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AFC - Match Report
match report 2002-03 fixture list
Aberdeen 1 - 1 Heart of Midlothian
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   D'Jaffo 72.       De Vries (79)  
Attendance: 12,825 (Visitors: 1,378)
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Last Man Standing
Hearts came to Pittodrie to knock the Dons out of their game, but didn't quite succeed. The Dons ended up with ten men after four players were forced to leave the field with injuries. Deloumeaux picked up a knock early on in a challenge with De Vries before Darren Young was stretchered off after a horrific challenge by Simmons. The second half saw McGuire limp off after a clash with De Vries. Mackie was stretchered off in the dying seconds to complete the misery.

In between the mayhem D'Jaffo scored his first goal for the club and Hearts were fortunate to equalise when De Vries was on hand to poke the ball past Kjaer. The Dons could have gone on to win, but Anderson was inches from missing an easy tap in late on. It was a good performance by the Dons and they can feel aggrieved that they got no protection or breaks during the match.

Hearts kicked off and put the Dons back four under pressure straight from the start with De Vries using his height and strength to good effect. The game was delayed for a couple of minutes as the attack ended with an injury to both the Hearts front man and Eric Deloumeaux. As the game restarted, the Dons showed their attacking prowess when Derek Young was released following a D'Jaffo flick on. The striker failed to control the ball however and the danger was cleared.

Deloumeaux never recovered from the early knock and was replaced by McAllister in the 9th minute with McNaughton moving to right back. Both teams were showing an eagerness to get forward, but at this stage defences were coming out on top. Aberdeen had a great chance to take the lead in the 18th minute when Clark did well to keep the ball in play and whip it into the centre. Mackie looked surprised and by the time he controlled it he could only shoot straight at Niemi who gathered at the second attempt. Too many stoppages and some very tight offside flags were affecting the flow of the game.

Aberdeen were beginning to get the upper hand and McNaughton broke on the right in the 22nd minute, but his final cut back was blocked. McNaughton was the provider again a minute later when Bisconti should have done better than steer the ball wide of the target. Seconds later, a Clark cross was knocked back into the danger area by D'Jaffo, but Derek Young was unable to control and the chance was gone. The Dons were having the better of the play at this stage, but no goal to show for their pressure. Hearts did look dangerous on the break in what was turning out to be an entertaining match.

Another good move in the 35th minute saw Bisconti get deep, but his cross fell behind the onrushing forwards. A minute later Kjaer had to stick out a foot to deny Wales. The Hearts striker had another header at goal in the 40th minute, which was comfortably held by Kjaer. This was followed a minute later by a weak effort from Clark which went wide of the target. The match threatened to boil over at times and Simmons was lucky to escape with just a yellow card in the 43rd minute for a horrific lunge at Darren Young, which saw the captain stretchered off and replaced by Tiernan.

The Dons made a positive start to the second half with Mackie being flagged as he collected a D'Jaffo through ball in what looked a very tight call. The 50th minute saw Niemi punch the ball clear from the head of Bisconti as he looked to convert a Mackie cross. The challenges from the visitors continued to border on the barely legal, but Mr. Mitchell was letting them go, and in the 58th minute, McGuire was caught in mid air by De Vries and forced to leave the field. Mitchell saw nothing wrong and Kjaer had to put the ball out of play before the defender received any treatment. Mike replaced the injured McGuire with McAllister moving into the centre and Derek Young moving to full back.

Substitute Leon Mike almost made an immediate impact when he latched on to a pass back and lobbed both the keeper and the bar. Seconds later he had another opportunity, but his shot was deflected for a corner. After all the roughhouse treatment by the visitors, Anderson was booked in the 65th minute for a trip. Severin followed him into the book a minute later as Mr Mitchell made up for lost time. De Vries went close in the 70th minute when Derek Young was caught out going forward, but Kjaer got down low to save the shot.

Aberdeen's make-shift side were coping well with Hearts pressure and they took a deserved lead in the 72nd minute. Mackie broke on the right and Chris Clark flicked his cross into the path of D'Jaffo. The Frenchman made no mistake as he slid the ball in from close range. The Dons created more chances, but it was Hearts who equalised with a rather fortunate strike. The ball pinged about the Dons box like a pinball and fell at the feet of De Vries who had the simplest task of slotting it beyond Kjaer.

Scott Severin should have picked up a second yellow card for an over the top tackle in the 87th minute, but once more Mr. Mitchell kept his book in his pocket. Aberdeen could have won it in the 90th minute when Mike failed to control the ball and it fell to Mackie. He fired in a cross, which eluded Anderson's outstretched leg by inches. Mackie was injured in the process and failed to continue the match leaving the Dons with ten men. To their credit, they threw everything at Hearts, but couldn't find a way through.

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Kjaer, Deloumeaux (McAllister 9), Anderson, McGuire (Mike), McNaughton, Young (Tiernan 44), Clark, D'Jaffo, Bisconti, Young, Mackie.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:  Anderson (65).

Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet:  Niemi, Maybury, Severin, Pressley, McKenna, De Vries, Wales, Valois, Boyack, McMullan, Simmons.

Unused Subs: Weir for Wales (62), Janczyk for Simmons (78)

Bookings:  Simmons (43),   Severin (66)

Referee: Garry Mitchell

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