Hibee History: Hibs strike back to sink Aberdeen

Dean Shiels, left, celebrates with Steven FletcherDean Shiels, left, celebrates with Steven Fletcher
Dean Shiels, left, celebrates with Steven Fletcher
Hibs came from a goal down to beat Aberdeen in an entertaining end-to-end match at Easter Road.

Zander Diamond gave the Dons an 18th-minute lead, slamming in a loose ball from inside the 18-yard box.

Hibs equalised on 49 minutes through Merouane Zemmama’s 25-yard free-kick, and Dean Shiels added the second from a tight angle six minutes later.

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Both goalkeepers made a string of fine saves, and Steven Fletcher headed in a third goal seconds from time.

In the opening stages the visitors seemed keen to carry on from their fine midweek result against Bayern Munich. Scott Severin tested Yves Ma-Kalambay with a long-range effort which the Hibs keeper tipped round the post.

Steven Fletcher – remarkably linked with Real Madrid – then went close for Hibs, firing wide from 18 yards out after being set up by Thierry Gathuessi.

It was an open first half, and Aberdeen carved out another chance when Ma-Kalambay dropped a cross in the box, but the giant Belgian reacted quickly to save from Jeffrey De Visscher.

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Aberdeen made the most of their chances when Diamond capitalised on a mistake by Colin Nish to hammer home De Visscher’s corner into the back of the net.

The Dons almost went two ahead when Hibs defender Chris Hogg headed against his own bar as he tried to clear the ball under intense Aberdeen pressure.

Alan Maybury was next to go close for the visitors as the Hibs defence was again caught ball-watching, but the full-back shot straight at Ma-Kalambay.

Chris Maguire then played an inviting ball across the Hibs six-yard line, but no Aberdeen forward was on hand to take advantage of more slack defending from the home side.

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Aberdeen’s half-time lead was quickly cancelled out within four minutes of the re-start. Diamond was adjudged to have fouled Nish 25 yards from goal, and Zemmama kissed the ball before stepping up to curl it past Jamie Langfield.

With their tails up Hibs took the lead six minutes later. Shiels appeared to have lost his chance when put clean through on goal by Fletcher’s pass. Langfield saved the Northern Irishman’s initial effort, but he managed to hook the rebound back over the keeper and into the net.

The home crowd thought their team had grabbed a third when Zemmama had the ball in the net, but Nish had been flagged offside.

Ma-Kalambay then came to the rescue of his defence to save from Maguire who was put through from a quick Severin free-kick.

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Minutes later the Belgian goalkeeper again preserved his side’s lead saving at the feet of De Visscher, who should have done better.

With 15 minutes to go Fletcher had a chance to wrap up the points after being teed up by Felipe Morais, but his shot was blocked by Langfield.

The Dons were cursing their luck with time running out when Stuart Duff watched his shot crash off the bar with Ma-Kalambay for once beaten.

Both sides had penalty claims denied in the final five minutes. But with seconds to go, Fletcher headed in the third from John Rankin’s cross, as Hibernian made it two league wins in-a-row.

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Hibs: Ma-Kalambay, Gathuessi, Hogg, Jones, Zarabi, Shiels, Zemmama (Morais 74), Murray, Rankin, Fletcher, Nish (O’Brien 90). Subs Not Used: McNeil, Kerr, Chisholm, Canning, Hanlon

Aberdeen: Langfield, Maybury, Diamond, Bus, Mair (Duff 81), Maguire (Lovell 71), Nicholson, Severin, De Visscher (Walker 71), Miller, Aluko. Subs Not Used: Soutar, Touzani, Jonathan Smith, Carroll

Ref: C Richmond

Att: 13,825