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Hibs lost to a controversial goal after taking an early lead against Aberdeen at Easter Road this afternoon.

All five of Hibs’ January transfer recruits started on the bench with Steven Whittaker and Oli Shaw missing the game due to injury.

Hibs started brightly and Stevie Mallan tested Joe Lewis with a 20-yard strike after good work by Marvin Bartley before Oli Shaw opened the scoring in the 10th minute with a superb effort from outside the area.

The lead lasted just two minutes before the Andrew Considine headed the ball into the net after Sam Cosgrove and Tommy Hoban had efforts cleared off the line by Mark Milligan and David Gray.

Aberdeen then took the lead in controversial circumstances. Greg Stewarts shot was parried by Ofir Marciano and fell into the path of Stevie May.

The Hibs’ keeper recovered and saved the Dons’ striker’s close-range effort but the ball fell to Gary Mackay-Steven who looked to be in an offside position before firing the ball into the net from close range. Despite Marciano’s protestations the goal stood.

Television replays however showed that the decision was correct.

Just before the break, Stevie Mallan went close with a long range free-kick and Lewis’ head struck the post as he scrambled to save.

After a lengthy stoppage Lewis was replaced by former Hibs’ keeper Tomas Cerny.

The visitors had the chance to wrap things up from the penalty spot after Darren McGregor was adjudged to have brought down Lewis Ferguson but Marciano saved Mackay-Steven’s effort. Referee Don Robertson infuriated the home supporters after booking Florian Kamberi for dissent despite allowing Graeme Shinnie to do likewise without taking action.

Hibs introduced new signings Gael Bigirimana and Mark McNulty replacing Bartley and Shaw as they fought to level the score. Ryan Gauld then replaced Mallan but to no avail.

Paul Hanlon and Kamberi came close to levelling with headers and James Wilson came close to adding to Aberdeen’s lead in the dying minutes.

After the game, caretaker head coach Eddie May told BBC Scotland: “We got off to a good start. Disappointing thing, we lose a goal three minutes after we score. The players don’t mean to make mistakes. It’s just a learning curve for them.

“I wouldn’t say confidence is low. Goals change games. The two goals we’ve lost, we could’ve done a little bit better.”

Hibernian: Marciano, Gray, Hanlon, Milligan, Bartley (Bigirimana 53’), Slivka, Mallan (Gauld 74’), Stevenson, Kamberi, McGregor, Shaw (McNulty 66’). Substitutes not used: Bogdan, Nelom, Johnson, Omeonga.

Aberdeen: Lewis (Cerny 45’), Logan, Shinnie, Considine, Stewart, Mackay-Steven, Cosgrove (Wilson 18’), May (Gleeson 61’), Ferguson, Hoban, Lowe. Substitutes not used: McGinn, Ball, Campbell, McLennan.

Referee: Don Robertson. Attendance: 16,269.