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Heart of Midlothian 1 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Heart of Midlothian 0 - 0 Aberdeen

Scottish Premiership
Heart of Midlothian scorers: Boyce 56 (pen)
Aberdeen scorers: Ojo 71.

22/08/2021 | KO: 15:00

Fabulous Funso finish earns deserved point

Funso Ojo's first goal for the Dons earned Aberdeen a draw at Tynecastle, maintaining the unbeaten start to the league season, a strong second half perhaps deserving that little bit more.

There were three changes for Aberdeen after the long trip home from Baku and their UEFA Conference League play-off first leg on Thursday.

In came Connor McLennan, Teddy Jenks and Jonny Hayes. Jay Emmuanel-Thomas dropped to the bench, the injured Andrew Considine and Jack MacKenzie missing from the matchday squad altogether.

Having won their first two league games ? like the Dons ? Hearts make one change from the side beaten 3-2 by Celtic in the League Cup last weekend, Stephen Kingsley replaced by Josh Ginnelly.

It was a bright, warm afternoon in Gorgie and the Dons, opening with a 4-1-4-1 formation, started with a good tempo, pressing the home side high up the pitch from the outset. A few early errors crept in though, McLennan, Calvin Ramsay and Declan Gallagher all giving the ball away with loose touches. Hearts were looking to go direct at every opportunity, long balls over the top trying to get Boyce and Mackay-Steven on the chase.

Some beautiful football from the Dons on 16 minutes opened the home side up, Jenks darting out of defence, exchanging passes with Funso Ojo before finding Lewis Ferguson. His first time ball was perfectly into the path of Christian Ramirez beyond the Hearts defenders, Gordon doing well to stand up and save from the American's stab at goal from the edge of the box. As Hearts tried to respond, Hayes was booked for a foul on halfway.

Joe Lewis had to be sharp on 25 minutes, Ginnelly's cross taking an awkward deflection off Hayes, Lewis scrambling to his near post to put the ball behind. Aberdeen eventually got the corner clear after some ugly moments in the box. On the break, Ferguson was hacked down by Haring, the Hearts man somehow not booked for his transgression.

Moments later, Ginnelly jumped into Hayes, the human piƱata, but no card again. That summed up the first half hour of the game, breathless, ferocious stuff but with chances few and far between.

McLennan was onto a through ball on 38 minutes but quickly pulled up, clutching the back of his right leg. He was replaced by Emmanuel-Thomas after a couple of minutes of treatment.

A feisty, scrappy first 45 minutes, high on endeavour, a little bit shorter on quality, came to a close with Hearts winning a corner in added time, the move coming to nothing with Souttar caught offside.


Dean Campbell got his first action of the season, introduced at the break in place of Hayes, slotting in at left-back. Ginnelly made the half's first contribution, a low 25 yarder comfortably held low down by Lewis on 47 minutes. Halliday then became the first Hearts man to get booked, bundling Jenks over, nothing like as bad a foul as some of those we saw in the first period.

Mackay-Steven should have had his side in front on 52 minutes. Brown miscued a clearance 30 feet in the air. Under pressure, Lewis dropped his attempted catch, the loose ball then helped onto Mackay-Steven by Baningime, but with the goal gaping, he dribbled his shot across goal and wide. Aberdeen reacted quickly, Emmanuel-Thomas fizzing a cross through the six-yard box, Ramirez inches away from getting the converting touch at the back post.

On 55, Gallagher came across to clear up on the edge of the box, Mackay-Steven getting there just in front of him, the defender clipping him as he went for the ball, referee Madden pointing to the spot. Boyce stepped up and drilled the ball into the back of the net to give the home side the advantage.

The Dons responded, a neat dummy by Emmanuel-Thomas getting Ramsay away on the right, his cross cleared behind on 65 minutes. Hearts were back on the attack from there, Ross McCrorie getting a vital header on a teasing cross from Boyce.

The Dons were deservedly level on 72 minutes, a brilliant, instinctive finish from Funso Ojo at the near post to flick the ball past Gordon after Campbell drilled in a low cross from the left. Earlier in the move, Emmanuel-Thomas had combined well with Ramirez who fired a vicious cross through the six-yard box which eluded everyone until Campbell collected it and put it back in the mix.

In response, Walker replaced Halliday on 75 minutes in the home side's first change. Haring finally went in the book a minute later for wrestling Ferguson to the ground. Aberdeen were on top now, Emmanuel-Thomas nutmegging Cochrane on the left, his low cross hacked away by the home defence.

Hearts were being rolled further and further back, Jenks embodying that by chasing into two or three challenges in a row to deny Hearts the opportunity to clear. McEneff then replaced Mackay-Steven on 78 minutes as the home side looked to shore things up. Ferguson was yellow carded two minutes later, frustrated after giving the ball away.

Boyce caused danger with a low cross on 85 minutes, Lewis doing well to push the away to safety as McCrorie was down, injured earlier in the move. Henry Apaloo collected a booking for his protests to the fourth official.

The Dons were in the ascendant though, the outstanding McCrorie intercepting a pass, then playing a one-two with Emanuel-Thomas, his dangerous low cross hooked to safety by Souttar with Ramirez prowling behind him on 87 minutes. A soft foul given after Jenks blew on Haring won the home side a free-kick deep in their own territory and Stephen Glass was then carded for pointing that out to the particularly delicate fourth official.

Another lung busting run forward from McCrorie won a corner, Gallagher heading Ramsay's delivery into the hands of Brown in the 92nd minute as Aberdeen probed for a winner. Henderson then replaced Ginnelly as Hearts looked to run the clock down and protect their point. Walker went in the book for a foul on Brown in the dying seconds, still time left for Ramirez to take a punt from 35 yards, Gordon saving comfortably, the final act of the day.

Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet
Gordon, M. Smith, Souttar, Haring, Banningime, Boyce, Mackay-Stephen (McEneff 78), Halliday (Walker 75), Cochrane, Halkett, Ginnelly (Henderson 90)

Unused Substitutes: Stewart, C. Smith, Denholm

Bookings:  Halliday 50,   Haring 76,   Walker 96
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Lewis, McCrorie, Gallagher, Brown, Ramirez, Ojo, Hayes (Campbell 46), McLennan (Emmanuel-Thomas 40), Ferguson, Jenks, Ramsay.

Unused Subs: Woods, McGinn, McGeouch, Gurr, Hancock.

Bookings:  Hayes (16),  Ferguson (80).
Attendance: 17,449
Venue: Tynecastle, Edinburgh
Referee: Bobby Madden
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead