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Aberdeen 1 - 3 Heart of Midlothian

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Heart of Midlothian

Aberdeen scorers: Daal 82.
Heart of Midlothian scorers: Berra 64, Pinilla 76, Mikoliunas 81

24/09/2006 | KO: 14:00

Dons mugged as Gordon sets up Hearts win

After the performance of the season in the first half by Aberdeen their world caved in after the break when Hearts scored three times before Dyron Daal grabbed a consolation strike. The Dons can feel hard done by as they produced a skilful attacking first half only to be denied by Craig Gordon in the Hearts goal. After Hearts opened the scoring they found more space as the Dons pushed forward. Hearts striker Pinilla was sent off late in the game for two stupid offences as the Dons remain in fourth with two tough away matches to come.

Aberdeen kicked off in front of a disappointing crowd but made a whirlwind start when Gordon was forced to save at the feet of Nicholson in the opening minute. A corner was forced seconds later and Dempsey went close again when the corner was cleared to the edge of the box and his shot skidded along the turf and missed the target by inches. Aberdeen were making an impressive start as they closed down the opposition quickly and looked dangerous going forward. The visitor's first attempt came in the 5th minute but it was a wild effort from Berra that peppered the crowd in row z.

Gordon denied Nicholson again in the 9th minute when he volleyed a Dempsey cross that Gordon turned round the post. The set play found Clark on the edge of the box. But his shot went wide before Mackie almost beat Gordon with a cross that clattered off the bar with the keeper flailing. Hearts were pinned back at this stage and referee Dougal spoke to Zaliukas in the 11th minute after pulling Mackie to the ground. Miller then made a great run into space to collect a throw in but his cross field ball to Clark was poor and the move broke down.

Hartley then got a fortunate break of the ball in the 16th minute that forced a free kick 25 yards out. However Langfield was well behind Hartley's effort as the visitor's started to ease their way into the match. Pressley then collected the first card of the game after a cynical challenge on Clark in the 19th minute. The subsequent free kick saw Anderson heading over, but he was penalised for a push on Lee Wallace. Lee Miller then attempted an audacious 40-yard drive that skidded off the ground in front of Gordon and slipped wide. McCann followed Pressley into the book for a poor challenge and Mackie went close for the Dons before they forced another corner as they looked to break the Hearts defence.

The Dons were almost caught out in the 26th minute when Hearts were awarded a soft free kick and Hartley quickly released Pinilla before Langfield managed to force the player wide. At the other end Nicholson was released on the right and a better cross would surely have handed Clark a tap in. Hearts then won their first corner in the 28th minute and Langfield came for the ball but was nowhere near collecting it. Fortunately he redeemed himself seconds later with a terrific save from a 40-yard thunderbolt from Lee Wallace. Both Mackie and Dempsey were denied in the 32nd minute with a couple of last minute blocks in the space of five seconds.

Clark was next to see an effort blocked as the Dons looked to find away through with the visitor's pinned back but defending well. Another corner in the 39th minute caused panic after it was played short to Clark and his shot was bouncing about inside the box before being booted clear. Nicholson then headed over before Langfield had to deal with a deflected shot. Dempsey then tried to chip Gordon before Langfield saved well from Mikoliunas. Foster forced an incredible save out of Gordon late on after the midfielder created space 20 yards out and fired in a fierce shot that was parried wide.

Aberdeen started the second half well with Clark breaking on the left before he was crowded out. Anderson made another of his telling tackles after a mistake from Severin as he denied Pinilla. At the other end Clark delivered a great cross but Lee Miller headed over when he should have at least tested Gordon. Mikoliunas then won a mystery free kick on the left after he failed to keep the ball in play. Langfield punched clear when it looked easier to catch and at the other end Clark was penalised after Berra fell over in front of him.

Severin then collected a yellow card in the 53rd minute after Pinilla rolled about following an innocuous challenge. The second half had failed to show the spark of the first half with too many stoppages interrupting play. Aberdeen then almost gifted a goal to Hearts when first Langfield dropped the ball then Hart and Mackie dithered allowing Pinilla a shot on goal. Hartley then had a penalty claim turned down when he went down easily on a Foster challenge before there was controversy on the hour mark when referee Dougal deflected the ball forward allowing Hearts to break. Fortunately the Dons eventually cleared.

Hearts were enjoying more of the play as Aberdeen failed to produce the flowing play of the first half and the home side were then punished for not taking their chances as Hearts took the lead in the 64th minute when a Hartley free kick was headed in by Berra. Zaliukas was then booked in the 67th minute but it was unclear what the caution was for. Mackie was next into the book before Daal replaced Considine. The misery of the second half continued when Hearts grabbed a well worked second as a neat back heel from Bednar was buried by Pinilla who was subsequently cautioned for gesturing at the Aberdeen crowd.

Daal then headed over before Mikoliunas made it 3-0 as the Dons were exposed at the back. Daal then threw a lifeline as he pulled back a goal within a minute when Dempsey released him. Pinilla then saw red as he collected a stupid second yellow while the Hearts coach was spoken to as the Edinburgh side lost the plot at 3-1 ahead. Byrne returned to action late in the game replacing Foster. In the final minute Clark drove inches wide, but it just wasn't to be the Dons day as all their good work in the first half came to nothing as they undeservedly suffered their second straight home game. To add to their woes Byrne looked to have damaged his hamstring again as he limped off the park at the end.

Match Stats:

Dons Hearts
Goal Attempts 12 11
On Target 5 7
Corners 5 2
Possession 52% 48%

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, Hart, Foster (Byrne 82), Severin, Considine (Daal 74), Anderson, Nicholson, Dempsey, Mackie, Miller, Clark.

Unused Subs: Macaulay, Diamond, Maguire, Smith, Soutar.

Bookings:  Severin (53),  Mackie (74).
Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet
Gordon, Pressley, Tall, McCann (Cesnauskis  74), Hartley, Bednar (Makela 88), Mikoliunas, Pinilla, Berra, Wallace, Zaliukas (Brellier 79)

Bookings:  Pressley 19,   McCann 23,   Zaliukas 67,   Pinilla 76,   Pinilla 84   Pinilla 84
Attendance: 11,160
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Stuart Dougal, Burnside
Today's match programme.
Pressley unceremoniously takes Chris Clark out of the play.
The Hearts skipper collects a booking for his troubles.
Andrew Considine in action this afternoon.
A forearm halts the progress of Scott Severin.
The Hearts bench are animated but Calderwood can't look.
Severin is in a battle in midfield.
Considine wins the ball as Clark looks on.
Next Match
27 Apr 2024 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen