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Paul McGinn goal gives Hibs a point against Aberdeen

Hibernian’s Paul McGinn was on target (Jeff Holmes/PA)
Hibernian’s Paul McGinn was on target (Jeff Holmes/PA)

Paul McGinn’s late strike earned Hibernian a share of the spoils in a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Aberdeen.

The defender levelled in the 83rd minute to cancel out David Bates’ opener for the visitors at the start of the second half.

The draw keeps Hibs’ hopes of finishing seventh alive, while Aberdeen – who are safe from relegation – dropped to 10th.

The hosts, who had defender Ryan Porteous available after serving a four-game league ban, started brightly.

Their first chance came after five minutes when an indirect free-kick was awarded close to goal after Joe Lewis picked up Declan Gallagher’s pass.

Joe Newell rolled the ball to Porteous but his fierce effort was diverted over the bar by Gallagher.

From the well-worked short corner, Newell found a pocket of space inside the area but his low drive was also blocked.

With Hibs owner Ron Gordon watching on, captain Paul Hanlon – making his 500th appearance, then headed wide from another corner.

Aberdeen sliced Hibs open with a fine move in the 22nd minute that culminated in Hanlon making a desperate block to deny Lewis Ferguson.

Connor Barron and Johnny Hayes combined to set up the Scotland international on the volley from 12 yards.

There was further action at both ends before the half was over. Aberdeen goalkeeper Lewis pulled off a fine save down to his right to tip Elias Melkersen’s low shot behind, before Matt Macey pushed Johnny Hayes’ audacious free-kick out for a corner at his near post.

In a lively start to the second period, Newell had an effort blocked by Gallagher from 18 yards when he should have got his shot away quicker after intercepting a slack Ferguson pass.

Aberdeen were then aggrieved that they were only awarded a free-kick instead of a penalty for Harry Clarke’s high boot on Ferguson right on the edge of the box.

But the away side were smiling in the 55th minute as they went ahead through Bates.

Hayes’ cross was knocked back in by Gallagher and the centre-half rifled a close-range effort into the net at the front post.

Hibs were struggling for ideas in the final third, although Josh Campbell forced Dons goalkeeper Lewis into action from a header from a Ewen Henderson corner.

The home side should have equalised in the 75th minute but Lewis pulled off a point-blank save after sub Funso Ojo inadvertently headed the ball straight to Newell inside the six-yard box.

Hibs levelled in the 83rd minute when McGinn lashed in a front-post effort home after latching on to James Scott’s knock down.

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