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AFC - Match Report
match report 2004-05 fixture list
SPL 
29/01/2005
 
Heart of Midlothian 1 - 0 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Wyness pen (63)        
Attendance: 12,269
Venue: Tynecastle, Edinburgh
Dons sunk by disputed spot kick
Aberdeen lost fourth place in the SPL as Hearts won the match with a disputed spot kick. This is the third such victory in the last four meetings. The Dons looked to have levelled in the 85th minute when Craig netted what looked like a perfectly good goal. The officials disagreed and adjudged that Craig was offside despite the fact that goalkeeper Gordon had been the last player to touch the ball as he turned a Hart effort on to the post. No doubt TV pictures will settle the arguments on both decisions but it won't alter the fact that Aberdeen are struggling to stop the downward spiral despite another decent second half performance.

Aberdeen created the first chance of the match in the 5th minute when Kevin McNaughton fired over the bar with a decent effort. A minute later a miss kick from Gordon landed at the feet of Whelan, but Pressley was quick to react before the Englishman could punish the Hearts keeper. Hearts then carved out a decent opportunity in the 7th minute when Simmons was set up but slipped as he went to pull the trigger. A minute later the ball was back up the other end where Whelan just failed to latch on to a Clark cross as the game continued at a cracking pace. Hearts almost cashed in on a Heikkinen slip in the 10th minute but ex-Don Wyness was unable to take advantage.

 
Anderson watches on as Wyness takes a tumble Winter made a good run in the 14th minute as he skipped past a couple of players but failed to test Gordon with his finish. Diamond conceded a dangerous free kick in the 16th minute and after a heated exchange with Whelan and Webster in the box the kick was fired weakly at Ryan Esson. Hearts had now gained the upper hand but it was Aberdeen who won the first corner kick of the match in the 21st minute and immediately won a second as Pressley cleared a Winter delivery. Hearts cleared their lines and then forced their own first corner in the 23rd minute but failed to threaten in the set play.

Two ex Dons targets then combined well in the 28th minute when Wyness found Lee Miller rising above Anderson to head wide from six yards. Whelan then collected the first yellow card of the match for a trip in the 34th minute, but Aberdeen had stemmed the tide and were getting back into the match and in the 39th minute Winter did well to set up Mackie who forced a decent save from Gordon with a low shot. Mikoliunas then had a dig at goal from 30 yards but Esson got his body behind the effort and saved well. Aberdeen should have taken the lead in the 45th minute when brilliant play from McNaughton set up Whelan but the striker controlled the ball well and fired across the face of the goal. Seconds later Hearts hit the cross bar following a free kick and the Dons were forced to scramble the ball clear.

Esson was into action early on as he dived low to cut out a Mikoliunas cross and then watched as Hamill headed over in the opening couple of minutes. There was a goalmouth scramble in the 4th minute that put the Dons defence under pressure as Hearts made a strong start to the second half. Winter then collected the second yellow of the match for a challenge on Neilson in the 56th minute. Neilson himself made a decent delivery in the 58th minute but Clark tracked back well to deny Mikoliunas. Seconds later Hamill reacted quickly to deny Kristjansson and concede a corner. Stewart then replaced the Icelandic player and from the resultant corner Anderson fired a volley wide of the target.

 
Michael Hart challenges Mikoliunas for the ballThe match exploded in the 61st minute when Pressley took a tumble in the box under a challenge from Noel Whelan to win a fairly soft spot kick. Despite the protest from Whelan, McCurry pointed to the spot and Wyness netted to make it 1-0. Craig then replaced Whelan once the goal had been scored and Aberdeen reacted positively to the setback as they raced forward. Simmons took a tumble in the box in the 69th minute but the referee was not interested this time round. Aberdeen should have levelled in the 73rd minute when Winter set up Craig and the striker hit a decent shot that resulted in a magnificent stop from Gordon.

In the 74th minute Foster replaced Winter, who had another fine game, as Calderwood looked to turn the match around. Aberdeen were struggling to break down the Hearts defence and the home side made a double change in the 80th minute in an attempt to consolidate their position. There was more controversy in the 85th minute when Aberdeen looked to have equalised after good play from Hart who looped the ball goalward. Gordon touched the ball on to the woodwork and Craig followed up to fire home. It was hard to understand how Craig could have been offside after the Hearts keeper had made the last touch but Mr. McCurry accepted the decision of his assistant.

Three minutes later Stewart threatened but the ball was scrambled clear and the game was then halted for a handball decision. In the final minute Stewart threatened again and found Clark who was felled on the edge of the box. The set play produced a poor finish from Heikkinen then seconds later Mackie was tumbled on the edge of the box and earned a yellow card for his troubles. Aberdeen pushed forward right to the final whistle but they were not to get the rub of the green as Hearts defeated them with a spot kick for the third time in the last four matches.

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Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet:  Gordon, Neilson, Pressley, Webster, McAllister, Simmons, MacFarlane, Mikoliunas, Wyness, Miller, Hamill.

Unused Subs: Stewart for Mikoliunas (80), Burchill for Wyness (80), Berra for Simmons (87)

Bookings: Caution 

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Esson, Hart, McNaughton, Heikkinen, Anderson, Diamond, Winter (Foster 74), Kristjansson (Stewart 59), Whelan (Craig 64), Mackie, Clark.

Unused Subs:

Bookings: Caution Whelan (34), Caution Winter (56), Caution Mackie (90).

Referee: Mike McCurry

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