Hibee History: Aberdeen suffer an Ant attack

Anthony Stokes scores his and Hibs' second goal of the game

Anthony Stokes scores his and Hibs' second goal of the game

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Anthony Stokes grabbed a double as Hibs stretched their SPL unbeaten run to 12 games and remained on the coat-tails of table-topping Rangers.

Hibs goalkeeper Yves Ma-Kalambay pulled off fine saves to deny Charlie Mulgrew and Darren Mackie, before Stokes put the visitors ahead against the run of play with a clinical finish five minutes before the break.

The striker then stabbed the ball home from close range after 55 minutes before the toothless Dons had Lee Miller was sent off late on.

Aberdeen had gone into the game depleted by injury, with defender Davide Grassi, midfielder Derek Young and striker Darren Mackie returning to the starting line-up in place of crocked duo Maurice Ross and Peter Pawlett and the demoted Chris Maguire.

Mackie almost opened the scoring in spectacular fashion with a perfectly-timed scissors-kick from a Richard Foster cross after eight minutes, but Sol Bamba was in the right place to head the goalbound effort clear.

Stokes then squandered a great opportunity at the other end three minutes later when he took too long to pull the trigger, allowing Grassi time to block the striker’s effort.

The home side continued to enjoy the better of the chances, with Gary McDonald’s deflected left-foot shot drifting out for a corner after 15 minutes.

Ma-Kalambay, who looked shaky at times, was called upon to push a Mulgrew free-kick from all of 35 yards out for a corner.

After 27 minutes, a miss-hit Mackie cross looked to be dipping under the Hibs crossbar, but Ma-Kalambay again demonstrated his agility to push the ball over the bar.

It was Hibs who took the lead, against the run of play, five minutes before the interval when Merouane Zemmama threaded an inviting pass into the path of Stokes, who darted past Mulgrew before slotting the ball past Jamie Langfield.

Mulgrew was deputising alongside Andrew Considine at the centre of the home defence, which was looking fragile despite the home side’s dominance of possession.

Stokes could have profited from confusion in the Dons defence before the break when they failed to deal with a long ball upfield from Ma-Kalambay, but the Irishman could only head woefully wide.

Aberdeen signalled their early intent after the interval, with Foster stinging the palms of Ma-Kalambay with a fierce shot before Michael Paton shot over a minute later. However, it was the visitors who scored again after 55 minutes, when Colin Nish’s shot across the face of goal was turned home by Stokes for his second of the match.

The home side could have pulled a goal back almost immediately, but McDonald’s tame effort was clawed away by Ma-Kalambay before Considine’s header was cleared off the line by David Wotherspoon.

Aberdeen then lost Miller eight minutes from the final whistle after he clattered Zemmama from behind.

Hibs: Ma-Kalambay, Hogg, Murray, Bamba, Zemmama, Rankin, Wotherspoon, Miller, Nish, Riordan, Stokes.