Hibernian 0-1 Aberdeen

By Colin MoffatBBC Scotland

Aberdeen leapfrogged Hibs into second place in the Scottish Premier League thanks to Niall McGinn's eighth goal of the season.

The Dons forward coolly finished off a cross from Johnny Hayes during a second-half dominated by the hosts.

Hibs striker Leigh Griffiths was lively throughout but was largely restricted to efforts from long-range.

And the visitors' defence coped well as Hibs failed to preserve their unbeaten record at Easter Road.

These sides served up two torpor-inducing 0-0s in Edinburgh last season when they were floundering at the wrong end of the table.

This term the teams are flying high but the fare was little improved in a drab first half.

On a bitterly cold day, the action heated up after the break, with Craig Brown's men absorbing a lot of home pressure before snatching the points.

Aberdeen were marginally more menacing in the opening exchanges, with McGinn shooting wide and Isaac Osbourne heading over before Cammy Smith, making his first SPL start, found himself clean through.

However, the teenager dithered in possession, allowing Alan Maybury to get in a tackle.

SPL top-scorer Griffiths was bright up front for Hibs, but it was his strike partner Eoin Doyle who came closest to breaking the deadlock when his dipping, first-time shot from 22 yards was pushed round the post by the fingertips of Jamie Langfield.

McGinn then made a mess of a back-post header and Griffiths tried his luck with an ambitious long-range curler that Langfield had to push away from the far top corner.

And a disappointing first half closed with the Dons keeper getting behind a drilled effort from Griffiths.

Hibs threatened early in the second half when Langfield misjudged a high ball but the Dons keeper made amends with a good one-handed save to keep out an overhead kick from Griffiths.

Ryan McGivern beat Langfield to a David Wotherspoon free-kick but the Hibs defender's header was just too high.

Griffiths stung the palms of Langfield with a fierce, angled blast from 22 yards and then danced his way into the penalty box only to drag his shot across goal.

Rory Fallon, on for Smith at the interval, ruffled the home defence with his physical approach and threw himself at a cross but the Aberdeen substitute could only head over from close range.

With Griffiths buzzing busily, Hibs continued to press but it was the visitors who struck on 77 minutes.

The Hibs defence failed to cut out a low cross from Hayes and McGinn was calmness personified as he gathered the ball and almost walked it into the net.

Pat Fenlon's side responded with a Tom Taiwo effort from 20 yards that whizzed narrowly wide and a rising strike from late replacement Ross Caldwell.

In stoppage time, Hibs were pouring forward and a loud appeal was made for a handball offence in a congested penalty area but referee Bobby Madden was not to be influenced.

Seconds later, the full-time whistle sounded, meaning Aberdeen have not lost in six visits to Easter Road.

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