Late goals from substitutes Scott Vernon and Gregg Wylde gave Aberdeen a deserved 2-0 win over Hibernian at Easter Road and moved the Dons into second behind Celtic.
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The visiting team had missed a series of chances with Niall McGinn, Peter Pawlett and Calvin Zola among the villains.
Derek McInnes replaced Zola with Vernon just after the hour-mark and the move paid off in the 79th minute when he drove the ball high past Hibs keeper Ben Williams from the edge of the box.
Wylde, who had come on for Peter Pawlett and set up Vernon for his goal, wrapped up the points with a breakaway effort in the second of four minutes added time with his first goal for Aberdeen since signing for the club in the summer after leaving Bolton.
Kris Boyd took his tally to six goals for the season as the Kilmarnock striker’s double again leaves Hearts once again facing a 15-point gap to survival.
Gary Locke’s men went down 2-0 at Rugby Park as the former Scotland frontman struck once in each half.
The Jambos – deducted 15 points for entering administration in the summer – had clawed back the deficit on their rivals St Mirren to just nine at the beginning of this month but the defeat to Killie now means they must start all over again.
Dundee United returned to winning ways in style as they outclassed St Mirren 4-0 at Tannadice.
Nadir Ciftci’s first half double put Jackie McNamara’s team in the driving seat before Ryan Gauld’s and substitute Chris Erskine broke through in the second half.