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Aberdeen 2 - 1 Heart of Midlothian

HT Score: Aberdeen 2 - 0 Heart of Midlothian

SPL Under 21
Aberdeen scorers: Jones 27, Prunty 34.
Heart of Midlothian scorers: Wales(53)

12/01/2004 | KO: 19:00

Prunty strike takes the points

The Under 21 side extended their unbeaten run to five matches with a win over second placed Hearts. Bryan Prunty grabbed his first goal for the club as the Dons went into a two-goal lead at the interval. It was just a pity that only 300 fans were there to witness such an exquisite debut strike. Wales pulled a goal back for the visitors early in the second half and despite a couple of scares the Dons held on to finally beat Hearts at the third time of asking.

Hearts dominated the opening period of the match and both Wyness and Simmons had efforts early on. Esson made a comfortable save from the ex-Don and Simmons should have done better when a well-worked free kick opened up the Dons defence. Fortunately for Aberdeen the midfielder failed to find the target. After an unsteady start Aberdeen began to ease their way into the match and they grabbed the lead in the 27th minute.

A free kick was half cleared by the Hearts defence and John Stewart cleverly controlled the ball and laid it off to Jones in one movement. Jones in turn drilled the ball first time from the edge of the box and Moilanen was unable to stop the ball going into the net. The Dons doubled their advantage seven minutes later as Bryan Prunty netted his first goal for the Dons. And it was certainly a memorable strike.

Once again the Hearts defence only half cleared a free kick and as the ball fell to Prunty on the edge of the box he hit a sweet shot with the outside of his left foot which sailed into the top corner of the Hearts net leaving Moilanen with no chance of getting his hands near it. The ex-Celt almost added a third in the 44th minute when he went on a probing run and steered the ball inches wide of the far post.

Aberdeen almost grabbed a third in the 53rd minute when Souter and Stewart combined well on the right, but Moilanen recovered well to snuff out the danger. The Dons were to regret this miss as seconds later Hearts pulled a goal back when Wales was given far too much space and drilled a shot past Esson from 20 yards. This goal gave the visitors a lift and the Dons were put on the back foot.

Ryan Esson pulled off a magnificent finger tip save in the 62nd minute to deny Weir and a minute later Hearts had the ball in the net, but the goal was chalked off because of an earlier offside decision. Tarditi then replaced Jones and he started to use his height to good effect. Yet in the 79th minute it was a neat lay off from feet by the tall striker that released Stewart. His strike from the edge of the box spun across the face of the goal and scraped the far post. Defences remained on top in the final ten minutes to ensure a third win in a row for the Dons.

Weather: Dry and Cold
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Esson, Buckley, Higgins, Souter, McGuire (Foster 46), Deloumeaux, Jones (Tarditi), Sheerin, Prunty, Stewart (McInnes 80), Muirhead.

Unused Subs: O'Leary, Hutton.
Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet
Moilanen, Neilson, McCann, Dunn, Berra, Janczyk, Weir, Simmons, Wyness (McGeown 46), Wales, Hamill.

Bookings:  Simmons 87
Attendance: 300
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Willie Hornby