Hibs 1, Aberdeen 1: Deserved point for hosts but supporter apathy clear to see

Paul McGinn scrambled a late equaliser for Hibs as they earned a share of the spoils against Aberdeen at Easter Road in their penultimate home game of the Scottish Premiership season.

Saturday, 7th May 2022, 6:21 pm

David Bates fired the Dons in front from close range ten minutes into the second half but McGinn replied late on as the hosts snatched a deserved point, and came close to nicking the win late on.

Large gaps in the three stand housing home supporters told its own story. Call it apathy, call it disillusion, but there’s a general feeling that most fans just want the season to be over.

Those that did turn up saw a repeat of last week, in the first half at least: plenty of chances for Hibs but no joy.

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David Gray made two changes to his starting line-up; Ryan Porteous returning to the defence after his suspension with Lewis Stevenson among the substitutes. Josh Campbell was also handed a start at the expense of James Scott, who joined the bench.

Demi Mitchell, a second-half substitute in the previous weekend’s defeat at Livingston, missed out entirely while Chris Cadden, Christian Doidge, Kyle Magennis, Kevin Nisbet, and Drey Wright remained sidelined.

Hibs started strongly with Joe Newell, Paul Hanlon, and Elias Melkersen going close but only the Norwegian forced a save out of Joe Lewis.

At the other end Matt Macey saved a Jonny Hayes free kick and Hanlon produced a brave block to deny Lewis Ferguson from distance.

Hibs goalscorer Paul McGinn breaks away from Vicente Besuijen of Aberdeen

The first real incident of note in the second half was the visitors’ goal, Hayes’ cross being nodded on by Declan Gallagher to his defensive colleague David Bates, who turned the ball in from close range.

The groans were audible. There might have been more riding on this game for the Dons than Hibs but it was another avoidable goal lost from a cross ball.

Credit to Hibs though, because they did keep throwing everything at Jim Goodwin’s side. Josh Campbell headed just over from a Ewan Henderson corner, followed by Hanlon.

Newell saw yet another chance saved, Lewis pulling off a fine save to deny the midfielder from close range on his 100th appearance in green and white but with seven minutes remaining Hibs levelled.

Hibs had been hurling cross after cross into the box with little success but they hauled themselves back into the game as substitutes Sylvester Jasper and James Scott combined to make the goal.

Jasper’s cross into the box was nodded on by Scott and McGinn slammed home from close range in a goal redolent of Bates’ opener.

Hibs deserved something from the game, but they came close to snatching an unlikely victory as they threw everything at the Aberdeen defence.

Following another corner the ball broke to Josh Doig and his effort was netbound until Ferguson threw himself in front of the ball.

One wonders what owner Ron Gordon made of the encounter as he watched on from the directors’ box.

Those large gaps in the home support will have been noticed, so too the chants from the away fans about Hibs ‘falling apart again’ before the equaliser.

His return coincides with the new manager process speeding up and on this showing, it appears imperative the incoming boss can reinvigorate the fanbase.