Aberdeen 0 Hibernian 1

Hibernian consolidated their fourth position ion the league with a hard fought but ultimately deserved victory over Aberdeen.

In a tight match it was going to take a piece of brilliance or a mistake to win it. Unfortunately for the Dons, centre back Alexander Diamond fluffed a clearance after 54 minutes enabling Derek Riordan to score his seventh goal of the season and secure all three points.

The visitors came close to opening the scoring after eight minutes. Garry O'Connor beat Russell Anderson in the air to knock the ball out to Guillaume Beuzelin, whose cross in to the area was headed just over by Riordan.

Clever inter-play between Kevin McNaughton and Stevie Crawford almost brought its reward after 14 minutes. However, Crawford failed to connect with the shot which was easily held by Zbigniew Malkowski.

The Riordan-O'Connor combination almost broke the deadlock after 22 minutes when a head flick from Riordan sent O'Connor clear inside the box, where only an excellent block by Ryan Esson prevented an opener.

A good pass out of defence from Diamond found Scott Severin in space, his ball went out wide to Jamie Smith who in turn laid the ball back to McNaughton who steadied himself before firing in a rasping effort from 25 yards which Malkowski brilliantly turned round the post.

Anderson came to his side's rescue after 48 minutes when only his timely block stopped O'Connor from knocking home Riordan's cut-back from eight yards.

At the other end Barry Nicholson was only just off target when his free-kick cleared the defensive wall but dropped the wrong side of the post.

Hibs got the vital goal after 54 minutes and it was a personal disaster for Diamond. Second-half substitute Ivan Sproule got the better of Richie Byrne wide on the right. However, his weak cross into the area was somehow completely missed by the Dons centre-back leaving Riordan with the easiest of tasks to knock the ball home from seven yards.

Hibs looked to have extended their lead after 67 minutes. Simon Brown left Diamond for dead wide on the right before picking out Garry O'Connor, who made space for himself before firing in an unstoppable shot which crashed off the cross bar and away to safety.

Aberdeen huffed and puffed but could not find a way throug the HIbernian defence.