ABERDEEN assistant boss Tony Docherty praised the Dons as they carved out a 1-1 draw with Hibs at Pittodrie, despite ending the encounter with only nine men.
Curtis Main and Lewis Ferguson were red-carded in a fiery second-half where Ryan Porteous fired the Edinburgh outfit into the lead and Sam Cosgrove grabbed a controversial late equaliser.
The top scorer, who had been fortunate to escape a second booking, rose to bullet in a Niall McGinn corner-kick to prevent the team from sliding to a third consecutive defeat.
Dons No.2 Docherty, speaking to BBC Sport, said: “I’d like to talk about our reaction to going down to 10 men, 1-0 down at home, there are a lot of question marks for the players.
“There was a real inspirational period in the game where we actually could have gone on and won it and that is just down to the players’ mentality and personality.
“That speaks volumes in terms of what the manager is putting forward to make sure we’re always bang at it and always all for the cause.”
PAUL HECKINGBOTTOM, the Easter Road gaffer, added: “It’s beginning to be the same story. We were good, excellent with and without the ball, stood up to Aberdeen’s threats.
“It’s a story of missed chances, should have put the game to bed and it would have been an easy run-in.
“Credit to Aberdeen, they made the subs and went for it, but even then, they weren’t really creating anything and it’s a set-play that’s cost us.”
Cosgrove’s goal denied the Edinburgh men their first Premiership win since the opening game of the league season against St Mirren.
Christian Doidge was the main Hibs culprit by squandering FOUR excellent chances when he was through one-on-one with keeper Joe Lewis.
Visiting centre-half Porteous, back from suspension, pounced on a deflected Tom James shot to give Heckingbottom’s team the advantage three minutes after half-time.
The home side were down to 10 men shortly after when Main lunged into Stevie Mallan.
Cosgrove looked to have a kick out at Glenn Middleton, but referee Don Robertson’s decision not to show a second yellow card meant the Englishman was free to rise above Porteous and head the equaliser.
Ferguson’s red card for a wayward challenge on Mallan made little difference with the final whistle sounding seconds later.