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Aberdeen 2 - 1 Heart of Midlothian

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 0 Heart of Midlothian

Premier Division
Aberdeen scorers: Grant 25, Miller 53.
Heart of Midlothian scorers: Watson 67

21/01/1987 | KO: 15:00


Aberdeen's win - the Dons' first success in three meetings with Hearts that season - extended their unbeaten run to eleven games, ten of them under the managership of Ian Porterfield. The victory over Hearts enabled the Dons to join the Tynecastle club on fourth place in the league.

An eventful first half saw Aberdeen lose Peter Weir with a head injury eleven minutes after the start (he was replaced by Bobby Connor), Hearts reduced to ten men when Roddy MacDonald was sent off in 19 minutes and referee Williamson booked a further three players. Aberdeen were able to register their superiority with a 25th minute goal by Brian Grant and the issue seemed beyond doubt when Aberdeen skipper, Willie Miller, claimed a second goal 8 minutes after the interval.
Hearts' characteristic fighting qualities saw them reduce the leeway in 67 minutes through former Don Andy Watson but the Dons remained in command despite losing central defender Irvine with a head knock a few minutes before the end (Billy Stark took his place). Irvine's solid performance in the middle of the Pittodrie defence, as he deputised for the suspended Alex McLeish, was just one of several encouraging features for Manager Porterfield. He must have been equally happy with the form of Grant and the shooting power of Paul Wright up front. Another satisfying feature was the midfield command exerted by Jim Bett, who was the source of most of the Aberdeen attacking moves. 15,000 saw an incident packed opening period and they were given an early indication of its character in the first minute, when a Bett - Wright move gave Weir an opening which he squandered. Losing Weir shortly afterwards was a setback but the Dons kept on the offensive. Brian Mitchell had an excellent lob, which almost brought a goal, after good work by Joe Miller and Davie Dodds. In a nasty confrontation MacDonald was red-carded and Dodds was booked. Immediately afterwards Mackay was lucky to get only a yellow card for a scything tackle on Bett.
Aberdeen's dominace paid dividends when a Wright pass was dummied by Dodds for Grant to nip in and his left foot shot was deflected into the roof of the net. Two minutes later Joe Miller's shot rebounded from the base of Smith's right-hand post. Hearts' first half raids were confined to occasional breakaways with the home defence seldom troubled. Colquhoun was booked for his challenge on Jim Leighton and the keeper showed his mettle with a good save from Watson's 30 yard volley. The important second goai for the Dons came when Willie Miller, ever eager to push forward in attack, interpassed with Mitchell and his swerving left foot shot was pushed into the net by Smith. Injuries to Clark and Mackay meant that Foster and Ian Jardine came on. Wright had a fierce left foot shot brilliantly saved by Smith and then Hearts forced themselves back into the game when Robertson's hard low cross was prodded home by Watson. The Dons held out for a deserved victory.

Source: Match Programme, 16th December 1995

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Leighton, Mitchell, Robertson, Grant, Irvine (Stark 87), Miller, Miller, Bett, Dodds, Wright, Weir (Connor 11).

Bookings:  Dodds (19).
Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet
Smith, Kidd, Black, Sandison, Whittaker, MacDonald, Colquhoun, Watson, Clark (Foster), Mackay (Jardine I), Robertson

Bookings:  Mackay 23,   Colquhoun 40  MacDonald 19
Attendance: 15,030
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: H. F. Williamson, Renfrew
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