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Aberdeen 4 - 0 Heart of Midlothian

HT Score: Aberdeen 2 - 0 Heart of Midlothian

SPFL U20 League
Aberdeen scorers: Jones 3, McManus 7, McManus 68, Orsi 83.

11/03/2014 | KO: 14:00

The youngsters in the Aberdeen U20s squad put in another very impressive performance this afternoon as they beat Hearts by four goals to nil in Peterhead. It was basically an U17 side that took on the Edinburgh club due to the League Cup Final on Sunday. Neil Cooper's side were also still without the injured Gibbons and Storie and the loanees - O'Neill, Shankland, Masson and Rumsby.
Today, in an attacking formation, the Dons lined up with Rogers in goal, Campanile at right back, Murray at left back, Rose and McKenna in central defence. Petrie was the holding midfielder with McMahon to his right and Wright to his left. McManus and O'Sullivan were partnered up front with Jones playing the free role just behind them. The Dons got off to a fabulous start when they opened the scoring as early as the third minute. McManus picked up the ball midway inside the Hearts half and went on a great forward run. He got inside the box and delivered a very enticing cross to the back post area. Michael Jones had read the situation and although Hamilton in the Hearts goal made a good save from the initial shot Jones was on hand to scoop home the opener. Things got even better for the Dons five minutes later. After a good move O'Sullivan was up ended in the box. Referee Pirie waved away the penalty appeals but Hearts twice failed to clear their lines and McManus took full advantage. He picked the ball up on the edge of the area, strolled forward before coolly placing the ball beyond Hamilton.
Credit to Hearts as they came back strongly despite the terrible start. With Jason Holt and Billy King up front they always looked threatening although McManus and Rose dealt well with the first team players. The first half was very even and also was a very entertaining as both teams were keen to attack.
The Dons had further chances to add to their lead but on two occasions Jack Hamilton in the Hearts goal produced excellent saves. The first was from an O'Sullivan header. The Ireland U19 international planted a great header low into the corner but Hamilton did superbly to get a hand on it. A stunning save. He then made a good block from Scott Wright after the Scotland U17 Internationalist turned his man brilliant in the area.

At the start of the second half Hearts should have got themselves back into the game when number 10 Holt was though on goal but he hit the post instead of finding the net. Minutes later the Dons number 10 O'Sullivan should have scored after great set up work from McManus but he tried to place his shot and instead of finding the corner he hit the keeper. At 2-0 Hearts were still in the game but as the half wore on Aberdeen started to dominate. Petrie and McMahon were very impressive in the middle of the park and started to control proceedings. With the Dons on top Craig Murray was flying forward and he went close on a couple of occasions. He also set up Scott Wright who should have scored but the Dons did make the game safe with just over 20 minutes to go when a Murray corner was expertly met by McManus who headed home. The striker made a run across the area that was just too good for the Hearts defence.
Declan was outstanding today and looked really sharp. After that the pace of the game dropped a bit which was understandable but the Dons kept knocking the ball about and with just under ten minutes to go Kalvin Orsi scored his first goal for the club. The 16 year old picked the ball up wide on the left. He stepped inside before curling the ball towards the far corner of the net. Keeper Hamilton could not make a move until the ball had gone past Murray but the full back cleverly dummied the ball and by that time Hamilton did not have time to react.
This was a very impressive performance and the young Dons played some very good football at times.

Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet
Hamilton, Smith, Ford, Wilson, Gordon, Beith, Buchanan, Scott, Oliver, Holt, King Subs: Snedden, Simpson, Daniel, Craignie
Venue: Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead
Referee: Morag Pirie, Aberdeen