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Heart of Midlothian 2 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: Heart of Midlothian 2 - 0 Aberdeen

Scottish Premiership

07/04/2018 | KO: 15:00

Dons capital punishment

Aberdeen made their first ever trip to the new look Tynecastle. One change for the Dons this afternoon with Niall McGinn coming in for Kari Arnason. The game kicked off in perfect conditions and on a good looking surface.

After a slow start from both teams, Aberdeen very nearly gifted the home side the lead. Andrew Considine had failed to see Milinkovic drift in behind him. Lewis came out of his area to recover the situation but kicked the ball straight to Cowie. Hearts then worked the ball to Lafferty on the left of the area but thankfully for the Dons his shot drifted over the bar. With the keeper out of position he really should have scored. A minute later May picked the ball up inside the area and he had plenty of space to look for a team mate, but he completely miskicked and it went out for a goal kick.
On eight minutes a McGinn free kick from the left was brilliantly curled into the area and met by the head of Considine. His glancing header beat McLaughlin who did not move but the ball agonisingly rebounded off the far post. Andy was really unlucky. After 13 minutes McGinn sprayed the ball wide to Logan. His marker slipped which invited Shay to shoot, his effort was on target but comfortable for McLaughlin. A fairly even first 15 minutes and Aberdeen had settled well.
But then on 18 minutes Hearts took the lead. From a free kick the ball was well worked down the left. The ball fell slightly fortuitously into the path of Steven Naismith who had got the wrong side of Stewart. The Scotland international had space inside the area and the striker calmly stepped inside a defender before beating Lewis.
Things were about to get a whole lot worse.
A couple of minutes later a misplaced pass by O?Connor allowed Hearts to gain possession in a dangerous area. Lafferty tried an effort from distance and the block from McKenna fell kindly for Milinkovic who put the ball under Lewis and O?Connor trying to get back could not stop the ball going over the line.
Both goals were very avoidable from an Aberdeen point of view. From looking comfortable they suddenly found themselves 2-0 down and with a mountain to climb. On 25 minutes Naismith was booked for a late tackle on McKenna. Aberdeen were trying to get a foothold in the game but with the Edinburgh side happy to sit in, they were looking very solid at the back. McLean was seeing plenty of the ball but he was forced very deep and his long balls were being easily dealt with by Souttar, Berra and Hughes. After half an hour a long free kick was headed on by Berra but Lewis at full strength was able to grab the ball from under his cross bar.
On 32 minutes Naismith was spoken to for dissent and then referee Beaton booked Considine for a late tackle. In the 40th minute Christie gave away a free kick about 25 yards out. A training ground routine saw the ball played low to Berra and his cross produced a good block from McKenna, resulting in the first corner of the afternoon which Lewis grabbed. Somehow Cowie was not booked for taking out McGinn. Niall then put over another good free kick which fell to Shinnie on the edge of the area. The shot from the captain deflected back to McGinn who drifted in off the touchline but his ambitious first time effort was well off target.
On the stroke of half time good skill from Christie who beat a couple of players as he made his way along the by-line. He tried to beat one player too many and was eventually crowded out and the chance was lost. Christie then had a shooting chance but the referee blew for half time.
A very sloppy first 45 minutes with a lot of misplaced passes.

Half time: Heart of Midlothian 2 Aberdeen 0

During the interval Kari Arnason replaced Greg Stewart with Anthony O?Connor moving into the middle of the park. The Icelandic defender made a good block at the near post as Milinkovic tried to get on the end of a low cross from the right. By now the rain had started falling which left a slick surface but it was the home side who were benefitting as they were passing the ball about with confidence. On 57 minutes Lafferty from a tight angle flashed in a shot which was tipped over by Lewis. On the hour mark Niall McGinn was replaced by Gary Mackay-Steven. Then a couple of minutes after that Christie was yellow carded for a foul on Cowie. Aberdeen were needing a spark from somewhere, but you could not see where it was coming from.
Hearts continued to press the Dons midfield extremely well and they could not get anything going in the final third. On 65 minutes GMS got the better of Naismith and was able to run into the area but his low shot from an angle was straight at McLaughlin. At least it gave the 1,768 Aberdeen fans some encouragement.
On 70 minutes Milinkovic was replaced by Amankwaa. Also Ryan Christie came off for Adam Rooney. A minute later a fine McLean pass found Shinnie down the line. The skipper played an early ball over to GMS who had another opening, but he dragged his low shot across the goal and past the post. Both May and Rooney were well positioned inside the area, so a good chance was wasted. With just over 10 minutes to go Lewis got down well to block a Lafferty effort with his left leg.
Then Aberdeen missed a golden chance to get to life-line. A patient build-up eventually resulted in a Logan cross to the back post picking out Considine. His knock down found Rooney but the striker saw his effort at the near post rebound off the bar. With four minutes to go Cowie was replaced by Cochrane. Aberdeen huffed and puffed a bit in the closing stages but never looked like getting a consolation.
Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet
McLaughlin, Smith, Souttar, Hughes, Berra (C), Lafferty, Milinkovic (Amankwaa 71), Naismith, Cowie (Cochrane 89), Randall Godinho

Bookings:  Naismith 26
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Lewis, Logan, Shinnie, Considine, O'Connor, McLean, Stewart (Arnason 45), McGinn (Mackay-Steven 61), McKenna, Christie (Rooney 71), May.

Bookings:  Considine (35),  Christie (63).
Attendance: 18,046
Venue: Tynecastle, Edinburgh
Referee: John Beaton
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead