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AFC - Match Report
match report 2003-04 fixture list
Heart of Midlothian 1 - 0 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  7:45 PM   Pressley (81 pen)        
Attendance: 11,236
Venue: Tynecastle, Edinburgh
Spot of bother for dons
Aberdeen lost out to a Pressley spot kick at Tynecastle despite a good second half performance. The Dons were totally outplayed for the opening 25 minutes before easing themselves back into the match. In the second half we witnessed a completely different performance with Hinds going closest. Unfortunately as the Dons looked the more likely Hearts won a penalty in the 81st minute when Diamond tripped de Vries. Pressley stepped up to grab all three points as the Dons paid for a lack of sharpness up front.

The Dons kicked off, but were under pressure as soon as possession was lost. The opening minute saw a half hearted penalty claim from the home side when Wyness took a tumble. The first corner of the match followed this as McNaughton over hit a pass back to Preece. Fortunately the Dons were able to clear following a second corner kick. The Dons first sniff at goal was a weak Hinds effort in the fourth minute after Clark had set the striker up.

Hearts held the upper hand at this stage of the match and they made a strong start as they tried to make amends for their poor cup performance at the weekend. The pressure almost paid off in the 11th minute when de Vries got on the end of a Hamill cross. The striker headed the ball down firmly and watched in agony as it bounced over the keeper and the bar with the Dons defence looking static. The pressure was unrelenting and Anderson had to look lively in the 14th minute as he conceded a corner to deny de Vries.

A minute later Preece was down quickly to deny the troublesome de Vries again. The one-way traffic continued as Aberdeen struggled to retain the ball, but the Dons did get forward in the 22nd minute when Sheerin made a good run. He ended up on the deck at the end of the move, but any penalty claim would have been very optimistic. In the 25th minute the Dons won a free kick and Morrison whipped in a good cross, but Gordon was out quickly to deny Anderson an attempt at goal. The Dons had weathered the early storm and were now easing their way into the match.

Aberdeen won their first two corners of the match in the 32nd minute, but were crowded out allowing de Vries to break. Fortunately Diamond got back to deny the Hearts striker. The Dons were back up the field a minute later to win their third corner, which Hearts dealt with comfortably. With four minutes of the half remaining Zdrilic almost grabbed a goal when Gordon rushed from his goal and hit the ball off the Aussie. Luckily for the Hearts keeper the ball rolled wide of the target.

Hearts then had a strong penalty claim a minute later as McNaughton clashed with Hartley. Mr. Dougal indicated that McNaughton had played the ball first and turned appeals aside. This seemed to spark the game into life and Clark forced a save from Gordon before Hearts raced up field and Stamp went close with his effort. Then in the second minute of the one-minute of injury time Hearts won a free kick on the edge of the box, but Preece made a comfortable stop from Stamp's effort.

The second half started at 100 miles an hour and in the 48th minute Hearts strung together some good play before de Vries fired wildly over. A minute later Muirhead and Morrison combined well to win the first corner of the half. Unfortunately the delivery was poor and the danger was easily cleared. In the 52nd minute de Vries went close again as he combined well with Wyness after a quick break from an Aberdeen attack.

Then in the 55th minute Aberdeen broke quickly when Sheerin released Hinds and the striker beat Kisnorbo before firing inches wide of the goal with Gordon beaten. With Zander Diamond off the pitch receiving treatment in the 59th minute Mark de Vries earned a 5.9 for a dive inside the Dons box. Mr. Dougal was again unimpressed, but surprisingly didn't book the striker. With the Dons back to eleven men they won a free kick in the Hearts half, which ended with a weak Anderson effort, which Gordon saved easily. In the 64th minute Heikkinen and McNaughton got in a mix up before the Fin fired an effort wide of the target.

A minute later Preece was down quickly to save a fierce Kisnorbo drive. In the 68th minute Hinds did well to keep the ball in play and set up his striking partner. Zdrilic was eventually crowded out and the ball cleared. Following a poor Hearts free kick Aberdeen broke again and efforts from Sheerin and Zdrilic put the home side under pressure. The Dons were certainly enjoying the lions share of the game at this stage, but like the home side earlier they were unable to score when in the ascendancy.

Just as Aberdeen looked to be taking control they were hit by a sucker punch when Hearts won a penalty in the 81st minute when Diamond tripped de Vries. Pressley stepped up and fired the ball past Preece to give the home side a lead they barely deserved. With five minutes remaining the Dons won a free kick when Pressley cynically fouled Hinds. Just when the Dons needed a decent delivery Morrison failed to find his colleagues and the chance and the points were gone.

Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet:  Gordon, Maybury, Pressley, Webster, Stamp, de Vries, Hamill, Wyness, Hartley, Kisnorbo, Sloan.

Unused Subs: Nielson for Maybury (46), Kirk for Hamill (66), MacFarlane for Wyness (72)


Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Preece, McNaughton, Morrison, Heikkinen (Foster 89), Anderson, Diamond, Sheerin, Muirhead, Zdrilic, Hinds (Prunty 86), Clark.

Unused Subs:


Referee: Stuart Dougal, Burnside

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