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Aberdeen 4 - 0 Heart of Midlothian

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Heart of Midlothian

SPL Youth 18
Aberdeen scorers: Bavidge 48, Bavidge 72, Bavidge 80, Harvey 89.

12/08/2022 | KO: 14:00

U18s battle hard to defeat Hearts

A second half hat-trick from Alfie Bavidge along with Liam Harvey's fourth league goal of the campaign gave Barry Robson's kids victory over a battling Hearts side.

The young Dons went into this game off the back of a reversal against Celtic while a number of players also featured in the SPFL Trust Trophy loss at Brora on Tuesday. The team selected was on the usual lines with Blessing Oluyemi in goal behind a back four of Timi Fatona, Kai Watson, Blair McKenzie and Brendan Hamilton. Findlay Marshall, returning skipper Dylan Lobban and Alfie Stewart were in the middle with Adam Emslie, Alfie Bavidge and Liam Harvey in the forward line.

And it was Harvey who had the first shot of the game as he pounced on a defensive slip, but his right-footed effort didn't trouble Zach Paris in the Hearts goal. There was a scare for the Dons on five minutes when a cross cum shot from Bruno Pilch wide on the left evaded Oluyemi but rebounded to safety off the bar.

Emslie's direct running was causing problems for the visitors, and they had to defend desperately to block his dangerous cross before Watson headed over after a good delivery from Hamilton.

Playing with the wind, Hearts started to grow into the game, and they should have opened their account on 15 minutes, when first Chisholm then Sandilands failed to convert after a fine cross from Rocco Friel.

A minute later it needed a brilliant defensive challenge from Fatona to prevent Sandilands getting a shot on goal. Unfortunately, Timi hurt himself in making the tackle and he was unable to resume, Finlay Murray coming on to slot into central defence with Watson moving to right back.

Brendan Hamilton had a chance for the Dons when they won a free-kick twenty yards out, but the Irishman's shot was blocked by the wall.

Hearts were guilty of overhitting their forward passes so were unable to put any real pressure on the Dons goal, but a Ryan Duncan corner caused problems, the ball being knocked over the top.
Half time arrived with the sides all square, Hearts maybe not utilising the elements fully to their advantage while the Dons looked a little lethargic after their midweek efforts at Brora.

Half time - Aberdeen 0 Hearts 0

Hearts made two changes at the break introducing Crookston and Muirhead in place of Sandilands and Forrester.

The deadlock was broken in the 48th minute, Alfie Bavidge showing good strength and quick feet to create space for himself in the box before shooting low past Paris from fifteen yards out.

At the other end, Chisholm's twenty-five yard free kick was comfortably saved by Oluyemi. On 67 minutes, Paris produced a fine save low to his left to deny Alfie Stewart after a Bavidge cross was deflected into the path of the young midfielder.

Blair McKenzie headed over then Brendan Hamilton rattled the keeper's right-hand post after good interplay with Adam Emslie, but the game was still in the balance with only one goal separating the sides.

That all changed in the final twenty minutes though. On 72 minutes, Bavidge's strength and power was evident once again as he muscled his way into a shooting position before calmly firing the ball past a helpless keeper to make it 2-0.

A great run and shot from Gus Stevenson almost saw Hearts pull a goal back on 79 minutes, but the game was put to bed seconds later when Bavidge bundled the ball in to complete his hat-trick after fine work from Findlay Marshall.

Oluyemi saved well from Kenzi Nair's header to maintain the Dons clean sheet before Liam Harvey put the icing on the cake, firing home from around ten yards after Alfie Stewart had shown good anticipation to win the ball in midfield before presenting the Elgin-born striker with the opportunity.

A solid performance from Aberdeen who were very powerful in the second period against a Hearts team who gave their all and will no doubt play worse and win games this season.

Full time - Aberdeen 4 Hearts 0

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Oluyemi, Fatona (Murray 18), Hamilton (Ochmanski 81), Watson, McKenzie, Marshall, Emslie (Wilson 75), Lobban, Harvey, Bavidge (Pirie 83), Stewart.

Unused Subs: Vitols, Mercer.

Bookings:  Ochmanski.
Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet
Paris, Friel, Pilch (Selfridge 68), Forrester (Muirhead 45), Smutek, Chisholm ((Plesiewicz 62), Sandilands (Crookston 45), Wilson, Stevenson, Nair, Duncan

Unused substitute:- Wilkie
Venue: Cormack Park, Aberdeen
Referee: Scott Leslie
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead