Mackay-Steven puts wind in Dons’ sails

Evening Times - - SPORT - BY NICK RODGER AT PIT­TO­DRIE

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

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