Pressure piled on Nick Montgomery as a dismal Hibs were dismantled 4-0 by Aberdeen at Easter Road. 

Goals from Leighton Clarkson, Dante Polvara, Bojan Miovski, and Fletcher Boyd heaped misery on an already beleaguered home side, as an already poor season plumbed new depths. The manner of the result will only raise further questions on the manager's future, with as much apathy as outright around the stadium for an already sparsely-attended fixture.

Patrick McPartlin and Liam Bryce were in Leith to provide the instant analysis.

A complete collapse

It sounds ridiculous to say, but it's true Hibs actually started this game pretty well. Crisp passing, dominating territory, and a couple of half-chances. That, however, was as good as it got. From the moment Leighton Clarkson swept the ball beyond a despairing Jojo Wollacott, Hibs completely disintegrated. Responding to setbacks is a real measure of a team, making the home side's reaction to going behind here a damning indictment of where they're at. Suddenly, it was Aberdeen controlling the ball, forcing the issue, dragging Hibs players out of a position and finding gaps all over the Easter Road pitch. An individual error from Jordan Obita was the catalyst for the second, giving the ball away in his own box, where it was again lashed into Wollacott's top left corner, this time by Polvara. The least an increasingly dwindling number of Hibs fans will have expected from the second-half was a response of any kind, something to get behind for the rest of the day. Instead, a sweeping Aberdeen move found its way to Miovski 10 yards from goal, and he was never going to miss. The Dons then retreated into their shape and allowed Hibs to pass themselves into errors or blind alleys, without ever looking like they could threaten their visitors' advantage. As the seconds ticked away, they rubbed salt in the wounds with a fourth, tapped home by 16-year-old Boyd. Even in this twilight zone of, essentially, dead rubbers, this was a dismal day, and one that felt like a watershed moment.

Liam Bryce

Defensive issues deepening further

It's been a go-to topic all season, but somehow Hibs keep finding new ways to cause themselves defensive issues. An individual mistake from Obita led to the second, yes, but errors like that happen in moments where teams are losing their shape and structure, which Hibs were. It begs the question, considering how prominent these defensive problems have been, that they continue to get worse, as opposed to plateauing or even, perhaps, getting better. Are the players being given bad instructions? Are they simply not listening to them? Is it both? Either way, it is increasingly painful for supporters to pay to watch. Perhaps not quite in the severity of the result, but they will have felt they'd seen the patter of that game unfold countless times this season, and all of it comes down to being unable to defend. 

Liam Bryce

No dead rubber for Dons

There might have been nothing at stake for either team besides pride, but Aberdeen played this game as though they were involved in a late tilt for Europe and Hibs simply didn’t. Even at 3-0 up with 80 minutes on the clock, the Dons were driving forward in search of more goals.

For Hibs, the game was a maddeningly familiar tale of undercooked passes, overhit through balls, and chances at a premium. Many of the relatively few home fans that had come to Easter Road for this fixture streamed for the exits when Bojan Miovski stroked home the Dons’ third and more called it a day as the second half wore on with little sign of even a consolation for Hibs. 

The jeers at half-time, with the score at 2-0 to the visitors, were half-hearted at best which told its own story. The Hibs players exchanging angry words in the centre circle told another, as did the travelling support’s chant of, ‘So f*****g easy’. 

Hibs host Motherwell on Wednesday night but another performance like this, after Stuart Kettlewell’s men put five past Ross County, would almost certainly result in another field day for the Steelmen. Heck, at this rate, Livingston might fancy their chances in West Lothian in a week’s time. 

The fans have turned

One of the problems for the Hibs board is that, no matter the outcome of the internal review announced after the failure to make the top six, they have lost a large portion, maybe even the majority, of fans. The financial impact of a bottom-half finish, even with the incoming investment from the Black Knights, will be keenly felt as the club tries to get back on an even keel after somewhat alarming figures in the most recent set of accounts and the way things are going, season ticket sales are unlikely to break records.

The few fans who did stick around until full-time made their feelings known as the coaching staff and squad did their customary post-match clap which, in the circumstances, felt like a bold move. Gone was the lethargic jeering from half-time to be replaced by louder, more insistent booing. 

This was Aberdeen’s biggest win at Easter Road since March 1985 and it's simply hard to see how Montgomery can possibly survive such a damaging defeat - his 13th in 37 games since taking the reins. On top of that a group of fans staged what looked like a sit-in protest in the East Stand after the final whistle, and members of the board including Kit Gordon, Scott Fraser, and Ben Kensell appeared locked in conversation in the directors' box in the immediate aftermath. It's starting to feel like Hibs could be facing their biggest summer on and off the park since they were relegated in 2014.