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AFC - Match Report
match report 2004-05 fixture list
Aberdeen 0 - 1 Heart of Midlothian
Kick Off:  3:00 PM         Hartley (60)  
Attendance: 13,055 (Visitors: 915)
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Ten man Dons sunk by Hearts spot kick.
Aberdeen were mugged by Hearts this afternoon in a scrappy match that had little skill on display and turned on a penalty award and sending off on the hour mark. So the poor Pittodrie form continues as Hearts leapfrog the Dons into third place courtesy of a better goal difference. The match was turned on its head when McNaughton stopped a Hearts effort with his hand. Despite a general consensus that he had handled the ball in the net he was dismissed and after several minutes of confusion a penalty was awarded and Hartley stepped up to fire low past Preece. Aberdeen showed more appetite for the fight after this but the closest they came was a fierce McGuire drive that crashed off the post with the keeper beaten.

Hearts kicked off towards the King Street end but neither side could carve out any openings in a scrappy opening ten minutes. Aberdeen appeared happy to let Hearts come at them in the early stages and utilise the pace of Mackie on the break. The home side did put Hearts under sustained pressure in the 10th minute before the visitors broke, through Hartley and it took a well-timed challenge by Phil McGuire to clear the danger. A couple of corner kicks by Hearts were dealt with comfortably by Aberdeen before Stamp was lucky to escape a yellow card following a late challenge on Clark.

Severin was harshly penalised in the 16th minute and Hartley almost punished the Dons when his 30-yard free kick crashed off the upright with Preece beaten. A minute later Pereira headed wide as Aberdeen were forced on to the back foot. Aberdeen should have done better in the 19th minute when Adams got in behind the Hearts defence and found Chris Clark at the far post. The winger failed to make decent contact and the ball was scrambled clear. Three minutes later their was loud appeals for a spot kick as bodies went flying in the Hearts box before the ball was punted clear as the Dons forced their way back into the match.

Aberdeen won their first corner in the 24th minute but the delivery was too deep and the ball was easily cleared. Two minutes later Tosh drilled the ball well wide from 20 yards as both teams continued to cancel each other out. A Phil Stamp header failed to test Preece in the 31st minute and four minutes later the same player drove wide of the target. Clark and Whelan linked well in the 36th minute but the visitors were able to tidy up and Hearts almost broke the deadlock four minutes later when McKenna scooped the ball over the bar with the Dons defence in disarray. Then with two minutes remaining Diamond was the hero as he headed clear after Neilson worked his way behind the Dons defence. In the closing seconds Preece and Diamond left a Hartley cross for each other and were lucky that Hearts did not capitalise.

In the 47th minute Whelan out jumped Pressley to knock the ball across goal but there were no takers and seconds later Pressley needlessly nudged Mackie inside the box but went unpunished with neither player in any danger of winning the ball. Two minutes later Stamp collected the first yellow of the match for a trip on McNaughton and Kisnorbo followed six minutes later for a late challenge on Clark. The game then burst into life on the hour mark as Hearts were awarded a spot kick and Kevin McNaughton was ordered off. McNaughton handled a Pereira header on the line and was dismissed and somehow Pereira managed to get himself booked as well as the game threatened to spill over. Hartley stayed cool however and fired his shot low past Preece to leave the Dons with an uphill struggle.

The whole incident had come about when Anderson had made a great telling tackle on Pereira that looked to have clearly come off the Hearts man. Aberdeen rolled their sleeves up and in 65 minutes Stewart and Foster replaced Tosh and Adams and within a minute they had hit the woodwork. McGuire hit a clean strike from 20 yards that beat Gordon and smashed off the same post that Hartley hit in the first half. Mackie was first to react and fired the rebound into the side netting. Mackie was then booked in th e68th minute for a challenge on Webster. After looking as though he should be stretchered from the park the Hearts defender was up on his feet as soon as Mackie was booked much to the displeasure of the red army..

Anderson was booked two minutes later for persistent fouling then in the 73rd Minute Pressley almost turned the ball into his own net and from the resulting corner McGuire headed inches wide. Stamp was again lucky to avoid a caution in the78th minute for deliberately kicking the ball away. A minute later Mackie was unlucky not to connect with a deep cross as he beat the offside trap. Ten-man Aberdeen were showing more appetite now as they looked for an equaliser while Hearts seemed happy to waste time. Stamp again avoided caution for a deliberate dive in the 87th minute and John Robertson substituted him before he walked.

Despite a lengthy stoppage at the penalty incident, five substitutions and several stoppages for injury only three minutes of injury time were found. The game slipped away from Aberdeen and after hitting the woodwork the Dons never really looked like scoring with the handicap of the ten men. This means that both Edinburgh clubs have now come to Pittodrie and found one goal enough to take all three points.

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Preece, McNaughton, McGuire, Severin, Anderson, Diamond, Tosh (Stewart 65), Adams (Foster 65), Whelan, Mackie, Clark.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:  Red Army (68),  Anderson (70),  McNaughton (59).

Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet:  Gordon, Maybury, Neilson, Pressley, Kisnorbo, Webster, Hartley, Stamp, Pereira, McKenna, McAllister.

Unused Subs: Weir for Pereira (60), Hammill for McAllister (77), McFarlane for Stamp (88)

Bookings:  Stamp (49),   Kisnorbo (55),   Pereira (59),   Neilson (83)

Referee: Stuart Dougal, Burnside

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