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AFC - Match Report
match report 2011-12 fixture list
Heart of Midlothian 3 - 0 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Novikovas 24, Sutton 35, 52.        
Attendance: 13,374
Venue: Tynecastle, Edinburgh
Dons Dominate But Hearts Clinical

Hearts v Aberdeen The Dons were boosted by the return of Mawene, Fyvie, Clark and Jack to the squad but they could not help improve what has been a really poor start to the season. The Dons have now not scored since Chris Maguire's strike on the final day of last season at Easter Road.

Aberdeen went in at half time two goals down. Quite how they went in two down was a bit of a mystery as they dominated the possession for long periods. Arnason headed off the cross bar and shot just wide, Vernon headed just over and Mackie just wide. From Hearts only two attacks they scored with both chances as Novikovas curled one in after good play by Grainger down the left and then Sutton tapped in after Templeton had also done well down the left.

After the break poor defending allowed Sutton all time in the world to grab a second and it was game over. When Fyvie drilled one just past the post you know it was not going to be one of those games.

Craig Brown made two changes from the side that lost to Celtic on Sunday. Youl Mawene and Fraser Fyvie both returned to the side after injury. Pawlett and Magennis drop to the bench alongside Ryan Jack who returned after his two match suspension and Chris Clark was in the squad for the first time this season after his injury picked up in pre-season.

The Dons lined up with McArdle at right back, Mawene and Considine in the middle and Foster at left back. In the middle of the park Milsom moved to the left to accommodate Arnson in the middle. He was paired with Osbourne and Fyvie came in on the right. Up front it was Vernon and Mackie again.

As ever the game kicked off with the tremendous atmosphere. Tynecastle is by far the best away ground in the country. The Dons in their new white kit, started strongly. A long throw by Arnason very nearly found Mackie. Then an Arnason through ball almost found the same player. Arnason then started another move which led to Aberdeen winning their first corner after 5 minutes. The ball was cleared and the Dons were very nearly caught on the break. Thankfully Osbourne had read the situation. Osbourne then put in a typically crunching tackle that the referee felt was ok although the Hearts fans disagreed.

On 7 minutes another quick passing move saw Foster find Mackie wide on the left. The striker put in a good low cross but he could not find Vernon. Arnason then put in a crunching tackle. The Dons are certainly not going to get bullied this season in the middle of the park. On 10 minutes a long ball led to corner number two but Hearts defended it well. Then the Dons won another corner. Milsom's ball was met by Arnason who powered in a header which hit the cross bar. So close. It looked like the keeper got a touch. If he did it was a brilliant save.

15 minutes in and the game was still being played at an incredible pace. The ball was spending a lot of time in the air but to the Dons credit they were trying to get it down on the deck. On 20 minutes another good passing moving created space for Arnason. He hit a shot which went just wide, Kello seemed to have it covered.

Disaster stuck on 23 minutes when against the run of play the home side took the lead. Grainger did well down the left to make room for his cross. He turned back and picked out Novikovas at the back of the penalty area. He had time to control the ball and he curled his left foot shot in off the post. Gonzalez had no chance. It was really disappointing as the Dons had been on top.

A minute later Grainger then had another chance to play a ball in but his free kick was well held by Gonzalez. Aberdeen then won a free kick. Foster curled in a superb ball. It was a great free kick as the Hearts keeper could not come for it. Vernon managed to get his head on it but the ball went agonisingly over the bar. A great opportunity. Scott almost got too good a contact on it.

The goal though had taken the stuffing out of Aberdeen a bit. Hearts v Aberdeen

However on 33 minutes the Dons put the best move of the game together. Milson, Arnason and Fyvie linked and young Fraser crossed from the right. The ball fell to Mackie but he shot just wide. Another good opportunity missed and it was to prove costly a minute later. On 34 minutes Templeton left McArdle for dead. He crossed for John Sutton who had the easiest of tasks to put the ball into the empty net. The Aberdeen players looked shell shocked and I don't think they could believe they were two down.

Arnason, who as well as being a stand out again for the Dons, has a good long throw on him. He hurled one in and the ball was met by Vernon but his header went harmlessly wide. On 42 minutes Milsom played in a corner. Arnason headed down across the face of goal but both Vernon and Mackie could not get a touch.

At half time Darren Mackie was withdrawn and replaced by Peter Pawlett. Pawlett moved to a wide right position and Fyvie moved into a more centre position, just in behind Vernon. Early in the half Foster crossed for Pawett but his header from distance was easily claimed by the Hearts keeper.

Then after 51 minutes game over. The Dons failed to clear the danger after making a number of challenges. The ball fell fortuitously to Sutton who was completely unmarked and he had all the time in he world to stroke the ball home. It was difficult to tell if the goal was caused by a piece of really bad luck or poor defending, or both.

Aberdeen did keep pushing forward. On 56 minutes a cross from Milsom was touched on by a combination of Arnason and Vernon. The ball was picked up by Fyvie who set himself but he fired inches past. You knew at this point it was not going to be our day.

Hearts v Aberdeen Ryan Jack replaced Rory McArdle. Ryan went to right back where he starred for the Scotland 21s in midweek. Then Josh Magennis replaced Scott Vernon. Hearts had the luxury of giving some of their youngsters on the bench a run out.

By this point Hearts had completely taken the sting out of the game. The final half hour of the matchwas played at a completely different pace to the opening 30 minutes. There was a surreal atmosphere as well. In the closing stages a long ball was almost latched onto by Pawlett but the keeper did well to come out of his area and clear. Sutton could have had a hat trick but his shot was well saved by Gonzalez. To be fair to David he could not do anything with the three goals.

Fyvie almost found Magennis but he just failed to get his shot away. Magennis had a couple of half chances and did quite well. Possibly his efforts might have earned his a start against Inverness CT next Saturday. Arnason was booked in the final few minutes. His frustration over the afternoons events were clear to see. However he was probably the only player who could avoid criticism. Hearts were by now knocking the ball with ease and it was a relief when the final whistle sounded.

Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet:  Marian Kello, Jamie Hamill, Eggert Jonsson (Ryan McGowan 88), Marius Zaliukas, Daniel Grainger, David Templeton, Adrian Mrowiec, Scott Robinson, Arvydas Novikovas (Rudi Skacel 46), John Sutton, Ryan Stevenson (Kevin McHattie 80).

Unused Subs: Jamie MacDonald, Stephen Elliott, Andrew Driver, Gordon Smith.

Bookings:  Jamie Hamill 90

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Gonzalez, McArdle (McArdle 61), Mawn, Considine, Foster, Fyvie, Arnason, Osbourne, Milsom, Vernon (Magennis 65), Mackie (Pawlett 46).

Unused Subs: Brown, Megginson, Paton, Clark.

Bookings:  Arnason (84).

Referee: Steve Conroy

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