Football: Hibernian undermined by McGinlay dismissal

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The Independent Online

Hibernian 1 Aberdeen 2

Aberdeen ended their three-year spell without a win at Easter Road by beating Hibernian last night in a torrid encounter.

Referee Willie Young booked six players and sent off the Hibernian midfield player, Pat McGinlay, in the 58th minute after an incident with Stephen Glass. McGinlay caught Glass with the back of his hand and the referee had no hesitation in dismissing him.

At that stage, Hibernian were two down and looked out of it, but they produced a stirring fightback to threaten Aberdeen's victory. Kevin Harper reduced the deficit with a 20-yard shot with just one minute left and Michael O'Neill squandered an opportunity from a free-kick in injury time.

Aberdeen made the breakthrough in the 11th minute when Glass whipped over an inviting cross for Joe Miller to steer the ball past the former Scotland goalkeeper, Jim Leighton. The former Hull player, Dean Windass, came close to making it two in the 17th minute with a 25-yard shot which Leighton tipped on to the bar.

However, Aberdeen's pressure told in the 33rd minute when they doubled their lead in controversial circumstances. Billy Dodds rose to head home Miller's corner but Kevin McAllister looked to have cleared the ball off the line. Referee Young ruled out the effort, only to change his decision after consulting with a linesman.

O'Neill tried to pull Hibernian back into the match six minutes before half-time but his 20-yard shot was well saved by Michael Watt. However, the home side's hopes of a comeback were dealt a hammer blow when McGinlay was given his marching orders, and Aberdeen almost took advantage of the extra man with Eoin Jess freeing Miller, only for Leighton to thwart him again.

Hibernian produced a late rally, Harper finally beating Watt with a well- placed low shot, but O'Neill's wasted free-kick ensured Aberdeen kept all three points.

Hibernian (4-4-2): Leighton; Millen, Tortolano, McGinlay, Tweed; Hunter, McAllister, Harper, Wright; D Jackson, O'Neill. Substitutes not used: C Jackson, Evans, Renwick.

Aberdeen (4-4-2): Watt; McKimmie, Glass, Grant, Inglis; Smith, Miller, Windass, Bernard; Dodds, Jess. Substitutes not used: Shearer, Irvine, Snelders (gk).

Referee: W Young (Clarkston).