Hibs’ unbeaten league run continued yesterday but they had to settle for a point against second placed Aberdeen at Pittodrie.
The Easter Road side have not lost since the January transfer window and had the chances to take all three points but in the end a draw was a fair result after a hard fought encounter in difficult conditions.
Neil Lennon retained the same starting XI that beat Kilmarnock in last weekend’s eight-goal thriller.
Player of the Year Dylan McGeouch was listed amongst the substitutes and wore a protective mask on the bench where he sat alongside club captain David Gray who returned after a long term injury.
The game was immensely important for both teams and Anthony O’Connor was booked after only 32 seconds for a foul on John McGinn.
Hibs had a great chance to take the lead after Steven Whittaker’s pass found Jamie MacLaren inside the area but before the Australian could shoot, Mark Reynolds brought him down.
Referee John Beaton had no hesitation pointing to the spot but took no action against the Aberdeen player
MacLaren took the kick but Joe Lewis produced a fine save to deny the striker.
The save seemed to inspire the hosts and Lewis Stevenson did well to stop Gary Mackay-Stevens inside the box.
MacLaren passed up another great chance moments later but his header from Martin Boyle’s superb cross flew over the bar.
Darren McGregor then cleared a Scott McKenna effort off the line and Niall McGinn struck the post with a superb free-kick.
In the 58th minute, John McGinn held off two challenges before testing Lewis with a long range drive then he combined well with McGeouch to set up Florian Kamberi but Lewis produced a great save to keep the scores level.
Aberdeen finished the game on top with a number of corner kicks but the Hibs defence held out to secure a valuable point in the hunt for second place.
Aberdeen remain three points ahead of Hibs and one ahead of Rangers.
Aberdeen host Rangers on Tuesday and Hibs travel to Tynecastle on Wednesday leaving it all to play for next Sunday.
Aberdeen: Lewis, Logan, O’Connor, McKenna, Reynolds, Ball, Shinnie, McGinn (Christie 67’), Mackay-Steven (Rooney 80’), May (Stewart 46’), Cosgrove. Substitutes not used: Woodman, Considine, Arnason, Wright.
Hibernian: Marciano, Whittaker, Hanlon, McGinn, Stevenson, Boyle, Maclaren (Barker 65’), Kamberi, Allan (McGeouch 76’), McGregor, Ambrose. Substitutes not used: Bell, Gray, Bartley, Slivka, Porteous.
Referee: John Beaton.
Attendance: 17,822. Away 2,012.