Aberdeen registered their first Premiership victory since Boxing Day by coming from behind to defeat 10-man Hibernian 3-1, and in doing so, reviving their top six aspirations.
It was a maiden win for Dons boss Jim Goodwin, who last month succeeded Stephen Glass in the Pittodrie dug-out, and the Reds’ first three points in 11 matches.
The hosts would have been ahead in the 10th minute but for an outstanding save from Kevin Dabrowski. Connor McLennan’s close-range header from a right wing Vicente Besuijen cross was superbly kept out by Dabrowski and the follow-up from Christian Ramirez deflected behind for a corner.
The Dons were bright and on the front foot but a soft own goal set them back in the 22nd minute. Chris Cadden swung in a cross to the far post and Calvin Ramsay diverted the ball into his own net under limited pressure from Josh Doig.
However, Hibs’ lead did not last too long as Lewis Ferguson levelled with a penalty in the 37th minute. Connor Barron’s mis-hit 25-yard shot struck the hand of Rocky Bushiri and Ferguson, who missed his last spotkick in the defeat against Hearts, made no mistake to restore parity.
Early in the second half, Dabrowski was almost deceived by an overhit Ferguson cross, which had the visiting keeper stretching to tip the ball over his crossbar, before he comfortably gathered a McLennan drive from distance.
But the contest swung massively in Aberdeen’s favour in the 63rd minute when Ryan Porteous saw red for hauling down Ross McCrorie and conceding the Easter Road team’s second penalty of the afternoon.
David Bates sent a header from Barron’s floated free-kick against the crossbar and before McCrorie could turn home the rebound, Porteous bundled him to the ground and Ferguson duly converted again.
Chasing a hat-trick, Ferguson then saw an effort from just outside the box deflect wide for a corner before Hibs midfielder Josh Campbell stung the palms of Joe Lewis down the opposite end.
But the points were sealed for the home side with nine minutes remaining thanks to a fizzing strike from Besuijen. The Dutchman connected sweetly from a McCrorie pass to smash the ball high into the net and finally end the Dons’ dismal run.
Hibs, despite the defeat, remain fourth in a congested table, with seven sides competing for the top six going into the remaining two fixtures before the split.