Ten-man Dons down Hibs

The Dons opened the scoring after 59 minutes when Peter Pawlett was

adjudged to have been brought down by Ivan Sproule in the box and

Vernon slotted home from the spot. However, the main talking point

of the match came after 67 minutes when Pawlett was shown a

straight red card for a challenge on Lewis Stevenson, much to the

fury of the home support. Despite their numerical disadvantage the

Dons held on for the victory which moves them six points clear of

Clydesdale Bank Premier League bottom side Dunfermline. Rory

McArdle stepped in to replace the suspended Andrew Considine for

Aberdeen, while Fraser Fyvie and Mohamed Chalali were both handed

starts with Youl Mawene, who had been struggling with a knee

injury, and Chris Clark dropping to the bench. Hibs, who were

looking to end a run of five league games without a win, were

missing Leigh Griffiths who was serving a one-match ban for making

a gesture to Rangers fans during last week’s 2-0 defeat. Martin

Scott came in to replace the on-loan Wolves striker, while Danny

Galbraith started in place of the injured Isaiah Osbourne. Aberdeen

made a promising start with Chalali chipping a delightful ball

towards Vernon at the back post after four minutes but Paul Hanlon

made a brave clearance with the Englishman ready to pounce. The

Dons were forced to make an early change with only 13 minutes gone

when Chalali limped off with an injury and was replaced by

youngster Pawlett. Hibs finally came to life after 16 minutes when

Galbraith threaded a perfect pass through to Garry O’Connor but the

striker’s low drive was well held by Jason Brown in the Aberdeen

goal. McArdle spurned a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock

after 22 minutes when Hibs defender David Stephens carelessly

nodded a Fyvie free-kick straight into his path but the defender

blazed the ball high over the crossbar. Rob Milsom showed a great

turn of pace to get past former Don Michael Hart before finding

Rory Fallon in the centre but the New Zealand international was

unable to divert his header on target. The Dons had a lucky escape

after 28 minutes when Galbraith’s deep free-kick found the unmarked

Scott but Brown made a terrific save to keep out the former Ross

County player’s left-foot volley. Hibernian made the better start

to the second half and were appealing for a penalty when O’Connor

went down in the box under pressure from Arnason but referee Craig

Thomson waved away the half-hearted protests. But the Dons had

better luck after 59 minutes when Sproule felled Pawlett and this

time Thomson did point to the spot and Aberdeen’s top scorer Vernon

assumed the penalty-taking responsibilities to rolled the ball home

for his eighth goal of the season. The Dons were reduced to 10 men

after 67 minutes when Pawlett was shown a straight red card for a

sliding challenge on Stevenson. The Dons opted to bring on another

defender with Mawene introduced for the tiring Fallon, while

Hibernian introduced an extra attacker with Akpo Sodje replacing

Hart. The visitors pressed for an equaliser in the closing stages,

with Sodje in particular denied by a smart stop by Brown, as the

Dons held on for maximum points.