Aberdeen took to the road again for this evening's meeting with Hearts in the Development League. The competitive nature of the league is shown in the table with only six points separating the top seven teams. The Dons are currently sixth, just two points behind the Wee Jambos who occupy third spot. Greg Stewart played for the Young Dons who also had a trialist midfielder in the starting eleven. The game kicked off in mild, blustery conditions and the Dons created the first opening on 6 minutes when Danny Harvie delivered teasing cross from the left but the Hearts defence smothered the danger.
Good work from Greg Stewart sent Harvie down the line but the full back took a heavy touch and the opportunity was lost. Aberdeen were seeing plenty of the ball in the opening ten minutes but the final pass was lacking as they pushed forward. Zanatta forced a fine save from Rogers on 11 minutes but a minute later the Canadian was not to be denied when he was picked out in the box by Beith's cross and the winger fired home from 10 yards to make it 1-0 to the Wee Jambos.
Greg Stewart burst forward dangerously but was crowded out before being able to get a shot away as the Dons looked for a fast response. Hearts nearly went two up in the 21st minute when Morrison's superb cross was agonisingly just out of the reach of the inrushing Zanatta.
A superb ball forward from Toby Wells saw Harvie burst down the left before crossing to the far poet where Stewart was lurking. Unfortunately for Greg his first touch deserted him at the worst possible moment and Hearts were able to clear. The home side threatened again on 28 minutes as Zanatta play a neat 1-2 on the edge of the box before firing inches wide of the post. The home side were looking dangerous when they moved forward but the Dons defence were standing firm and protecting Danny Rogers. Morrison was proving to be a handful on the right-hand side but his crossing lacked the accuracy to trouble the Aberdeen rearguard.
Frank Ross was doing his best to spark the Dons attack into life but Hearts were solid in defence and in distinctly uncharitable mood. Seconds from the break a deep Ryan Harrington cross picked out Harvie but Mason made a superb save from the full back's powerful right foot shot.
A fairly even first period but Hearts lead courtesy of Zanatta's strike.
Neither side many any change at the interval.
It took Aberdeen only 53 seconds to draw level. A short corner routine saw Frank Ross burst into the area and although Mason made a great save from the midfielder Frank hooked the rebound into the net - his first league goal of the season. Ross was proving to be a real tormentor of the Wee Jambos defence and his cutback created an opening for our trialist midfield man but his powerful strike was well blocked.
Danny Harvie was booked on 53 minutes for a challenge on Hamilton. Two minutes later he was followed into the referee's black book by Beith after a clumsy tackle on Stewart. Hurricane Ophelia was determined to play her part in proceedings and several long balls were badly affected by the increasingly strong wind.
Play was becoming very scrappy with neither side dominating possession but a fine move from the Dons ended with Mason saving well from Harrington. Beith came close for Hearts as the game went into its final quarter but Greg Stewart then produced a flash of brilliance as he cut in from the left and left a posse of Hearts defenders in his wake before slamming the ball past Mason to give the Dons the lead.
Danny Rogers saved spectacularly from Beith's long range effort before Keena came on for Currie for Hearts. Ryan Harrington was booked on 73 minutes then Harvie was replaced by Ethan Ross. Although the Dons were in the lead, the game was still in the balance with Hearts looking dangerous when they moved forward. Goal scorer Zanatta came off after 80 minutes with McDonald coming on. Reid was cautioned after a foul on Frank Ross in the 83rd minute, just before Dangana took over from Bruce Anderson in the Dons attack. Greg Stewart was the game's fifth booking after a midfield clash before Dean Campbell sealed Aberdeen's victory. The 16 year-old skipper picked a loose ball thirty yards out took a couple of steps forward before unleashing a ferocious left foot shot high into the net. A wonderful hit from young Deano!
Chris Antoniazzi replaced Greg Stewart for the final few seconds of the game but had little chance to make an impression.
A really good second half from Aberdeen who richly deserved their win.