrie as fans as kick-off approached.

The attendance for the early kick-off had obviously taken as much of a battering from the presence of television cameras as the coastline had from the North Sea this week.

But, after some early pressure from the visitors, Hibs manager Pat Fenlon would have been the one left foaming at the mouth after some slackness as the Dons' first attack led to the opening goal.

Hibs failed to deal with a long ball to the edge of their penalty area and, when Williams could only parry Vernon's low drive, McGinn was on hand to complete the move from 10 yards.

Leigh Griffiths had returned to Hibs' starting line-up in place of teenager Ross Caldwell and ought to have equalised following a fine through ball from Paul Cairney, but the fit-again striker's drive was beaten away by goalkeeper Jamie Langfield.

There should have been more bad news for Hibs when the ball appeared to ricochet off Alan Maybury's hand and the defender then launched into a high, studs-first tackle on Ryan Fraser - the kind of which could have resulted in a red card but produced only a yellow card.

The Dons ought to have also had a penalty after 27 minutes when Vernon got his head to a Ryan Jack cross and James McPake's flying arm flicked the ball over.

Williams redeemed himself with a fine double save, blocking a Stephen Hughes drive at point-blank range then turning the ball over the crossbar with his fingertips from Vernon's looping first-time effort.

Hibs were level out of the blue after 33 minutes when, with marker Mark Reynolds claiming unsuccessfully for offside, Doyle punched his laces through the ball on the turn and it whipped past a surprised Langfield from 22 yards.

It was no surprise when Maybury, who was teasing the referee to show him a second yellow card, was replaced with Ryan McGivern at half-time.

David Wotherspoon and Cairney both squandered shooting opportunities for Hibs before the Dons restored their advantage.

McPake allowed substitute Magennis to turn inside the penalty box and the Northern Ireland international's low cross was poked in by Rae from four yards.

Hibs came close to stealing a point when substitute Shefki Kuqi's flicked past goalkeeper Langfield, but the Finn's effort was cleared off the line by Reynolds and the Dons survived to secure the win.

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