Hibee History: Brew not Hibs’ cup of tea

Chris Killen scores the second goal for Hibs, controlling a Michael Stewart cross before firing home
Chris Killen scores the second goal for Hibs, controlling a Michael Stewart cross before firing home
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Veteran striker Craig Brewster came off the bench at Pittodrie to help Aberdeen stay in the Scottish Cup as they secured a third-round replay.

The Dons were without suspended centre-back Zander Diamond who was replaced by Michael Hart, while Barry Nicholson, who had recovered from flu, returned at the expense of Steve Lovell.

Hibs were without the suspended Kevin Thomson, while injuries kept out Scott Brown, Steven Fletcher and Merouane Zemmama.

Dean Shiels was given a start by manager John Collins and Steven Whittaker moved into a midfield role, with Kevin McCann making his debut at right-back. The youngster started the match impressively, as did his similarly callow team-mate Andrew McNeil. The teenage keeper, making just his third appearance, made a number of good saves early in the game, as both sides showed attacking intent.

McNeil gathered a long range free-kick from Scott Severin and stopped a powerful drive from Richard Foster with his knees before the visitors squandered a good opportunity.

Shiels jinked past his marker to the byeline, but from his cut-back striker Chris Killen could only make an awkward glancing contact with the ball.

A great pass from Dons midfielder Gary Dempsey allowed Darren Mackie to race through on goal, but the striker shot straight at McNeil. And, when Nicholson followed up with a 20-yard strike, the 19-year-old was at full-stretch to push the ball away.

Hibs missed another great chance in front of goal, when the sliding Shiels was inches away from connecting with Ivan Sproule’s low shot.

However, the breakthrough goal came moments later, when Killen did well to recover the ball and feed Whittaker on the edge of the penalty area. Aberdeen keeper Jamie Langfield had Whittaker’s shot covered, but allowed the ball to squirm from his grasp and Sproule was on hand to find the empty net.

Aberdeen started the second half with former Hibee Brewster and Chris McGuire on to liven up their forward line. But Hibs were first to threaten and it needed a good sliding block from Hart to thwart Sproule.

The home side were throwing men forward and were back on level terms after 58 minutes when Mackie scurried down the right flank and crossed for Brewster to thump in a header from ten yards.

The game grew rather scrappy, with Aberdeen in too much of a hurry and Hibs losing their passing rhythm. Although, when Hibs did go in front again on 73 minutes, it was a goal of the highest quality.

Michael Stewart sent a searching diagonal pass into the Dons’ penalty area and Killen controlled it on his chest before blasting a volley beyond Langfield.

Hibs had failed to beat Aberdeen in their three previous meetings in this season and once again fell short, conceding an 88th minute goal.

Severin floated a high ball forward and Brewster was given ample time to nod it into Nicholson’s path and the midfielder’s shot flew in via the outstretched boot of Rob Jones.

However, Hibs made it fourth time lucky just over a week later with a 4-1 triumph at Easter Road to move into the fourth round. The Hibees got to the semi-final, but lost out 1-0 in a replay to Dunfermline after a 0-0 draw at Hampden.

Hibs: McNeil, McCann, Jones, Martis, Murphy, Whittaker, Shiels, Stewart, Beuzelin, Sproule, Killen.