Date: 24th April 2007 at 12:10am
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Aberdeen`s performance against Hibs goes to prove that the current Dons side simply isn`t good enough. Shocking defensive lapses, a penalty miss and other good chances that went a begging certainly are not the aspects needed to gain access to European competition.

To add further woe to the Dons cause, Hibs were vastly depleted by injuries, suspensions and the necessity to rest players ahead of their Cup semi-final priority on Tuesday night and gave two players their debuts. And had two players sent off.

On paper it looked a three point banker but these new traits that Aberdeen have developed of suicidal defending were again deployed and the home side found themselves twice behind before Jamie Langfield had even been seriously tested.

Reassuringly, the Aberdeen never say die attitude is still very much intact and was again called upon to gain a precious point from this game, this time Ricky Foster running onto a short free-kick before powering a stunning 25 yarder into Andy McNeil`s net.

It was going to take a stunning strike to get the Dons something from this match as Hibs have uncovered a goalkeeper of some real quality who will start troubling Craig Gordon soon for a Scotland shirt if he keeps progressing as he is and is probably already ahead of his Aberdeen equivalent in the international picture.

Jimmy Calderwood again started with Craig Brewster playing alongside Darren Mackie and he did a decent job of getting his head on balls and bringing others into the match.

Brewster also won a lot of fouls against the unfamiliar Hibs defence and his presence would have been further justified if the game was won by bookings as he was booted about for as long as he was on, winning promising chances around the box that required a player of finely tuned skills to convert.

The fact that they all went over the bar will further prove to Calderwood that he still needs a few class players to build a good side but the next step up always costs hard cash

Playing Brewster does mean that with his lack of speed and necessity to pace himself, balls over the top are not an option and the fans were soon calling for the introduction of Steve Lovell to get involved.

Lovell`s introduction had came at a time where Jimmy was clearly gambling everything he had. With Hibs down to ten men and Jimmy having already taken off calamity Considine, he went with Darren Mackie, Chris Maguire, Steve Lovell and Lee Miller all in attack to force the win.

They came close, Mackie hit the frame and another couple would probably have been converted if the Dons had a player of real class up front but had to settle for the point which felt a lot better after Barry Ferguson had overhead kicked Rangers to victory over Hearts.

After another crazy week in Edinburgh, John Collins could rightly relax for an evening after a performance that gave his team a point that he probably not expecting due to his sides circumstances.

Collins said ‘The kids did me proud, as well as the football club and themselves.

‘I am delighted with them all and I think in the first half they showed composure to pass the ball well, while also demonstrating grit, determination and togetherness.

‘The second half was tougher as we had a man sent off and it is hard to get a hold of the ball when you are a man down, but we showed terrific spirit.

‘I have the pleasure of training with them day in and day out, and seeing them in the reserves.

‘So I wouldn’t have put any of them out on the park if I didn’t think they could do the job’.

It`s looking rosy for the Hi-bees as their future plans are well in place. Not so for a Dons side whose reserves finished bottom of the league and have recently binned half that team as no-one looked like stepping up.

Jimmy must look on enviously at the Hibs setup as he knows his next crop of young lads are going to take years to come through and he must keep going with the battle weary, skeleton thin, injury prone boys he has now.

He summed the match up and although his team should have bagged a few more at the other end, it`s his defence that worries him.

Jimmy said,’We keep giving simple goals away and bad individual mistakes are costing us, which is very unlike what has happened in the three years I have been here.

‘But it has happened quite a lot in the last few weeks and it makes it very difficult to win football games.

‘Defensively we are normally very strong, but we don’t look like that at the moment.’

Whilst Hibs prepare for possibly another final, Aberdeen`s final is coming in two weeks when they travel to Tynecastle for the Euro showdown. If they turn in another performance like this, there could be another season without any new passport stamps.