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Aberdeen 1 - 1 Heart of Midlothian

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 1 Heart of Midlothian

Aberdeen scorers: Young 3.
Heart of Midlothian scorers: McSwegan 30

13/08/2000 | KO: 15:00

Defensive error allows Hearts a share of spoils

A couple of defensive blunders by the Dons defence cost Aberdeen two points at Pittodrie this afternoon. Aberdeen made two changes to the team that was beaten by Bohemian on Thursday. Derek Young and Cato Guntveit replaced Hicham Zerouali and Andy Dow. Mark Perry passed a late fitness test and kept his place in the youthful back four. With Hugh Dallas in charge the Dons started the match in the much-debated 4-3-3 formation.

Aberdeen made a dream start in the 3rd minute when Stavrum headed a Jess corner back across goal. Derek Young was on hand to head the ball past the helpless Niemi. The Dons kept up the pressure winning their third corner a minute later. Winters collected the ball but his shot was driven well wide. Jess was also causing the Hearts back four problems with his penetrating runs as Aberdeen continued to dominate and in the 13th minute a good delivery by McGuire was drilled over by Winters.

The Dons injury problems were not helped when Darren Young had to leave the field after a meaty challenge and was replaced by Dow. Young Kevin McNaughton was having another impressive game for the Dons and looks to be the find of the season. Aberdeen threatened again in 19 minutes when Guntveit whipped in a cross that was blasted wide by Dow. Hearts had no real answer for Aberdeen's most impressive display of the season and a flick on by Stavrum found Derek Young at the back post but his effort was deflected wide.

Hearts slowly crept back into the match and Cameron should have done better when he worked his way into the box, but delayed his cut back to Jackson and the chance was lost. Five minutes later however, the Dons were punished for some poor defending. Tomaschek made his way into the box. A weak effort by Dow to stop him and a missed ball by Guntveit allowed McSweegan the opportunity to fire home from 8 yards. Winters was getting a lot of good possession but his final ball was poor. Meanwhile Fulton and McSweegan picked up Yellow cards just before the break.

Hearts made the more positive start to the second half and took the game to the Dons for the first ten minutes. The visitors never created any clear-cut chances however and it was the Dons who came close in the 57th minute. Guntveit set Jess clear on the right and his powerful shot was well held by Niemi. A minute later it was Stavrum popping up in the right. He cut the ball back to Jess and Pressley did well to get across and block the shot. Tomaschek was booked in 62 minutes for a bad challenge on the impressive McNaughton. Two minutes later Zerouali replaced the ineffectual Stavrum. McGuire picked up a caution in the 70th minute but it was unclear what Mr. Dallas had spotted.

Winters should have sealed the points a minute later. He ran on to a fine through ball, but his shot went over the bar when it looked easier to score. Hearts had their own chance to the steal the points, five minutes from time, when McSwegan had a free header on goal. Fortunately for the Dons the effort went wide. Belabed replaced McNaughton with two minutes to go and the youngster got a deserved ovation from the home crowd as he left the field. The Dons remain undefeated after three games and now look forward to the visit of highflying Hibs.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Esson, Perry, McNaughton (Belabed 88), Young (Dow 18), McGuire, Guntveit, Young, Jess, Winters, Stavrum (Zerouali 64), Rowson.

Unused Subs: Preece, Inglis.

Bookings:  McGuire (70).
Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet
Niemi, Flogel, Severin, Pressley, Naysmith, Makel (Juanjo 74), Cameron, Thomaschek, Fulton (Locke 79), Jackson, McSwegan (O'Neil 89) Unused Subs: McKenzie, Murray

Bookings:  Tomaschek 62
Attendance: 11,798
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: H. Dallas, Motherwell
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead