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Aberdeen V Hibernian | Preview

November 8, 2018 6:31 pm Author: Matthew Findlay

We take a look at this week’s Friday Night Football as The Dons face Hibernian

The Dons face Hibernian under the lights as Friday Night Football returns to Pittodrie. Last week saw Aberdeen make it three wins in seven days as they secured a place in the 2018 Betfred Cup Final by seeing off Rangers at Hampden before beating Hamilton and Kilmarnock in the league. With The Dons trailing with the clock ticking down, Bruce Anderson and Lewis Ferguson turned the game on it’s head and ensured the team left Ayrshire with an unlikely three points.

Hibernian are coming off the back of a difficult couple of weeks. Neil Lennon’s side lost at Celtic before drawing the Edinburgh Derby and then went down to St Johnstone at Easter Road on Saturday. Friday’s opponents are locked on 18 points each and the winner could jump up to joint third in the table.

On Thursday lunchtime Derek McInnes and Joe Lewis spoke with the media ahead of Friday’s match at Pittodrie.

WHAT DEREK SAID

“I’m pleased with the recent results as three wins going into the game helps us.

“We’ve a full squad more or less to choose from and we recognise being at home the intention is always to go and try win the game. We also recognise the strength of the Hibs team. They are a very strong side and similar to ourselves this summer have had to make a lot of adjustments, but Neil seems to have a familiarity about his squad. They have a lot of players available that he’s maybe not had.

“It’s difficult to stop Hibs creating chances because they are a good side and when you play the better teams it’s just about getting that balance between attacking and defending. We’re always trying to set our own game plan out and impose ourselves, but we’re also aware of the attacking threat the opposition have, and they can go quickly from defending to attacking in a matter of seconds with the pace they have. They’ve got good players Hibs and when you’ve got good players who can punish mistakes and have space to operate so you’ve got to be aware of that.”

Read more from and watch the manager’s press conference here

WHAT JOE SAID

“We’re confident coming off the back of a good week with three great results. The lads are positive, enjoying training and looking forward to the game tomorrow night.

“In terms of results and morale amongst the lads on the training pitch it’s brilliant at the moment. It’s great to working in a good environment and we know performances can be better, but the results have been brilliant, especially this week where we’ve had an excellent week of results. We’re aware performances can be a lot better as a team and as individuals, so we’ve been working on that all week and trying to improve and get things better on the pitch.”

Read more from and watch Joe’s press conference here

WHAT THE CAPTAIN SAID

“It has been a frustrating season so far but those three wins in a row over the last week have given us a chance to build some momentum. Confidence is high coming off the back of that semi-final win. It was important for the team, the squad and the club to get to another cup final and have the chance of winning silverware. Now we have secured two more good results since then and we want to keep that momentum going tonight. Our focus is now back on the league and trying to climb the table as much as we can.”

The Dons V Hibs | Pittodrie Record and Recent Head To Heads

Friday will be the 135th league meeting between the sides at Pittodrie and The Dons have the significantly better record than their opponents. There have been 72 Aberdeen victories with the Edinburgh side leaving with the three points on 35 occasions. The points have been shared 27 times. You have to go back six years for a Hibs victory at Pittodrie, with The Dons unbeaten five meetings on home soil.

Under Derek McInnes The Dons have only faced Hibs three times in the league at Pittodrie and have earned seven points from nine. Willo Flood’s late long range effort was enough for the win in January 2014 as The Dons strengthened their position at the top end of the table. Hibs would go onto be relegated that season, but returned last year as Championship holders. After Gary Mackay-Steven’s only goal of the game was the difference at Easter Road, the winger was the star of the show when the teams met in the return fixture in December. GMS came up with a fantastic hatrick as The Dons ran riot in a 4-1 win.

The last meeting at Pittodrie earned Aberdeen a crucial point in the race for the European spots. It could have all been so different if Joe Lewis hadn’t saved Jamie Maclaren’s penalty and the teams settled for a goalless draw. The Dons would go onto finish runners up and Hibs finished fourth, gaining the final European slot available.

At Easter Road in August, Tommie Hoban’s first goal for the club looked to have secured a big win, but Hibs drew level late on. The teams couldn’t be separated again a month later as a fantastic Betfred Cup Quarter-Final went all the way to penalties. Fortunately, The Dons got the job done as Thomas Agyepong cracked the crossbar to send the visitors into the last four.

Classic Match

Aberdeen 2-1 Hibernian – 30/10/2006

The 06/07 season was the most impressive league campaign under Jimmy Calderwood’s stewardship at Pittodrie with the club securing a return to European football at the end of the season. One crucial victory that year came at the end of October when Hibs visited on a Monday night. Chris Killen had the visitors ahead just after the break, but The Dons were able to get back level when Lee Miller turned from close range and fired in his first goal for Aberdeen. The Dons pressed for a late winner and they got it in the 93rd minute when Scott Severin brought the ball down in the Hibs half, composed himself before unleashing an unstoppable effort from 25 yards to win it. The club would finish four points ahead of Hearts and late winners such as “Seve’s” that night went a long way to snatching that European berth.

Watch the highlights of that game here

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If you can’t make the match, then make sure to tune into RedTV from 7.30pm with special guest Stuart Duff. International subscribers will have live video and post-match we will bring highlights, goals, reaction and a full match replay.

Enjoy the game and COYR!

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Aberdeen 1-0 Hibernian | GMS Makes The Difference

November 9, 2018 9:39 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

A superb first half strike from Gary Mackay-Steven combined with a combative display from his teammates sealed a fourth consecutive victory for The Dons in difficult conditions at Pittodrie.

After three wins on the spin Derek McInnes made just the one change for the Friday night football clash with Hibernian at Pittodrie as Dominic Ball made way for Stevie May.

The match looked set to be played in very difficult conditions with high winds blowing across the pitch. The visitors were clearly looking to use that to their advantage as they forced the Dons to switch sides and play into the wind and towards the Richard Donald Stand in the first half.

Unsurprisingly the first opportunity of the match came from a long ball into the Aberdeen box from a free-kick. MacGregor got on the end of it and it took an interception from Logan to prevent the ball heading towards goal.

In the 11th minute Aberdeen conceded a cheap corner when a misplaced backpass ran beyond Lewis. The Dons cleared the corner but gave a free-kick away on the edge of the area which looked like it would cause danger but Mallan’s effort ended up comfortably over the bar.

Both teams seemed to be struggling to adapt to the conditions, winter had well and truly arrived. When The Dons did get the ball down and over to Mackay-Steven he skipped past Porteous and was brought down as he looked to have broke free of the defence. The challenge earned the youngster a yellow card. From the free-kick Bogdan did well to tip McGinn’s cross clear.

In the 18th minute Aberdeen forced their first corner of the game and almost got a shot on target when Wilson manufactured space just inside the area but his shot was deflected behind.

After the opening twenty minutes both sides looked to find joy down the wings with Boyle looking most likely for the visitors and Mackay-Steven looking promising for The Dons, neither goalkeeper really troubled though in the opening half hour.

Both wingers were playing with confidence and that was no more apparent than when Mackay-Steven made the breakthrough to put Aberdeen in front with five minutes of the half remaining. The winger pounced on a loose pass from Porteous and drove towards goal before hitting an early strike from 25 yards into the bottom corner of the net. It was a fantastic effort which left the keeper with no chance.

The Dons were boosted by the goal and finished the half strongly with Hibs having a wobble after going behind. Mackay-Steven’s confidence looked to be rubbing off on those around them with his teammates surging forward and the half-time whistle came at a good time for the visitors.

The first goalmouth action of the second half came when a Hibernian corner was delivered to the near post, May’s clearance was sliced and Logan had to be there to clear again after being in the right place at the right time on a couple of occasions in the first half.

That was a bit of a warning for The Dons and Hibs fashioned another opportunity from a corner minutes later, this time Milligan rose highest, but his header ended up over the bar. Aberdeen were finding it difficult in the opening stages of the half with the game very open in the middle of the park.

The visitors had a better opportunity when Shinnie was dispossessed in the middle of the park, Kamberi got onto a long ball over the top and knocked the ball past Joe Lewis who had rushed 25 yards out from goal to meet the striker. Kamberi was through but had too much to do from a narrow angle as he curled the ball over the bar.

The match had the feel of a basketball match as the game moved from end to end and the direct approach presented an opportunity for May. The striker got on the end of a long ball from Lowe which was aided by the wind, Bogdan came to meet him, and May did well to clip the ball over him but MacGregor was there to clear before he could pull the trigger.

Up the other end Slivka curled a ball low to the near post for Kamberi who got across Devlin, his flick was turned wide by Devlin who didn’t know too much about it.

With twenty minutes remaining James Wilson was replaced by Bruce Anderson. Moments later Boyle got a dangerous ball into the box and it evaded everyone with Kamberi waiting at the back post, fortunately it was just out of his reach too, but he will feel as though he could have done better.

Stevie May had put in a great shift covering lots of ground to help his teammates, he was replaced with five minutes to go with Sam Cosgrove coming on. There was no real pattern to the play in the closing stages with both teams struggling to get a foot on the ball and play passes, very similar to the opening stages of the game.

As the match went into injury time Aberdeen made their final change with Man of the Match, Mackay-Steven leaving the field to be replaced by Ball. Added time posed some challenges for The Dons with Hibernian bombarding the area, a string of last ditch challenges and clearances protected Joe Lewis in goal as Aberdeen recorded another victory to head into the top half of the table.

 

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