Aberdeen exited the Scottish Cup at Tynecastle. The Dons got off to a terrible start when they allowed Paterson to head home from close range in the opening minutes. They never got going in the first half and were fortune only to be a goal behind at the break. In the second half Aberdeen did improve and had periods of pressure. In a match with very few chances at either end, Andrew Considine missed a great opportunity to put the game to a replay. Also, on another day Adam Rooney might have had a penalty for being hauled down inside the area but in truth it was too little too late and the home side deserved to go through to the next round.
Please note the Scottish Cup broadcast restrictions are slightly different to the league as the competition is run by the SFA. Normal SPFL rules do not apply therefore the full match replay will be available in the UK & Ireland from midday on Monday.
This season saw a popular return to the top flight teams entering the Scottish Cup at the more traditional time of January but thanks to the luck of the draw The Dons had a tough task ahead of them to keep their Scottish Cup ambitions alive after being handed a trip to Tynecastle to face Hearts.
For the neutrals this match was definitely the pick of the ties but there is no doubt that both teams would have preferred 'weaker' opposition at this stage of the competition.
The Dons had the upper hand over Hearts though winning both league clashes including a magnificent 3-1 victory in Edinburgh. Derek McInnes and his Aberdeen players would have had their sights set on producing a similar performance and result in front of the 3,500 strong travelling support.
Aberdeen set out with one change to the side that started the match against Partick Thistle at Pittodrie. Ryan Jack missed out due to an injury sustained in that match with Considine taking his place in the starting line-up.
The change meant that Considine started on the left side of a back four with Taylor, Reynolds and Logan in front of Ward. In Jack's absence Shinnie took the skipper's place in midfield alongside Flood with McLean, Hayes and McGinn looking to create the opportunities for Rooney up front.
The home side made three changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Kilmarnock in their previos fixture. Oshaniwa, King and Juanma dropped to the bench with Ozturk, Pallardo and Sow replacing them.
It wasn't a sell-out at Tynecastle but there was still a terrific atmosphere as the teams took to the pitch. The first corner of the match went to the home side as Reynolds turned the ball behind under pressure from Sow. Nicholson floated the cross to the back post and Ozturk headed the ball towards goal for Paterson to turn it past Ward after just 2 minutes. It was a nightmare start for The Dons.
The early pressure belonged to the home side and in the 7th minute it was another cross ball that looked to have undone Aberdeen. Nicholson got up at the back post to beat Logan and head the ball back across goal but Reynolds was in the right position to snub out the danger.
Just a couple of minutes later Reynolds picked up a booking for a foul on Sow 25 yards from goal. The free-kick was teed up for Sow and his deflected strike fell to Djoum, the midfielder's strike was deflected behind for a corner.
The corner was not cleared by Aberdeen with McLean's sliced clearance bouncing in the 18 yard box. Hearts poked the ball towards goal and just when Ward appeared to have it under control Augustyn had a chance which he turned just wide of the post. It was a tough start for The Dons and the home side didn't show any signs of making things any easier.
The Dons had went to three at the back with Shinnie now operating as left wing back and in the 17th minute they had their first real drive into opposition territory thanks to a great run from Shinnie. Pallardo stopped his progress just outside the area and earned a booking for the challenge. McGinn stepped up to take the free-kick but it was straight at Alexander.
The tactical change provided an improvement in Aberdeen's fortunes as they enjoyed some possession and quietened down the home support. McLean and Flood were able to get some touches and it looked as if some joy could be found down the left with Shinnie.
The next corner went to the home side and after some wrestling in the area Augustyn headed the ball wide of the near post. Nicholson was next to test Ward with a powerful strike from outside the area just before the half hour mark.
There had been improvement from The Dons on the opening stages but the forward players were still sparsely involved. On another day Rooney may have won a couple of free-kick's but the referee seemed keen to let play go as much as possible.
In the 33rd minute a succession of corners started for the home side. Kenny McLean had to be sharp to clear a header from Augustyn which seemed to be destined for the back of the net. The home side were proving very difficult to deal with from set-pieces making their height advantage count.
In the 37th minute there was a setback for Derek McInnes as Flood had to leave the field with an injury. The injury presented a chance for Peter Pawlett to make an impact.
The home side picked up another corner with 5 minutes of the first half remaining. On this occasion there was a clear push in the area but no foul was given. The Dons managed to clear but it wasn't long before there was another corner which was again cleared.
John Beaton appeared happy to let things go in the box which made for plenty of goalmouth excitement but made things even more difficult for The Dons. The challenge for Aberdeen was to make the most of this approach in the Hearts area but chances were limited.
In the 43rd minute the referee did race into action to show a yellow card to Rooney and Rossi for an off the ball incident when a word in their ear would have been sufficient. The referee was perhaps influenced by the home support but it looked like a situation created out of nothing.
At half-time it was Hearts who held a deserved one goal lead.
As the teams emerged for the second half there were no changes in personnel but The Dons had returned to four at the back. In the 47th minute Pawlett earned a free-kick after a burst of pace in the Hearts half. The delivery was headed up in the air and Alexander collected the ball calmly. Up the other end Reilly got into a good area but his cross was cut out at the near post.
In the 53rd minute Nicholson won a free-kick on the edge of the area. Ozturk struck the ball towards goal but it was straight at Ward. The Dons countered and after Hayes found Considine he directed the ball across goal towards Rooney. The striker hit the deck and was claiming that his shirt was pulled, nothing given and the ball would not fall for McGinn or Pawlett.
No penalty given but The Dons looked to have been lifted and were fighting to get their way back into the match.
In the 58th minute McGinn had a chance to deliver with a free-kick which he placed right on top of Alexander, the keeper punched the ball but the linesman had his flag up for offside which relieved any pressure.
It took seven minutes for the next opportunity for either side, probably the longest period in the match. Some slack defending from Hearts allowed Rooney to find an opening in the left channel but his low strike was comfortable for Alexander to save at his near post when white shirts were queuing up to pick up on any rebounds.
The Dons had a glorious chance in the 67th minute when Hayes drove into the box and hit a shot towards goal. He didn't make contact as he would have liked but the ball fell to Considine just yards from goal and his connection sent the ball wide of the post, an agonising miss.
Hearts made a counter-attack of their own when a short pass from Considine presented an opportunity to get the ball into Sow. The striker was one-on-one with Taylor in the box and managed to get a strike away but Ward was there to save.
In the 70th minute Goodwillie replaced Considine as The Dons looked to step up their search for an equaliser. The next chance fell to Sow as he once again found space in the box and got a strike away on his left foot, this time the ball flashed across the six yard box and wide of the far post.
Hearts were on the up again but The Dons had a corner. From the corner Sow broke away and Ward had to be off his line at pace to reach the ball 30 yards from goal before Reilly. It was an excellent piece of goalkeeping.
With just over ten minutes of normal time remaining Pawlett won a free-kick once again 30 yards from goal. It looked too narrow to cross and McLean opted to hit a strike towards goal which Alexander gathered.
McGinn got to the byline and clipped a ball up to the back post but the Hearts backline got to the first ball, Rooney headed the second ball towards goal but there was no one around to give it the touch it needed to beat Alexander.
With 3 minutes remaining Aberdeen were presented with a free-kick 25 yards from goal. McLean's strike hit the wall this time and McGinn's volley ended up wide of the post. At this stage it was a case of hoping that The Dons would have one final opportunity before the game was up. The second half performance had been better but it needed a goal.
A long ball fell towards McGinn at the back post and he connected with a volley well but Alexander did enough to keep it out although he couldn't collect it. In the aftermath Pawlett picked up a booking in a desperate attempt keep the pressure on.
As the game entered four minutes of stoppage time Goodwillie won a corner. Reynolds won the ball at the back post but Taylor couldn't direct the second ball past Alexander.
The tension was building as another opportunity fell for The Dons to put the ball in the box. Ward contested the cross ball but in desperation a foul was committed from Logan which looked to be the final act of the match.
Still there was more drama as Ward raced up the pitch for another corner.
Every Aberdeen player was in the area but it did not make a difference as Hearts cleared the ball and John Beaton signalled the end of the match.