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Post Split Week 5 – Hibernian Preview

May 17, 2019 5:51 pm Author: Chris Anderson
Post Split Week 5 – Hibernian Preview

 

The Dons round off the 2018/19 season with a trip to Edinburgh to face Hibernian at Easter Road. Sunday marks the 50th game of another long campaign and the reds have the chance to end it on a high by qualifying for Europe once again.

Their opponents, Hibernian are playing for pride having already secured a fifth placed finish and will finish ahead of their Edinburgh rivals, Hearts. Since the arrival of Paul Heckingbottom, Hibs have won six, lost three and drawn four in his 13 matches in charge, although two of those defeats have came in their last two outings.

On Friday morning Derek McInnes and Scott McKenna spoke with the media ahead of the match.

Quotes from the press room

Derek McInnes

“It’s important for us all to try finish off with a win and see where it takes us. All we can try and do is win the game and there’s no reason why we can’t. We’ve got the motivation and the players coming back. Hopefully the team can deliver the performance we’re capable of and if we can do that then we can certainly win the game.

“Paul’s shaped them up and got them into a way of working that’s been able to pick up points and find that momentum. I’m sure they’ll want to finish on a high. For us to stay above Hearts and Hibs is really pleasing for us and we’ve done that over the years’ time and time again. Paul will be looking to change that and ending on a high. I look forward to meeting him and hopefully we can go get the all-important three points.”

Read the manager’s quotes in full here

Scott McKenna

“We all know how big a game Sunday is, as we try and clinch third spot. We can only do that by hopefully getting a victory and we get some help at Rugby Park and Kilmarnock drop points.

“We might still manage to get a European spot if Celtic can win the cup, but obviously we would far rather do it by finishing third.

“We can only do what we can do on Sunday and that is to try and get the three points. Whatever ever happens elsewhere, we have no control over that.

“It is important we go and perform well and get the three points.”

“Although Hibs don’t have anything to play for, every team this weekend will want to finish the season as strongly as possible and with as many points on board as possible. So Hibs are not to just let us turn up and have it all our own way. We are going to have to work hard for it.

“All the boys that are moving on on Sunday have contributed massively to the club and I am sure every single one of them will want to go out on a high.”

Read Scott’s preview in full here

The Dons on the road

It feels a long time since Aberdeen to the pitch against Burnley in the Europa League at the end of July and with the season reaching it’s exciting finale it’s been one to remember for The Dons on the road. While the home form hasn’t been where it normally is, Derek McInnes’s side have managed to put together a number of impressive performances and results on the road.

So far there have been ten away wins for Aberdeen, which included a record equalling seven in a row and a win at Easter Road would leave The Dons with the best away record in the country.

Here’s our top five away days from the 2018/19 season.

Burnley – Turf Moor – August

It may not have been the typical European trip the supporters had grown accustom to, but the Red Army snapped up the tickets when Burnley were pulled out of the hat to face The Dons in the Europa League. 2,400 made the journey to Lancashire and their team put in a performance they could be proud of. They went toe to toe with the English Premier League side and when Lewis Ferguson hit a spectacular overhead kick to level the tie they were believing the job could be done. The Dons went all the way to extra time and had chances of their own, but ran out of steam in the latter stages, going down 3-1 after 120 minutes.

Kilmarnock – Rugby Park – November

For long spells this did not look like it was going to be Aberdeen’s afternoon. The Dons travelled to Ayrshire with a 100% record at Rugby Park under Derek McInnes, but when Kris Boyd slotted home a penalty in the first half the record looked to be at risk. Then with the clock ticking down The Dons youngsters proved their worth once again with first Bruce Anderson flicking home a Niall McGinn low effort to equalise. It looked like The Dons would have to take the draw, but up stepped the man for the big occasion and Lewis Ferguson, fresh off his Hampden exploits fired home a free kick with only minutes to play.

Those three points could yet prove to be huge as we enter the final weekend neck and neck with Kilmarnock.

Rangers v Aberdeen

Rangers – Ibrox – December

The Dons remained in Glasgow after the Betfred Cup Final to prepare to face Rangers at Ibrox on league duty. There had only been one win to celebrate in the last 27 years in Govan, but The Dons claimed their second with a fine performance. Scott McKenna volleyed home from a free kick early on and despite going down to ten men in the first half and heavy pressure from the Rangers attack, The Dons players stayed firm and delivered a big three points, that started that record equalling run.

Hibernian – Easter Road – February

The last meeting with the green half of Edinburgh came at the beginning of February. As usual the game was played with some terrific attacking intent from both teams and it was the hosts who took the early lead after nine minutes, despite as strong start.

Andy Considine levelled the match only three minutes later and just after the 20 minute mark it was 2-1 to Aberdeen. Gary Mackay-Steven, who has scored six goals for The Dons against Hibs grabbed what turned out to be the winner as he bundled home on a rebound. Gary would go onto miss a penalty in the second half, but The Dons had produced enough quality to win at one of the more difficult venues in the league.

Rangers – Ibrox – March

Each Aberdeen/Rangers clash this season has brought drama of some sort and the Scottish Cup replay was no different. On a bitterly cold and wet evening at Ibrox The Dons had to go to it the hard way if they were to secure a return to the National Stadium. If the performance in December was impressive this was even greater. Once again it was an early goal that set the reds on their way and Niall McGinn capitalised on a slack pass to slot home after two minutes.

The Rangers crowd cranked up the pressure on their team and despite having much of the ball the home side didn’t create enough to win the game, with The Dons defending in numbers. Connor McLennan ultimately killed the tie when he finished off a lovely move involving May and Ferguson sparking wild scenes amongst the small pocket of Dons fans. When the full time whistle blew it meant three wins against Rangers in Glasgow in the same season.

Supporter information

Before heading to the capital on Sunday please take a read of our important supporter information here

RedTV

If you can’t make the game make sure to tune into our coverage from Easter Road. We’ll have live audio with Dave and Andrew and RedTV International subscribers’s live video will be provided by our colleagues at HibsTV.

Finally, everyone at AFC would like to thank all our fans for your fantastic support throughout 2018/19. Many of you have travelled the length and breadth of the country, at weekends, in midweek and through the depths of the winter, always giving tremendous backing to the players. Your support is greatly appreciated by them and by us all.

Enjoy the final match on Sunday and come on you reds!

 

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Post Split Week 5 – Hibernian Preview : Live

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Match Report | Hibernian 1 Aberdeen 2

May 19, 2019 5:28 pm Author: Malcolm Panton
Match Report | Hibernian 1 Aberdeen 2

Aberdeen end the season with a win, but it was not enough to secure third spot.

The Dons will have to hope that Celtic win the Scottish Cup next weekend if they are to continue their run of qualifying for Europe.

For the final match of the 2018-19 season, manager Derek McInnes made two changes to the team which beat Hearts nine days previously. Out went Greg Stewart, while goalkeeper Joe Lewis missed out following the injury he sustained against the Tynecastle side. In came Connor McLennan to make his return from injury and Tomas Cerny also made his first start for the Dons. His only substitute appearance this season was coming on at Easter Road in the previous league meeting between the sides’.

The two teams emerged in front of a less than capacity crowd at Easter Road – the away end however was packed as the Red Army travelled inforce to see if The Dons could claim third place and with it a European qualification spot. That would also depend on what happened at Rugby Park as a win for Kilmarnock against Rangers would render any Dons result meaningless.

It was a positive start from The Dons who saw lots of the ball in the early stages. Good work by Max Lowe saw him pinch the ball in midfield, he then found Lewis Ferguson who tried a shot from long range but Marciano held comfortably low to his right. A few minutes later, Ferguson was fouled by McGregor. The free kick deflected off the wall, it eventually fell for Ferguson again but his shot which was on target was well blocked by the Hibernian defence.

As news of Kilmarnock taking an early lead against Rangers filtered through to the capital, Daryl Horgan whipped a ball in from the right hand side towards McNulty but his effort went wide of the right hand post. McNulty was next to try his luck again when the ball fell to him in the box but his effort was weak and easily grasped by Cerny. The home side continued to dominate for a spell and McNulty again saw a header go just wide of the post before he fired in another shot which Cerny had to save.

Hibs took the lead on 27 minutes.

The ball was neatly chipped over the top by Fraser Murray and as the Dons tied to play offside, Marc McNulty nipped through the middle and sent the ball beyond Cerny. A composed finish from McNulty who waited for Cerny to commit himself before applying the finish. A poor goal from the Dons point of view but the Edinburgh deserved to be ahead at this stage.

They nearly made it two a few moments later – Murray trying a shot from the edge of the box which went inches past the post.

Aberdeen tried to respond and on 34 minutes won a free kick around 25 yards out. Lewis Ferguson took the kick and curled it on target but Marciano was able to hold it. A comfortable enough stop. James Wilson had the next effort on goal for The Dons. After gliding past two Hibs defenders, the on loan Manchester United player fired in a shot from the right but Marciano was able to clutch easily.

But two minutes before the break Aberdeen did get back on level terms.

Good build up play by McLennan down the left eventually saw the ball fall for Cosgrove inside the area and at the second attempt he was able to slam the ball into the net. The power in the shot beat Marciano despite the keeper getting a hand on it.

It was probably more than the Dons deserved but it gave them a big boost going into the second half.

Half Time: Hibernian 1 Aberdeen 1

There were no changes for either side at the break.

Early on in the half, Cosgrove was nearly able to capitalise on slack goalkeeping from Marciano but the Hibs keeper managed to clear the ball at the second attempt.

Stevie Mallan had the first real attempt on goal of the second period but his effort went high and wide of the target. Fraser Murray then had a header which was straight at Tomas Cerny. It was a good opportunity.

Good play down the left from Wilson and McLennan saw the latter skip into the box and he won a corner for the visitors. From the corner, Scott McKenna rose highest but his header didn’t go far and fell for Cosgrove whose shot rebounded off a defender and Hibs cleared. Dominic Ball halted the resultant break and was cautioned by Euan Anderson for the foul.

Dom was then replaced by Stevie May as The Dons searched for what might be a decisive goal in the race for Europe.

It proved to be a great substitution as they got it just a few minutes later.

Great play down the left, saw Cosgrove play the ball to Stevie May, and although the ball was slightly behind him, Stevie did very well to get the ball out of his feet and spread the ball into the path of the unmarked James Wilson who fired the ball beyond Marciano.

And with that came news of a Rangers equaliser at Rugby Park- The Dons were now in pole position to claim third place.

Aberdeen kept up the pressure and made several good moves into the box but couldn’t capitalise. At the other end, Cerny was called into action on 71 minutes when a ball fell to David Gray in the box but his effort was saved by the Czech goalkeeper. A really smart stop as Tomas would only have seen the ball come through a ruck of players.

James Wilson’s superb ball out to the left for Max Lowe saw the full back drive into the box, his cross was met by Stevie May at the back post but his shot was poor and allowed Hibs to counter.

Thankfully they were not able to capitalise.

Gary Mackay-Steven replaced Connor McLennan with 15 minutes remaining of the match.

Gary quickly reminded everyone of his quality with some lovely touches and his pace forced the Hibs defence to drop deeper.

Aberdeen then wasted a couple of good chances after quick breaks – on three occasions they were careless with the final pass. Hibs by now were offering very little going forward.

Lewis Ferguson received treatment after being injured in a challenge and he went off to be replaced by Michael Devlin on 84 minutes. Departing captain Graeme Shinnie was brought down after a tenacious run forward and McGregor picked up a yellow card for the challenge.

In the first minute of stoppage time the Dons were awarded a penalty. Cosgrove and Mackay-Steven combined well before the latter was brought down in the box by Gray. In truth there did not appear to be much contact, but it was another good positive run from Gary. Sam Cosgrove stepped up to take the penalty but Marciano saved it. The striker, who had the opportunity to become top League scorer, went down the middle but the keeper made the stop with his legs and frustratingly Sam also wasn’t able to get on to the rebound.

Strangely it was the second penalty Aberdeen had missed at that end this season in the league, despite having won a penalty shoot-out into that goal in the League cup.

A few moments later, referee Euan Anderson brought the game to a conclusion and The Dons finished the season with a win. A deserved victory as they were well on top in the second half.

However, it wasn’t enough to claim third place and that European spot though. A late penalty for Kilmarnock saw them pip the Dons to third place on goal difference.

Aberdeen will now have to wait for the outcome of Saturday’s Scottish Cup final to find out whether or not they will get the chance to qualify for the Europa League group stages.

Full Time: Hibernian 1 Aberdeen 2

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