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AFC - Match Report
match report 2003-04 fixture list
Aberdeen 0 - 1 Heart of Midlothian
Kick Off:  4:00 PM         Tosh o.g. 13  
Attendance: 9,687 (Visitors: 940)
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
nine man Dons lose the fight
Aberdeen suffered another home defeat at Pittodrie but no one could accuse them of lack of effort in this ill-tempered affair. The Dons ended the match with only nine men and handful of yellow cards after an erratic display by referee Thomson. The goal that did the damage arrived in the 13th minute when Tosh helped a McKenna header into the net. The second half was littered with stoppages as both Zdrilic and Tosh were ordered off. It was Aberdeen who created the best chances of adding to the scoreline, but it wasn't to be their day. The only jeering heard at the end of the game was reserved for the officials.

Hearts kicked off towards the King Street end of the ground, but it was Aberdeen who forced the first corner of the match after two minutes. The chance came to nothing but the Dons were looking positive at this early stage. There were loud appeals from Aberdeen for a spot kick in the 6th minute but the award would have been harsh. Up to this stage Hearts had only managed a weak De Vries header, which Preece held comfortably.

Preece had to work harder five minutes later when he pulled off a fine block from the same player. The visitors grabbed the lead in the 13th minute with a messy goal. A Hartley corner was swung in and McKenna headed goalwards where Tosh helped the ball in to the net. Zdrilic had a chance to hit back a minute later but drilled his effort over the bar. Referee Craig Thomson wasn't endearing himself to the home support as the fifty/fifty decisions invariably favoured the visitors.

McNaughton was replaced by Morrison after 24 minutes and a minute later Muirhead almost gifted Hearts a second as he failed to clear his lines and instead played the ball back into the danger area forcing Preece to save from Kirk. At the other end Hearts were coping comfortably with the Dons threat. In the 31st minute Morrison played an excellent ball down the flanks for Booth to chase. The striker forced a corner and from the resulting set play a melee ensued after Anderson had challenged the keeper for the ball. The Dons captain earned a yellow card for his troubles.

Aberdeen had their best chance of the half in the 34th minute as Booth broke and delivered a deep cross that Zdrilic headed on to the cross bar. Tosh followed up but failed to control the ball and missed the target. Two minutes later Diamond denied Wyness with an important block. With five minutes remaining Deloumeaux tested Gordon from distance, but the keeper held the ball comfortably. The half ended with Aberdeen laying siege to the visitors' goal.

Aberdeen had an early opportunity when Booth broke in the opening minute and found Tosh in the centre. Unfortunately the midfield man couldn't steer the ball on target. At the other end Preece was alert to a snap shot. In the 54th minute Hearts committed their umpteenth foul, which once again went unpunished apart from Scott Booth who was booked for commenting on the fact. Tosh followed him into the book two minutes later for a similar offence.

On the hour mark Maybury went in for some 'afters' after a heavy challenge on Booth. The linesman saw the whole incident yet failed to offer any assistance to the referee and the Hearts man escaped with a finger wagging much to the disgust of the home crowd. In the 67th minute Deloumeaux joined his teammates in the referee's book and two minutes later an off the ball incident saw Zdrilic receive a second yellow card with Maybury finally receiving his first.

Aberdeen were shaken into life after this and Anderson went close in the 74th minute when his header was deflected wide of the target. Steve Tosh was then given a second yellow card in the 78th minute and followed Zdrilic down the tunnel as the game threatened to boil over. In the 81st minutes the nine man Dons were denied a stonewall penalty when De Vries practically pulled the shirt from Anderson inside the area. Mr Thomson saw nothing but spotted a similar infringement by Mackie two minutes later.

Aberdeen ended the match on a high as Hearts desperately defended their narrow lead with Anderson going closest as he played the captain's role. In the dying minutes Anderson took a bad knock as he put his head in where it hurts. The game was stopped when the ball went out for a throw-in yet referee Thomson restarted with a bounce up. Despite all their efforts Aberdeen were unable to make the breakthrough and another three points headed south.

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Preece, Rutkiewicz, Anderson, Muirhead, Diamond, McNaughton (Morrison), Tosh, Deloumeaux (Sheerin), Booth (Mackie), Zdrilic, Heikkinen.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:  Anderson (32),  Zdrilic (42),  Booth (54),  Tosh (56),  Deloumeaux (67),  Zdrilic (69),  Tosh (78),  Zdrilic (69),  Tosh (78).

Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet:  Gordon, Maybury, McCann, Severin, Pressley, Webster, Kirk, De Vries, Wyness, Hartley, McKenna.

Unused Subs: Stamp for Wyness (73), McFarlane for Hartley (77), Valois for McKenna (88)

Bookings:  Maybury (69),   Webster (89)

Referee: Craig Thomson, Paisley

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