Aberdeen were denied all three points against Hibernian as Jamie MacLaren’s equaliser four minutes from time snatched them a draw at Easter Road.
MacLaren’s heroics came just in time for the Hibees, as it appeared Tommie Hoban’s goal on the stroke of half-time was going to be enough for the Dons.
But with Aberdeen sitting in and content to hold on to their advantage, MacLaren popped up at the back post to earn Neil Lennon’s side a point.
The Dons made one change from the 4-0 win over St Mirren, with Tommie Hoban recalled at the expense of the injured Scott Wright. James Wilson, Shay Logan and Niall McGinn all returned to make the bench.
Hearts were in mouths after just six minutes though, as Joe Lewis spilled Paul Hanlon’s cross with Martin Boyle waiting to pounce. Andrew Considine manouevred Boyle off the ball to clear, amid strong appeals from the home side for a penalty.
Lewis more than made amends on 16 minutes when Daryl Horgan wriggled free on the edge of the box, making space for himself to shoot. His effort appeared to be heading for the top corner before a big left hand from the Aberdeen goalkeeper diverted it over.
Boyle nearly made the most of another surge into the penalty area with a strike that rippled the side netting, as the Dons spent the majority of the first period inside their own half.
Derek McInnes opted to match Hibernian’s three at the back but it offered little in the way of an attacking threat, with Frank Ross and Stevie May struggling to get involved in the game through the middle.
Their first chance of note came on 32 minutes through Lewis Ferguson, who made a snap-decision from Graeme Shinnie’s throw-in with a half-volley that Adam Bogdan had to beat away.
A mix-up between Hoban and Mikey Devlin presented Hibernian with a chance take the lead eight minutes before the break as Boyle was set clear again, with Lewis this time able to smuggle the ball past his near post.
The visitors had a strong penalty appeal of their own waved off by referee Andrew Dallas before the interval, as Ferguson looked to be brought down by Paul Hanlon as he shaped to shoot. Furious protests from those in red ensued, however Dallas remained unmoved.
After offering little for most of the first 45, the Dons sneaked in front on the stroke of half-time when Hoban bundled in from close range, after Bogdan had just about kept out his initial effort.
The second period started at a much more subdued pace, with Hibernian still seeing plenty of the ball without forcing a clear-cut chance. Aberdeen had reverted to a back four and looked much more assured, with Frank Ross and Gary Mackay-Steven able to find more space.
Wilson was given his debut with 20 minutes to go in place of Ross as the home side began to bombard Lewis’ area with bodies.
Eventually it paid dividends as MacLaren was left unmarked at the back post, latching on to Hanlon’s cross to slide in the leveller.