McInnes reign starts with draw

22 April 2013 11:17

Derek McInnes' first game as Aberdeen boss ended in a 0-0 draw against Hibernian in their Clydesdale Bank Premier League encounter at Easter Road.

Hibs' top scorer Leigh Griffiths, who scored the winner when the Easter Road side came back from 3-0 down against Falkirk to win 4-3 in their William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden last week, missed a couple of decent chances to add to his 25 goals this season in a tepid first half.

Eoin Doyle struck a post in the second period after Danny Handling had missed a good chance while defender Paul Hanlon came close with a header later on, with home keeper Ben Williams a virtual spectator for most of the evening.

Inside a rather sedated Easter Road, the game cranked slowly, almost reluctantly, into life. An ambitious overhead kick by Griffiths from six yards out in the 11th minute earned a round of applause from the home fans but did not trouble Dons keeper Jamie Langfield.

The Dons' Robert Milsom then managed to get a cross in from wide on the left, tight to the byeline, but it was headed over the bar by Johnny Hayes.

The first clear-cut chance fell to Griffiths when he won a race with Dons defender Mark Reynolds to latch on to Hibs skipper James McPake's long, headed clearance, but his right-footed drive was well saved by Langfield. The on-loan Wolves striker spurned another opportunity moments later when he fired wide from even closer to goal.

Hibs should have taken the lead a minute into the second half when Griffiths galloped down the left and played the ball across to the unmarked Handling but his shot went straight to the grateful Langfield.

The home side, if nothing else, looked more determined. A good run and cross by Hibs defender Tim Clancy in the 54th minute ended up at the feet of Doyle 12 yards from goal but although he dispatched his shot quickly enough, the ball crashed off Langfield's right-hand post and away to safety.

At the other end, following the briefest spell of Dons pressure, Milsom fired wide from the edge of the box with an effort that typified the Pittodrie side's contribution to the evening up until that point. Hayes' effort from a similar range in the 65th minute was at least on target but Williams gathered comfortably.

With six minutes remaining Langfield had to move sharply to claw away a powerful long-distance drive from Griffiths, who had seconds earlier wasted a free-kick, with Aberdeen, almost inevitably, surviving the corner in a game which was destined to remain goalless.

Source: PA

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