Flood sees off Hibees
Flood celebrates his winning goal

Flood sees off Hibees

A superb strike from Aberdeen's Irish midfielder was enough to secure all three points.

Jamie Hall
AberdeenLangfield; Shaughnessy, Tate, Reynolds, Hayes; Jack, Flood, Robson, Pawlett, McGinn; Vernon.
HibernianWilliams; Forster, Hanlon, Nelson, McGivern; Cairney, Craig, Robertson, Stevenson; Heffernan, Collins.

Aberdeen ensured they would remain second in the Scottish Premiership for at least another week with a 1-0 win over Hibernian at Pittodrie.

An 86th-minute strike from Willo Flood was enough to secure the victory, and in the process move four points clear of fourth-placed Motherwell.

Both sides came into the game in good form; the hosts had won seven of their last eight games and Hibs were unbeaten in five.

The visitors made the better start and had a penalty claim turned down after just three minutes; Paul Heffernan went down under a challenge from Dons goalkeeper Jamie Langfield, but referee Craig Thomson waved play on. 

The hosts grew into the game and should have had a spot-kick of their own when Michael Nelson clearly handled Peter Pawlett's cross in the six-yard box, but to the astonishment of the home crowd, Thomson again awarded nothing.

The hosts had a final chance before the interval when stand-in captain Mark Reynolds, looking to score his second goal in as many games, drew a smart save from Goalkeeper Ben Williams.

Half time: 0-0

The second half began in the same manner as the first; the hosts took some time to get going and it was the visitors who had the better chances. Heffernan drew a save from Langfield, while Dons right-back Joe Shaughnessy picked up a booking for chopping down Lewis Stevenson.

However, once again the men in red improved as the half went on, and Niall McGinn and Barry Robson went close.

And their pressure finally told when Flood, impressive throughout in the centre of midfield, won the game with a superb long-range strike. A clearance from Nelson fell invitingly at the Irishman's feet, and the former Manchester City man made no mistake with a thunderous strike which left Williams rooted to the spot.

It was a goal worthy of winning any game, and the hosts saw out the final five minutes to do just that, and consolidate their advantage over Motherwell and Dundee United in second place.