Mackay-Steven puts wind in Dons’ sails
THE wind is certainly in Aberdeen’s sails these days. It was hard not to be last night on a wild, gusting evening in the Granite City. A third league win in a row, and a fourth victory on the trot in all competitions, continued the Pittodrie side’s resurgence.
With that aforementioned wind howling, it was perhaps appropriate that a bit of a howler proved decisive. Ryan Porteous’s slack pass out of defence with half-time looming was seized upon by Gary Mackay-Steven and he doled out the ultimate punishment by thumping in a fine finish. In the end, it was enough to separate the sides as Aberdeen hoisted themselves up to fifth in the table.
The visitors caused some early jitters in the Aberdeen ranks when Mark Milligan nodded a header goalwards only for Shay Logan to hoik it to safety.
With the strong gusts wreaking havoc, what should have been straightforward passes took off at a fearsome rate.
As for thumps into the air? It was broadly equivalent to judging the flight of a balloon. It was very much lap of the gods stuff.
In a response to Hibernian’s wind-assisted advances, Niall McGinn hurled in a free-kick which the visiting keeper, Adam Bogdan, had a vigorous flap at to avert the danger.
With the ball pinging hither and yon, everybody had to be on their toes.
Mackay-Steven certainly was on 40 minutes as he pounced to give Aberdeen the lead. Porteous was woefully slack with a pass to Lewis Stevenson in dangerous territory and Mackay-Steven plundered possession, surged forward and unleashed a cracking drive into the bottom corner.
The Dons had the bit between their teeth and a series of purposeful thrusts in the remaining minutes of the half had the Hibs defence huffing and puffing about in a dreadful haste.
Hibs emerged on the front foot for the second half, though, and Logan again had to be alert to hook a goal-bound stab to safety from a corner.
At the other end, Mackay-Steven’s arching cross had Max Lowe steaming in on it but he just couldn’t connect at a stretch.
Milligan did connect with another chance for Hibs shortly after but his header fizzed over the bar.
It was lively stuff and the visitors should have made more of an opportunity as Florian Kamberi burst through. With Lewis second best after racing from his goal, the Swiss striker could only float an effort harmlessly over.
The ding-dong nature of affairs continued as Stevie May got the better of Bogdan but Darren McGregor was on hand to mop up.
Both sides continued to press into the final minutes but Aberdeen stood firm.
Gary Mackay-Steven scored the all-important goal