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Aberdeen 0 - 0 Heart of Midlothian

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Heart of Midlothian

Scottish Premiership

13/08/2016 | KO: 15:00

Stalemate at Pittodrie Against Stubborn Jambos

Derek McInnes made three changes to the team that beat Ayr United at Somerset Park on Wednesday night, Peter Pawlett, Ash Taylor and Jayden Stockley started in place of Andrew Considine, Kenny McLean and Adam Rooney. The manager was looking to rotate the squad after what had been a hectic schedule of summer football for the Dons, with four games played in nine days.

Aberdeen were the first to threaten in the match with Peter Pawlett closing down the ball to force a throw in. He got the ball back from the restart and put a brilliant ball into the box for the towering Jayden Stockley, but the striker couldn't get enough power behind his header.

The Dons played at a high tempo in the first 20 minutes and looked really good.

Pawlett looked like he had a point to prove and moments later he made a surging run at the Hearts defence. Peter used his pace to take the ball past the defence, managing to win a corner. Anthony O'Connor found himself unmarked after the delivery but was too far away from goal to trouble Hamilton in the Hearts goal.

Minutes later Niall McGinn used his trickery to skin Souttar, his shot was deflected out for a corner which came to nothing. After playing so many game in such a short space of time the Dons looked sharp and the pace of Burns, Pawlett and McGinn looked to be causing all sorts of problems in the Jam Tarts back line.

Wes Burns was another man looking to make an impact having been so unlucky not to get on the scoresheet in the midweek game against Ayr United. McGinn put a lovely ball into the box, and there was Burns who rose tallest hitting the crossbar with his header. Despite the referee blowing for a foul the Dons were edging closer to the first goal.

As for Hearts, they were happy to sit back and try and use the pace of Watt to hit on the break. The Edinburgh were slowly coming more into the game.

Tempers appeared to be running high with the visitors racking up the bookings. Tony Watt got himself into Kevin Clancy's book for persistent fouling and he was joined by Faycal Rherras who kicked the ball away in frustration after giving away a free kick. Derek McInnes' half time team talk would have been "more of the same" for his players with key Hearts players having to play on the side of caution.

Hearts were shouting for a penalty after Sam Nicholson went down in the box claiming to have been tripped by Shay Logan. It looked a perfectly timed tackle. Referee Kevin Clancy was unmoved by the protests from the Hearts players and manager Robbie Neilson.

As the first half drew to a close Niall McGinn was given one final chance to open the scoring when his free kick from 30 yards out went over the bar.


Hearts made two changes at the start of the second half with Buaben and Rherras coming off for Kitchen and Smith. Immediately the Gorgie side looked to get themselves in front when Tony Watt was unlucky not to get a shot on target after being laid off in the box. The composed figure of Anthony O'Connor kept out the danger with a nice block and clearance. O'Connor was excellent throughout and was the pick of the Dons players this afternoon.

O'Connor had to be alert again minutes later when Tony Watt wriggled past Ash Taylor. The Irishman made yet another strong challenge to keep Joe Lewis from having to make a save. It was a brilliant tackle.

The Dons tried out a training ground free kick on 60 minutes when the ball was laid off for Shay Logan wide on the right hand side. His driven cross frustrating missed everybody with O'Connor coming in at the back post.
An hour into the match and it was Aberdeen's turn to make a double change. Kenny McLean and Adam Rooney came on for Wes Burns and Jayden Stockley. Both players had given good performances and the Red Army showed their appreciation. Both changes saw the strength and depth of Derek McInnes' squad as a both McLean and Rooney would cause new problems for Hearts.

The Dons knocked on the door once more when a breakaway move gave Shinnie the chance to cut the ball back from deep. His cross got stuck under the body of Rossi giving Hearts the chance to clear the ball.
The second half was a more even contest as the Dons could not keep the high tempo going.

After 70 minutes both teams made their final substitution. For Hearts, Sam Nicholson came off for Robbie Muirhead. For Aberdeen it was time for the introduction of Miles Storey who replaced Peter Pawlett. Both managers feeling the game was there to be won, with neither team fancying just the one point.

Both teams put themselves about as the game became stretched and as the tackles flew in. While the first half saw the Dons put some good crosses into the penalty box, there was a lack of quality with the deliveries in the second half as fatigue seemed to be a problem for the squad. While the Dons have had a promising start to the season they have not had much chance to catch their breath.

With five minutes to go it looked like the points would be heading back to Tynecastle when Tony Watt got hold of the ball in the box after being found by Sammon. The striker should good feet to create space for the shot and he had the whole goal in front of him. However he just couldn't get his body in the right position and as a result put the ball into the Merkland End. A let off for The Dons.

The full time whistle was met with a bit of frustration and Hearts will be the happier of the two teams having been under pressure for a lot of the game. However, the Dons can take plenty of positives away from the game such as another clean sheet and an excellent defensive display.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Lewis, Logan, Taylor, Reynolds, O'Connor, Shinnie, Burns (McLean 57), Pawlett (Storey 72), Jack, McGinn, Stockley (Rooney 57).

Unused Subs: Considine, Storie, Wright, Alexander.

Bookings:  Shinnie (44),  Pawlett (50).
Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet
01.Jack Hamilton, 02.Callum Paterson, 03.Faycal Rherras (24.Liam Smith 46), 04.Igor Rossi, 14.John Souttar, 08.Prince Buaben Abankwah (06.Perry Kitchen 46), 10.Arnaud Sutchuin-Djoum, 11.Sam Nicholson (23.Robbie Muirhead 72), 15.Don Cowie, 18.Conor Sammon, 32.Tony Watt. Unused Subs: 05.Alim Ozturk, 13.Viktor Noring, 19.Krystian Nowak, 26.Dario Zanatta.

Bookings:  32.Tony Watt (31),   03.Faycal Rherras (37),   08.Prince Buaben Abankwah (43),   10.Arnaud Sutchuin-Djoum (53),   04.Igor Rossi (78).
Attendance: 13,559
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Kevin Clancy
Next Match
23 Jul 2024 / 19:45 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen