Aberdeen vs. Hibernian – Football Match Report – May 5, 2018
Jamie Maclaren’s missed penalty cost Hibernian the chance to move up the table as they drew a blank away at Aberdeen.
The two sides are in direct competition for second place but it was Aberdeen who emerged the more content after a 0-0 draw at Pittodrie.
Visiting Hibs had the two best chances, and it was Maclaren who spurned both of them with a miss from the spot and a wasted header which means Neil Lennon’s side remain three points adrift of the Dons, who are now just one point clear of Rangers.
Aberdeen hit the bar in the first half through Niall McGinn’s free-kick, but created little in open play all afternoon.
It was a game that started at break-neck speed, with Anthony O’Connor’s yellow card for a reckless tackle after just 30 seconds setting the tone for a breathless opening.
It was undoubtedly the visitors who were out of the blocks the quickest, with Scott Allan finding space in midfield and starting a lovely team move that eventually saw Maclaren barged over inside the box by Mark Reynolds.
John Beaton was left with no choice but to point to the spot after Steven Whittaker had played the Australian through, but after being pushed, the striker picked himself up and hit a tame penalty straight at Joe Lewis, who made a comfortable save in just the seventh minute.
A packed Pittodrie responded with a huge roar, and from there the home side grew into the game.
Graeme Shinnie had a shot deflected wide before Maclaren again wasted a golden chance when he headed over when unmarked at the far post.
The tackles continued to fly in with Paul Hanlon, John McGinn and Shay Logan going into the book in what was turning into a feisty encounter.
The quality of play began to suffer, but just as it seemed to be quietening down ahead of the break, Niall McGinn stepped up to curl a stunning free-kick against the bar from 25 yards with the keeper beaten.
The hosts started on top in the second half but their openings were limited to set pieces, with Sam Cosgrove’s header cleared from inside the six-yard box by Efe Ambrose.
John McGinn escaped the attentions of the Dons midfield shortly before the hour mark and hit a good effort at goal only for Lewis to beat the ball away.
Both managers made attacking changes but there was little quality in the final third as the game went on.
Florian Kamberi, who was quiet throughout, found space to get a shot off inside the area but found the angle too tight as Lewis saved easily before the game fizzled out and the two sides had to settle for a point.