Hibs’ poor run of results continued last night with a two-nil defeat at home to Aberdeen who secured the valuable three points with to two wonder goals from Northern Ireland international Niall McGinn.
Terry Butcher’s bad luck continued before kick-off when striker Paul Heffernan suffered an injury during the warm-up and his place in the starting XI was taken by James Collins.
A loud speaker appeal for Jason Cummings to report to the dressing rooms soon followed and the youngster took an unexpected seat on the bench alongside experienced midfielders Kevin Thomson and Owain Tudur Jones.
Skipper Liam Craig returned along with Paul Cairney and Alex Harris as Terry Butcher made three changes to the side from last weekend.
Alan Maybury’s last minute red card against Hearts ruled him out and coupled with Paul Hanlon’s injury forced a defensive reshuffle with Ryan McGivern moving inside to partner Michael Nelson in the centre of defence with Lewis Stevenson taking the left back slot.
Hibs made an encouraging start to the game and dominated possession in the early stages without troubling Jamie Langfield in the Aberdeen goal.
The Dons however opened the scoring in their first attack with a sensational 25 yard strike from McGinn which flew into the corner of Ben Williams’ net.
In the last few minutes of the first half, Aberdeen almost added to their lead on two separate occasions.
Peter Pawlett fired in a powerful left foot drive that struck the far post before being hooked clear then sixty seconds later Barry Robson sent an inch-perfect ball which Adam Rooney hit on the volley only to see the ball rebound from the same upright.
On 58 minutes Hibs were denied a penalty kick when Russell Anderson bundled over Collins inside the box, but to the fury of the home crowd referee Bobby Madden waved play on.
Three minutes later the Dons doubled their lead when Rooney’s cut back was volleyed into the net off the underside of the crossbar by the on-form McGinn.
Sam Stanton produced a fine surging run and shot which flew just past the post but it was Aberdeen who finished on top, playing possession football to the delight of the travelling support.
The result leaves Hibs in 7th place although only four points clear of second bottom Partick Thistle.
Hibernian: Williams, McGivern, Nelson, Harris, Craig, Cairney (Watmore 83′), Stevenson, Taiwo (Handling 70′), Forster, Collins (Cummings 89′), Stanton. Substitutes not used: Grant, Collins, Boateng, Tudur Jones, Thomson, Cummings.
Aberdeen: Langfield, Logan, Anderson, Considine, Reynolds, Flood, Robson (Low 90′), Jack, McGinn, Rooney (Vernon 88′), Pawlett (Smith 78′).Substitutes not used: Weaver, Shaughnessy, Robertson, McManus.