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Aberdeen 2 - 3 Heart of Midlothian

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 1 Heart of Midlothian

Aberdeen scorers: Rutkiewicz 8, Winters 79.
Heart of Midlothian scorers: Tod 2, Mahe 87, McKenna 88

13/04/2002 | KO: 15:00

Dons lose out in late show

The Dons managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory today at Pittodrie and put their European aspirations on hold. It looked as though the Dons had done enough to secure the win when Robbie Winters headed home in the 79th minute. The win should have been sealed when Mackie had the chance to set up Dadi for a tap in the 86th minute. He delayed and the pass was intercepted and within two minutes Hearts had scored twice to leave the Dons shattered.

The Dons made the worst possible start when Hearts took the lead in the second minute. Boyack delivered a cross which Peat only half punched clear under pressure. Tod was lurking on the edge of the box and sent a looping header into the net, which eluded two defenders on the line. The Dons didn't have to wait too long for the equaliser and it was the other youngster making his first start of the season that provided the goal. It was the "follow the leader routine that did the trick. Winters delivered the cross and Rutkiewicz went near post and steered the ball high into the net.

It had been a lively start to the match and Fuller was causing this young Dons defence some real problems, but Aberdeen were carving out their own chances. Unfortunately the South Stand linesman who had little understanding of the offside rule brought most of these chances to an end. Fuller had a snapshot in the 19th minute, which went harmlessly over the crossbar. Peat was gaining in confidence and he made a confident catch in the 21st minute that earned him a cheer from the red army.

The Dons were seeing more of the play now and in the 24th minute McNaughton made a powerful run down the right before delivering a decent cross which Winters failed to steer on target. Two minutes later determined play by Derek Young caused havoc in the Hearts defence and a game of pinball ensued before the danger was cleared. McGuire suffered a couple of nasty head knocks in the first half and with no recognised defender on the bench it was a worrying time for the Dons. After a bright start the game started to suffer from too many stoppages as the officials contrived to halt proceedings at every opportunity. Mackie should have given the Dons the lead in the 43rd minute when his pace and strength took him past Tod only to be denied by a block from Niemi. Two minutes later there was an exact replay of the move and once more Niemi blocked the effort. Mike went close seconds later when a back heel went wide of the target.

Aberdeen almost made a whirlwind start when in the 47th minute Winters collected a pass and cut inside before drilling his shot inches wide. Hearts then collected a couple of yellow cards when Fuller and Maybury were booked. Hearts created an opening in the 57th minute when Fuller set up Mahe, but the Hearts man fired wide. A minute later the Dons defence was all at sea and Peat made a fine save from a McKenna drive. The youngster showed his mettle again four minutes later when he did well to tip a fierce Boyack free kick over the bar. A minute later McNaughton won a corner when a powerful shot was deflected wide. From the resultant kick Bisconti fired over from the edge of the box.

Darren Young was next to try his luck when he collected a Winters lay off, but his effort also went harmlessly over. There were appeals for a penalty in the 68th minute when McNaughton made one of his penetrating runs before playing a neat one-two with Mike. The youngster then appeared to be tripped, but Mr. McCurry waved play on. Dadi replaced Mike in the 72nd minute, but two minutes later it was Peat who had to look lively as he saved well from Fuller. The Dons took the lead in the 79th minute and what a great goal it was. McAllister delivered a superb cross from the left and Robbie Winters bulleted his header past Niemi.

Mackie should have wrapped up the points in the 86th minute when he was clear through on goal and had the simplest of tasks to roll the ball to Dadi who would have had an easy tap in. Mackie was too casual though and the ball was intercepted. This was to prove costly for the Dons as Hearts scored twice in a minute to take all three points. The first came when the Dons failed to clear their lines and the ball broke to Mahe who curled his effort beyond Peat. A minute later McKenna rose unchallenged to head home a Fulton cross leaving the Dons still looking to secure that European spot.

Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet
Niemi, Maybury, Mahe, Severin, McKenna, Tomaschek (Flogel 72), Boyack (Webster 82), Fuller, Tod, Weir (Fulton 82), Simmons Unused Subs: McKenzie, Wales

Bookings:  Fuller 50,   Maybury 53
Attendance: 12,467
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Mike McCurry
Next Match
20 Apr 2024 / 15:00 / Hampden Park, Glasgow