Hibs 3, Aberdeen 1: Josh Campbell double earns Hibs victory over ten-man Dons
A Josh Campbell double and a Martin Boyle penalty gave Hibs a 3-1 victory over ten-man Aberdeen.
The Dons scored after just four minutes through Luis ‘Duk’ Lopes’ header but had Liam Scales sent off on the stroke of half-time as he conceded the spot-kick.
Lee Johnson made one change to his starting team, handing Mykola Kukharevych a start in place of Ewan Henderson, who was named on the bench.
But Hibs got off to a nightmare start, Lopes out-jumping Ryan Porteous to get his head to Hayden Coulson’s cross with the ball sneaking in via the back post with just four minutes on the clock and although they had the ball in the net themselves ten minutes later it was ruled out for offside.
The hosts were struggling to make things click especially in midfield and the pace of Vicente Besuijen and Jonny Hayes on the flanks was causing problems for Lee Johnson’s side, although the Dons were struggling to create any real chances of note either.
Hibs had claims for a penalty waved away after the ball struck the outstretched arm of Ross McCrorie but referee David Dickinson wasn’t convinced, waving away the protestations as he signalled a corner.
Porteous came close to equalising but his powerful header from a corner sailed over the bar. Campbell then had a fierce effort blocked by Anthony Stewart after Chris Cadden’s cross fell to him on the edge of the box.
Stewart was then booked for a trip on Kukharevych as he bore down on goal but Joe Newell’s effort from the free kick was straight at Kelle Roos in the Aberdeen goal.
Newell dragged a shot wide after a David Marshall kick-out had sparked a rapid counter-attack and Élie Youan, who hadn’t been his usual bustling self, forced Roos into a fingertip save as he hit a powerful effort from range.
Kukharevych had, unsurprisingly, been a bit hit and miss but he came close to an equaliser four minutes before the break as he flicked a cross narrowly wide with his heel.
With 44 minutes on the clock Hibs found a way back into the game. Porteous was wrestled to the ground by Scales, booked moments earlier, as the pair contested a corner.
The penalty was given, Scales shown a second yellow card followed by a red, and the spot-kick converted by Boyle. An eventful first half with no shortage of talking points – in four league games at Easter Road this season, Hearts are the only team not to have had at least one man dismissed.
The second half began at the same break-neck speed; Campbell brought a good save out of Roos but might have been better cutting it back for Kukharevych and the Dutch ‘keeper foiled Hibs again when he pushed out Cadden’s cross and blocked Newell’s follow-up.
Shortly after the hour-mark Cadden drove forwards and slipped in Campbell, whose low effort beat Roos to put Hibs in front. Ten minutes later the midfielder made it 3-1, getting on the end of Kukharevych’s knock-down to poke in at the front post.
Ewan Henderson could have made it four near the end but his shot was blocked after fellow substitute Momodou Bojang and Newell had combined to win the ball back on the edge of the area.